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10/14/2013 5:56:00 PM
Couple retires after years of parish service
Life Touch Photography photo
Bill and Brenda Ennis and sons Aneil and Garrett.
Life Touch Photography photo
Bill and Brenda Ennis and sons Aneil and Garrett.

LINCOLN CITY — When people telephone this coastal parish, they are greeted by the sunny voice of Brenda Ennis saying, “St. Augustine’s Catholic Church; This is Brenda.”  When those same people attend Mass here, their ears are treated to the baritone voice of Deacon Bill Ennis singing hymns. After many ‘ears,’ the couple retires this month.  

Though Bill and Brenda move to New Mexico at the end of the month, fellow parishioners say the couple have left their mark in St. Augustine’s history through their dedication, evangelization, charity and love of God.

A St. Augustine’s parishioner since 1979, Bill earned a certificate in pastoral ministry from the University of Portland in 2004, and was ordained a permanent deacon in 2006. He’s devoted thousands of hours as he visits ill and shut-in parishioners, conducts communion services, participates on parish committees, and assists at every parish event.

“We enjoy his inspirational and educational sermons,” Claudette Schroeder said. “They are truly ‘homilies from the heart.’ His special gift is his empathy and sensitivity with the sick and dying. We are grateful for the comfort he has given many of our faithful.”

While former pastor Father Amancio Rodrigues recovered from injuries suffered in a car accident, Bill volunteered to serve as administrative director, which he did with his trademark smile, and lighthearted manner.

Brenda, a native Oregonian and longtime Lincoln City resident, became parish secretary in 2005, and immediately added special projects to her already-busy schedule. Her favorite event has been the annual Community Thanksgiving Day Dinner. Open and free to the entire community, the parish serves 400-500 meals. Brenda organizes the dinner, recruits volunteers from area churches, and some years even gets up at 4 a.m. to start roasting the first of 20 turkeys. On Thanksgiving Day, she serves meals, manages the raffles — all while wearing a welcoming smile.

In addition to their service to St. Augustine’s, the duo owned and operated Mr. Bill’s Smokehouse Village and Dory Cove Restaurant. Brenda’s pies, made from scratch, were highly prized. Bill and Brenda have been married 14 years and have four children and two grandchildren.

A farewell party is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 20, 2-4 p.m. in the parish hall.

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