Marjorie Henkemeyer

St. Joseph's Church

Marjorie Henkemeyer, FCN at St. Joseph’s Church in St. Joseph, MN took the FCN course in June 2012 in Sauk Rapids. Marjorie has over 50 years in health care experience including leadership experience in higher education at The St. Cloud Community and Technical College, where she was a Nursing Instructor to start and became the Curriculum Coordinator, VP for Academic and Student Affairs and was a Curriculum Revision Consultant and Healthcare Instructor and Healthcare Industry Education Consultant. She has been a writer for the National League of Nursing. She received a Diploma from St. Gabriel’s School of Nursing, B.S. from SCSU, and M.ED., U of M.

Marjorie has been involved in many community organizations: St. Cloud Chamber, Kiwanis, Great River Rotary, Guatemalan Project HELPS volunteer, St. Joseph Catholic Church current Council member and past President; ESL Tutor, BeFriender Ministry member, and Ski-for-Light Certified Guide. All of these have prepared her for the new role of Faith Community Nurse. This is the path for us FCN’s, learning, being involved, making connections, caring to be part of life for our own growth and to help in ways that life leads us and trying to listen to God’s calling and how to respond throughout our lives.

Marjorie’s story of Faith Community Nursing includes a calling and a nudge from some of God’s people such as her mentor, and collaborator in her ministry, Sister Joyce Iten, who was the Pastoral Minister at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in St. Joseph. Sister Joyce had long been a support of parish nursing. Marjorie is considered Unpaid Staff, so she is at the Parish Staff meetings every other week to present what she is involved with and hears suggestions. Her official title is Health & Wellness Minister. She states that Father Jerome has been a supporter of her health ministry from the beginning. I attended Marjorie’s commissioning. It was wonderful testimony to the work when Fr. Tupa invited all nurses of the parish who were present to come and stand by Marjorie offering their support for her at the commissioning. We all count on the many others in our churches that can help in the ministry and will be willing to be called on to volunteer for some of the programs that are ongoing.

Marjorie has forged a very beneficial collaboration with the St. Ben’s and St. John’s nursing students because of her location close to them and her past relationships with education. She calls it “a wonderful marriage between college and parish”. Instructors were excited to have more community opportunities for their students with St. Joseph’s church and the St. Joseph Community. They have helped put on classes in Caregiving, Falls Prevention, and visiting families with new babies. They developed a plan to bring a basket with a white baby blanket, which many use for baptism, a Pass Along Cross, and some tea for the mom’s. Their goal has been to welcome the new family member to the church community. This has been well received with one father telling Marjorie, that he is really happy the church is doing something for young families. Marjorie is carrying on this ministry and continuing the visits. She says some ask her questions about baby topics as well as parenting. She shares with them information on community resources. Marjorie has a group of Health & Wellness committee members who meet three times a year. They review activities that have gone on, with a summary of visits, workshops, and presentations. They have held classes led by instructors from the Council on Aging and had 13 people come for eight weeks to a Matter of Balance class. The evaluation by those who came was that they really enjoyed the classes. Powerful Tools for Caregivers led by COA for eight people for six weeks is currently being held. Marjorie strongly recommends these classes and they are free from the COA. She has also arranged for a Stearns County Sheriff to come to the St. Joseph Senior Citizen meeting to pick up medications they want to get rid of. A benefit of attending the monthly Senior Citizen meetings is being able to get ideas of what they are interested in and letting them know of programs she is holding. As the church meeting space is being remodeled, the classes are held at the Senior Center. One idea her and her committee is considering is a Senior bell choir group that uses the churches bells with the benefit of range of motion and fun at the same time.

Marjorie says she was on a steep learning curve as a parish nurse and setting goals is always a balance of what she can do and how much she could do. She feels attending the Central MN Parish Nurse Ministry Committee monthly meeting at the St. Cloud Hospital gives her enormous support and a place to hear how other parish nurses practice and a place to ask questions, and get ideas and direction as well as support of those parish nurses. She serves as the VP of the group.
Marjorie shares her H & W summary of work so far below. Activities are set by the committee at their meetings and evaluated regularly.

Thank you Marjorie for sharing your ministry story with us. I have heard many parish nurse stories and continue to know that God is working through all of you. Thank you. Each one of you brings skill, care and devotion to your ministry.

Sample from her 2012-2013 Activities:

  • Set up H & W Comm-2012
  • PN Training - 6/12
  • Set up office - 8/12
  • Set up email - 8/12
  • Set up voice mail - 8/12
  • Commissioning - 11/12
  • Write bulletin notes - 7/12 on-going
  • Set up college coll - 7/12
  • Begin Visits - 8/12
  • Falls Prevention - 9/12 & 1/13