Uplift Summer 2022

From the Director

God created us to be social beings. We are called to interact with others, to share our life with all the people we meet. We are called to do more than take care of ourselves. We enrich our own life when we celebrate life with others, sharing our joys as well as journeying with our neighbors during difficult times in their lives. We can also be a sign of hope for those who are searching for direction at some  point in their life. We are called to be companions on each other’s journey.
These relationships help us become aware of God’s loving presence in each other’s lives. It is through others that we come to see God present in ourselves.

It is through our relationship with others that we both discover our true potential to become a people of hope. It gives us focus and direction. We help each other discover our own potential and giftedness. We share each other’s joy. We become dance partners in each other’s journey.

Reaching a point when we are fully aware of the gift of our potential is a time of joy; a time to dance with God and our neighbors

Br. Tom Ruhmann, OMI
National Director of the VMs

I sometimes forget
that I was created for JOY.
My mind is too busy.
My heart is too heavy for me to remember that I
have been called to dance
the Sacred Dance of Life.
I was created to smile
to LOVE to be lifted up and to lift others up.
O Sacred One,
untangle my feet from all that ensnares.
Free my soul that
we might DANCE
and that our dancing might be contagious.

vI5able V15ABLE Looks to Bring Disabled Jobseekers and Employers Together

St. Louis, MO (February 21, 2022). Approximately 60% of all disabled people in the United States of working age are unemployed, and yet every year there are 7 million job openings that go unfilled. V15Able (pronounced Visible), a new employment platform designed to bring candidates and employers together, aims to solve both problems.

V15Able is the brainchild of founder and CEO Letisha Wexstten. Wexstten was born without arms and at an early age had to learn how to do everything with her feet. She began her journey to inspire and assist the disabled community in 2012 when she debuted her YouTube channel, “Tisha UnArmed”, where she creates and posts informational and humorous videos of her daily life with a disability.  Currently the channel has more than 170,000 followers, and its success made Wexstten think about what else she could do to help the disabled community. Having struggled herself in the job market, she set out to create a platform to help disabled candidates connect with employers.

“When I saw how much of a difference the YouTube channel was making, I knew that I wanted to help other people like me gain the confidence they needed in order to take back their independence,” Wexstten explains. “I am
really excited to see what the future holds for V15Able. We think that this platform is going to change the world.”

V15Able (15 represents the 15% of the global population with disabilities) was developed at the University of Missouri – St. Louis in 2019 through the University’s first Entrepreneurial Quest Accelerator (EQ) program, a six week course in entrepreneurship that culminated in a competition for a $15,000 grant. V15Able took home the win and Wexstten used the grant to create a business plan and research the concept further. Later in 2019, V15Able won a $50,000 St. Louis Arch Grant to put towards building the online platform. In 2020 V15able partnered with St. Louis startup studio Sigla to build the first iteration of its platform, which made its debut in March 2021.

Most recently, Wexstten and V15Able were accepted into the Pipeline Pathfinder program – their first ever class of an elite network for often overlooked and underserved entrepreneurs. Pipeline is an entrepreneurial support network founded in 2006 to serve the Midwest’s budding serial entrepreneurs leading scalable companies, but who have not yet made the leap to fulltime.

“We wanted this to be a no-fuss process for people with disabilities,” Wexstten said. “Think of it like LinkedIn – it’s free to create a profile but if you want additional features, you will be able to pay for a subscription fee.”
Currently the V15Able website offers disabled candidates the ability to create their own free, customizable profile that best describes and showcases their capabilities in the workplace. Candidates may then share their profile with prospective employers with a personal link. Once fully funded, V15Able.com will be a fully functioning employment platform where candidates will be able to share their profiles, search other candidates and communicate with employers. Employers and recruiters
will be able to search the platform for a fee and filter candidates based on their employment needs. Investors, business leaders, and disability advocates interested in helping bring V15Able to the next stage can contact
Letisha Wexstten at tisha@v15able.com.

“My plan for V15Able is to change the way businesses hire people with disabilities, allowing disabled candidates to advocate for themselves proving that anything is possible,” Wexstten said. “My goal for the future of the company is to break down barriers for people with disabilities and
employers, creating a more inclusive work environment for everyone.”

Used with permission.

CEO Letisha WexttenSo, anyone with disabilities in the United States that is searching for a job . . . Now is your chance! With staff shortages everywhere, endless types of employment are available, and now you have an agency that will help you in that endeavor. Best of luck!


When Mental Illness Hits Home Conference
Friday, August 26, 2022
9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Hosted by  National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows –
Victorious Missionaries

The title of the 2022 in-person conference is LIVING IN THE NOW: MOVING
presenter, Dr. Luis Giuffra, will discuss various treatments for depression. Marcie Phillis, PhD will share ways to move from anxiety/depression to resilience and beyond. Chaz Franke will conclude the day with self-care
strategies so we can live our best lives.

Registration Cost: $40
IL CEU (additional) Fee: $35

Registration: Online at SNOWS.ORG/ILLNESS or call 618-394-6281
Lunch will be provided and is included in the registration fee

Please Pray for
All those affected by COVID and natural disasters
Special Intentions

Natalie Adams
Alice Anderson
Nicole Barnett
Pat Barboza
Mary Rita Bauck
Hannah Bergen
Kathie Bomsta
Sharon Bond
Julian Catchings
Sue & David Collins
Doris Drago
Patricia Drisdel
Carol Durand
Orly Elizondo
Chandler Fleischmann
Br. Conrad Fleischmann, OCSO
Jonathan & Angela Fleischmann
Sr. Teresa Ganley
Steve & Lynn Glauber
Pauline Gulash
Dawn Hackman & family
Ron Helgert
Benedict Hermann
Anthony Higgins
Paul Hilbig
Cindy & Jim Hoef
Jimmy Hoef

Elaine Hofer
Brenda Johnson
Neil Kielty
Kathleen Koesterer
Betty Kolenda
Jackie Kolenda
Tom Kues
Sean Kuga
Sean Lawlor
Diane & Carol Maertens & family
Michael & Clare Marrinan
Rita Meyer
Terry Meyer
George & Billie Munie
Zion Ratchford
Larry Reid
Celeste Schenkenberg
Bill Skinner
Paul & Helen Starke
The Sweet family
Brenda Tanner
Tim Tanner
Izzy Wade
Vi Whelan
Mary Willett
Norm Zilka
Bern & Charlie Zittel

In Loving Memory

Dan LaLone
Fr. Elmar Mauer, OMI


Judith Valente Presenter for Fall RetreatFall Retreat (IN PERSON) – Sponsored by the Victorious Missionaries
OCTOBER 21-23, 2022
National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows
Belleville, Illinois

Presenter:Judith Valente
Cost for the weekend: $175
Commuting: $115
Sat. & Sun.: $100 Sat. only: $70
(includes lunch & dinner)


Belleville, IL –
Sue Collins, 618-578-8084  
Buffalo, NY –
Carol Buchla, 716-639-7542
Erie, PA –
Pat Fronzaglia, 814-440-1987 or
Sharon Bond, 814-450-7748
Flint, MI –
Karen Dutil, 810-908-9822
Houston TX –
Barbara Devaraj, 713-981-8376  
Lowell, MA –
Fr. Mike Amesse, OMI,
Maryville/Granite City, IL –
Gary Wilbur, 618-444-9873
San Antonio, TX –
Contact VM National Office,