Most of us in everyday life have occasion to notice those who serve their community as first responders. “I recall from a very young age being in awe of fire trucks and those on these trucks responding to emergencies in the area where I grew up in the inner city of Saint Louis, Missouri,” St. Francis’ parishioner David Smith shares.
“I never thought that I would some 25 years later, become a member of this Department assigned to the 2nd busiest company out of 35 serving the population within the miles of city boundary.” David’s professional career as a Firefighter/E.M.T., was spent on Engine Company 14 with his brother firefighters until his retirement in 2007.
“I was very blessed to have been assigned to this engine company.” David says, “This company was led by an incredible crew of very experienced and seasoned professionals from whom I learned at the engine house and especially on the scene of an emergency.”
He goes on to add, “I very often reflect with great gratitude on the experience that this group of men took me onto their crew shortly after graduating the required 16-week academy. Training and helping me, by passing along their field experience to become a servant of our community worthy of being part of their team.”
He has taken those experiences of service, shared mission, and teamwork to the parish setting. David became a member of our parish when he moved to Nixa in 2019. He says, “I feel right at home here in my new parish! And am grateful for every opportunity to serve God with my St. Francis of Assisi family.”
You may have heard David’s beautiful singing voice if you had occasion to sit near him at Mass. He participates in liturgy as a reader and has also been a leader in area retreat opportunities with the Catholic Men’s Retreat, Christ Renews His Parish, and has been an organizer in bringing men to the Whitehouse Retreat in St. Louis.
- Interviewed by Deacon Gary Steffes