Alan Lingen is pictured with Bishop James P. Powers (left) and diocesan stewardship director Steve Tarnowski after receiving the 2018 Spirit of Stewardship Award. (Catholic Herald photo by Jenny Snarski)

Jenny Snarski
Catholic Herald Staff

When Fr. John Anderson and Jo Germain recommended Alan Lingen receive the 2018 Spirit of Stewardship Ward, the selection committee agreed. Lingen was notified a few days prior to receiving the award at the May 9 Diocesan Stewardship Day in Rice Lake.
The nomination document said, “Al is a treasure to us,” referencing his home parish community of Immaculate Conception in New Richmond. He was described as a loving, hard-working, compassionate, selfless individual that will lend a hand whenever a need arises.

Lingen is a Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus and very active as such, participating often when the Fourth Degree Honor Guard is requested, as well as planning events, serving meals, chaperoning altar servers and children from a local homeless shelter to a St. Paul Saints game.

Retired from a manager’s position at a local building company, Lingen has used his leadership skills and construction experience in the service of the local church. He has shared his business background as a member of the finance council, balanced with spirituality and good humor.

In their nomination, the pastor and business manager said of their nominee: “He understands our mission, and works with us to keep us moving in a positive direction.”

His cooking skills are regularly offered at church events, including the vocational dinner the church hosted; he also asked the Knights of Columbus underwrite the cost of the meal.

Lingen was asked to form part of a building and grounds committee that started last year; he was able to help with a necessary leak project – planning and coordinating local contractor connections and doing some of the dirty work himself, and personally following up to ensure successful completion of the project and that there were no subsequent issues.

In recent years, Lingen has taken on various projects around the church rectory and grounds; he recruited a crew to help rebuild the cemetery garage and rebuilt the hymnal racks to fit the size of the updated songbook covers.

There aren’t many projects around Immaculate Conception that he doesn’t get involved in, including, with his wife Mary Jo, acting as sacristans and arranging the sacristans schedule. Lingen is learning how to videotape Mass at the church, which is aired through the local Wisconsin Technical College.

In the broader community, Lingen is an avid and active golfer, loves to fish and transports cars for a local dealership. He is also known as a venison butcher.

In concluding his nomination, it was said, “Al is a friendly man, with a wide smile to give to those he meets. He is generous with his time, shares his talents abundantly, and backs all of it up with his tithing.”

Lingen admitted being “very, very surprised” to learn that he’d been selected to receive the award. Not having ever tallied all the ways he had served the needs of his parish, he said, “Volunteering just comes naturally. I’ve always liked helping people out.”