Deacon in wheelchair adapts to disability; continues in ministry

Serves St. Patrick Parish in Clear Lake

By Dan Russo
Witness Editor

CLEAR LAKE —When Deacon Darrel Courrier preaches about once a month at St. Patrick Parish in Clear Lake, he doesn’t stand behind an ambo. Instead, he reflects on God’s word from his wheelchair.

“We get bad breaks in our lives, all of us do,” he told the congregation in one of his homilies. “That’s part of life, but with faith, you can survive and put up with anything.”

Over the last five years, the deacon and his wife, Marcia, have had the opportunity to practice what he preaches. After being in good health for most of his life, the Minnesota native lost the use of his legs and right arm in 2013 after a blood clot burst in his brain. During the Courriers’ first couple of years in Clear Lake, they had become active members of their parish, serving in many ways before the health crisis hit.

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