Good Egg: Forest “Dutch” McGarry

Our Lady of Angels Parish, Woodbridge, Virginia

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By Catholic Digest Staff

Nominated by Janet A. Bergesen

Forest “Dutch” McGarry doesn’t end his duties as an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion when the priest says “Go in peace.” Instead, he takes Communion to homebound parishioners and those in nearby nursing homes, says Janet Bergesen, who nominated McGarry.

McGarry also takes time to socialize with the residents and help out if he can, whether they simply need someone to talk to or, in the case of one woman, someone to help write out a bill or drive her to a doctor’s appointment.

McGarry’s compassion for the elderly is also demonstrated by years of care for his mother, who lived in a nursing home and whom McGarry visited every week, despite the 140-mile trip. He has been described by parishioners as a “real family man” and is especially devoted to his grandchildren.

McGarry attends daily Mass, and in addition to acting as an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, he lights the church candles, leads the recitation of the Rosary, and readies the altar. After 9 a.m. Mass, he joins his fellow parishioners for coffee at a local restaurant to socialize and exchange words of wisdom.

“Dutch treats us like queens,” says Bergesen of the ladies in the morning coffee group. “He always offers to get the coffee and the creamer. Most of the time he even pays for it!”

“Dutch is truly a likable friend to all,” she adds. “Our parish is lucky to have him.”  CD

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Catholic Digest Staff