Krista Carroll has been a member of St. Patrick since its formation and was a St. Catherine parishioner prior to that.
She has “grown up” in the parish, as she was once part of the SPIRIT youth group and now serves as a leader. Krista also volunteers as a religious education catechist and is part of the Finance Council.
Krista and her husband, Brian, have two children: Brayden and Jacob.
This edition of Parishioner Spotlight features Krista Rucker Carroll. Let’s get to know her a little better.
Tell us a little about yourself and your family.
I was born and raised by Jerry and Barbara Rucker in Mt. Olive and haven’t strayed too far from home as I currently live in Gardendale with my high school sweetheart and husband Brian. We just celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary and we have two active boys. Brayden will turn 16 on July 25 and Jacob will be 12 in October. We love sports, especially Alabama football and Chicago Cubs baseball. We have a dog, Molly, and three cats: Bootsie, Butterfinger, and Snickers. Also, Jake has two fish that we think will live forever. LOL!
How long have you been a member of St. Patrick?
I have been a member of St. Patrick since its inception. My family were members at St. Catherine when the four churches came together to create St. Patrick. As a kid, I remember having Mass in St. Joseph Hall every week and the groundbreaking of the gym!
Have you always been a Catholic?
Yes, my maternal grandfather was Catholic and took my mom and her sisters to Mass every week (he used to sit behind them and bump them on the head with his missile when they weren’t behaving). I am thankful for his spiritual leadership which led my family to the Catholic faith. My husband has since been baptized and confirmed in the Catholic Church. My paw paw’s spiritual leadership in the Catholic faith has led to his four daughters, many grandchildren and great-grandchildren following the Catholic faith and, even more important, loving our Lord and Savior. It’s because of his leadership that many have been baptized and will one day sit at Jesus’ feet, just as I know he is today.
What activities have you been involved in (currently or in the past)?
Growing up I was a part of SPIRIT youth group and now find myself as a leader, which is awesome to watch Brayden being involved. Jacob will begin his journey this year as he is starting middle school. When Father Vernon first started, I was a member of his Pastoral Council and through this ministry, we brought back the Children’s Liturgy for those too little to understand Mass in the “big” church. I led this ministry until Covid last year. I have been a Catechist in Faith Formation for the past six years and most recently I have joined the Finance Council.
Share some of your favorite memories of being a member of St. Patrick.
Oh gosh, there are SO many! First that comes to mind is a youth traveling to Denver to see Pope John Paul II in 1993 for World Youth Day. What a special time that was. Next would have to be my wedding. What a beautiful day that was, albeit HOT. Brian's and Brayden’s Baptism together was a special moment as well. Our really good friend Nick and my Aunt Deloris are God Parents for BOTH. We didn’t realize that Brian would need God Parents as well since he was an adult. We laugh about Nick (who is younger than Brian) being his God Father. Jake’s Baptism has a special place also because it’s some of the last family pictures with my mom before she got sick. Brayden’s confirmation (right before the world shut down last year) was incredibly special. Watching your child say YES to Jesus and YES to the Catholic Church has this momma’s heart bursting with pride. Of course, I can’t leave out all the Springfests through the years and the trips I took with SPIRIT growing up.
What St. Patrick people have touched your life (current or past members)?
Obviously, my mom would be number one on the list because without her leadership and faith, I wouldn’t have become Catholic and be a part of this amazing church family. Ms. Rose Taylor and Sister Maura Sampson come to mind next as they led me in CCD growing up and helped cultivate my love for Jesus. Ronnie Muro is next on the list. His leadership of the youth when I was growing up had a lasting effect on us all, more so than he probably realizes. Father Ray because he was the first priest I really remember. He performed the marriage ceremony for Brian and me. Father Bean was the first priest that I really remember thinking I can’t wait to go to church and hear God speak through him. He also baptized Brian and Brayden. Father Vernon - so much I could say here. He confirmed Brian into the Church, Baptized Jake, listened to Jake’s First Confession, gave both my boys their First Communion, confirmed Brayden, gave my mom her last rites and he led a beautiful celebration of her life when she died. His baptisms and funerals are the most beautiful celebrations of life that you will ever see.
What else would you like us to know?
If I haven’t lost your interest and you’re still reading (HA), just know that this Church and its parishioners are family. We live closer to another Catholic church but choose to come to St. Pat’s because of its people. I enjoy visiting other churches when we travel but there is no place like home.