TEC volunteer Brittany Dulak by statue of Mother Teresa.

Brittany Dulak: Emulating Mother Teresa

Originally Published in Green Bay Parish Neighbors West, published by Decided Excellence Catholic Media

Brittany Dulak of Anchor of Hope TEC at statue of Mother Teresa
Photo by Beth Relyea Photography

As a caregiver working three jobs, Brittany Dulak spends long hours helping others. She has been a personal care worker for a boy with multiple disabilities for the past 13 years. Additionally, she has worked as a certified nursing assistant in the Dementia and Alzheimer’s Unit at Woodside Lutheran Home for 10 years. Then, two years ago, she started working as a support staff member at Bridge the Gap, a daily living skills center for people with disabilities.

Healthcare is Her Ministry

But instead of viewing these caregiving roles as jobs, she sees them as her ministry. Through her long days and nights of caregiving, Brittany tries to emulate St. Teresa of Calcutta. Sometimes, Brittany feels St. Teresa’s presence guiding her as a caregiver, so it’s no surprise that St. Teresa is Brittany’s favorite saint. Brittany grew up Catholic, and Faith is a central part of her life.

“It has allowed me to discover my calling into being a caregiver and led me to my three jobs,” she said.

Active at Nativity Parish & TEC

Brittany has been a member of Nativity of Our Lord Parish for two years, and she sings in the parish choir, cantors, and serves as an aide for the Catechesis of the Good Shepard religious education classes. The parish is like another family to Brittany, and she has met many amazing people at the parish. She cherishes the relationships she has built at Nativity and also at Anchor of Hope TEC (Together Encountering Christ). TEC is a Catholic spiritual movement that flows from a dynamic retreat weekend into an intergenerational community of faith. While Brittany was in college at UW-Green Bay, she was struggling to get along with her roommate and was looking for a group of friends where she could just be herself. The music minister on campus introduced Brittany to Anchor of Hope TEC.

Feeling Christ’s Love in th TEC Community

“I was able to meet people who were learning to grow in their faith, both from the U.S. and around the world, who have become my faith family and support crew in my life journey,” Brittany said. “I can message any of them at any time, and they will stop-drop-and-pray with me.”

She feels Christ’s love through the TEC community’s prayers and relationships, and she found the strength she needed to handle the problems she was having with her roommate and other trials in life.

“I am now able to work the retreats and help others grow in their relationship with God, which is the best gift that I can give,” she said.

Volunteering for TEC & Camp Daniel

In addition to volunteering at TEC retreats, Brittany serves on the TEC Board of Directors. She also volunteers as a camp counselor at Camp Daniel, in Athelstane, Wisconsin. Camp Daniel provides people with disabilities opportunities for safe and fun Northwoods camping experiences. Brittany loves the outdoors and enjoys spending time at the family cabin in Three Lakes. She also enjoys singing, playing volleyball, reading, traveling, and cheering for the Green Bay Packers. She has two cats, Cole and Riggs.

Kenosha Native Now Living in Green Bay

Brittany is a Kenosha native who graduated from Kenosha Tremper High School and UW-Green Bay with a major in Spanish and minors in Human Development and Mathematics. Her parents are Jeff and Elizabeth Dulak, and she has a brother, Matt, a sister, Stefanie (Nigel) Beknall, and two nieces, Amina and Hartley. Like St. Teresa of Calcutta, Brittany found her purpose in life by loving and caring for others. One of Brittany’s favorite quotes is this famous saying of St. Teresa: “Not all of us can do great things, but we can all do small things with great love.”

TEC 283 prayer and Bible enthronement

In God’s Time: Catholic Retreat TEC 282, Feb. 23-25, 2024

God is so good! We welcomed 33 to the TEC community at TEC 282 on Feb. 23-25, 2024. The retreat was held at St. Joseph Church & School, Quad Parishes, in Green Bay. After two postponements due to a lack of volunteers, TEC 282 gathered a full team. They put together a phenomenal retreat experience. Here are some of the highlights.

International Retreat & Prayers for Ukraine

TEC 282 had a distinct international feel to it. Not only did we have 15 Global Outreach students, we also had about 10 Hispanic teens from St. Peter and Paul, Weyauwega. One of the Global Outreach TECites was from the Ukraine. We marked the second anniversary since the start of the war with Russia. Listening to her talk about her dad in the military and her country in peril made a far-away, global problem much more personal. May God hear and answer our TEC 282 prayers for Ukraine. We continue to pray for a peaceful resolution and healing for this hurting nation.

Seminarians & Vocation Awareness

TEC 282 also had a vocational feel to it. The three seminarians in their Kairos year joined the team for supper and prayer on Thursday night. And as an added bonus, seminarian Matthew Schumacher was home from St. John Vianny College Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. He presented a talk on Saturday night. What fun it was to hear him speak about the sock races during his TEC. On a more serious note, he talked about peace in the midst of suffering as he introduced the song “It is Well with My Soul.” He also shared memorable stories of his spring break trip and the peaceful spirit of St. Pope John Paul II.

Mountain Top & Lenten Journey

Making TEC 282 during Lent added a deeper religious meaning to the weekend. We prayed the Stations of the Cross and celebrated the Sacrament of Reconciliation – two Lenten practices. On Sunday, we celebrated the Feast of the Transfiguration. Our Spiritual Director, Fr. Kevin Ripley, compared our TEC weekend to the journey of Jesus, Peter, James, and John to the mountain top. The TEC teams and retreatants encountered our own mountain top experience. They left their daily lives behind to spend time with the Lord. Fr. Kevin reminded us that Jesus accompanied the apostles down the mountain top, just like Jesus accompanied us when we left TEC 282 to return home.

Retreat Led by Priests & Deacon

We were blessed to welcome Fr. Matt Colle to the TEC community as part-time Assistant Spiritual Director. Also, we were blessed to have Deacon John Bundra return to TEC as part-time Assistant Spiritual Director.

Families on Retreat & Back at Home

Several of our team left little kids at home to work TEC, and we are so grateful they answered the call to serve. Additionally, we’re grateful for the caregivers who cared for the kiddos during TEC 282. Special shout-out to Craig Majeski (TEC 282 Director), Amanda Gerrits, Danielle Taylor, and Alex and Isabelle Carroll. TEC is a family affair for many. It was a blessing to see several second-generation TECites making a retreat. What a blessing to see family members volunteering – husband and wife, mother and daughter, brother and sister, and parents and son. TEC 282 attracted volunteers from as far away as Madison, Rosholt, and Sturgeon Bay.

A Catholic Retreat to Remember

The final highlights of TEC 282 were the delicious shepherd’s pie made from the lovingly peeled 50 pounds of donated potatoes and a rousing rendition of “The Papayas” song. After two delays, TEC 282 occurred – in God’s time. May God continue to bless the TEC 282 team and TECites, walking with them down the mountain and wherever life takes them.

TEC board of directors

Welcoming 3 Newbies to the TEC Board

We welcome Mary Mondloch, Joan Koehne and Amanda Gerrits to TEC Board for 2023-25 and thank outgoing board members Jody Engebos and Ashley Prokash. The 3 newbies join Bruce McEwing, Katie Wanek, Carol McEwing, Brittany Dulak, and Kevin Smits. Rev. Kevin Ripley is Anchor of TEC’s spiritual director. Thank you all for your service and God bless you!

Meet the New TEC Board Members

Mary Mondloch at a mission trip to Puerto Rico in summer 2023.
Mary Mondloch at a mission trip to Puerto Rico in summer 2023.

Mary Mondloch

Parish: Our Lady of Lourdes, De Pere

Parish involvement: I am a young adult ministry coordinator at my church. I’ve chaperoned multiple mission trips through my parish. I also help out with Faith Formation on Wednesdays.

TEC involvement: I’ve been involved with TEC since I made my first one a few years ago. I’ve worked every TEC since and am now happy to help by being on the board.

Favorite scripture passage: Psalm 46:10; Be still and know that I am God.

For fun: I like to hang out with friends and family, spend time at church, go hiking, and just relaxing!


Amanda Gerrits with her husband and two daughters.
Amanda Gerrits with her husband and two daughters.

Amanda Gerrits

Parish: Nativity of Our Lord Parish, Green Bay

Current parish involvement: working on starting a busy bag ministry
TEC involvement: TEC board and secretary, working TEC 282

Favorite scripture: passage: Phil 4:6-7 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

For fun: crafts (tie rosaries, crocheting, hand knitting, etc), hiking, camping, traveling, playing with my kids and attempting to beat my husband at any game I can!


Joan Koehne with her family.
Joan Koehne with her family.

Joan Koehne

Joan Koehne
Parish: St. Pius, Little Suamico
Current parish involvement: Music ministry, church cleaning, fundraising and decorating
TEC involvement: After 20-year hiatus, I worked Main team for TEC 281 and had such an amazing experience, I’m joined the board and will work TEC 282 in February.
Favorite Scripture Passage: Proverbs 31 – When one finds a worthy wife her value is far beyond pearls
For fun: Hiking, gardening, biking, playing piano, family time, cheering for the Brewers


About the TEC Board of Directors

According to the Anchor of Hope TEC Constitution, TEC Board members are elected in August and start serving in September. Board members serve two-year terms and are eligible to serve 2 consecutive terms before a one-year absence. The board meets at 6:30pm on the first Thursday of the month at St. Joseph School of the Quad Parishes, Green Bay. Up to 12 people can serve on the TEC board.

Unveiling a Vibrant Redesign of This Nonprofit’s Website

TEC is a dynamic Catholic retreat experience, and now Anchor of Hope TEC has a website to show just that! Green Bay-based TEC (Together Encountering Christ) took a giant leap forward in technology and vibrancy with a redesigned website.

Anchor of Hope website home page before redesign
Anchor of Hope Home webpage after redesign

Why Redesign the TEC Website?

Anchor of Hope TEC’s first website launched in 2015, so it was overdue for a website update. TEC representatives wanted to add more color and vibrancy to the website. Instead of old website’s bland- wheat fields, fish, and sand images, the new website features bright colors and communities of young people. TEC is about building relationships with Christ and journeying together in faith, and the new website depicts TEC’s community focus.

What Changed in the Website Home Page?

  • On the Home page of the redesigned websites, headings and subheadings capture the essence of Together Encountering Christ. The titles also connect the nautical themes of an anchor and ship with faith: Searching for a Rock-Solid Anchor in Your Life? Center Yourself on Christ. Anchor of Hope TEC will help you steady your ship.
  • Brightly colored buttons near the top of website’s Home page make it easy for visitors to register for a weekend retreat. They click a separate button to register as a retreatant or a volunteer worker.
  • Text on the Home webpage slides into place as a visitor scrolls, adding energy, movement, and interest to the page. The headlines and paragraph blocks are short and easy-to-read, yet they contain helpful information and searchable keywords.
  • In the footer (bottom section) of the webpage, visitors can quickly navigate to inside webpages via the Quick Links list or click a colorful button to register for a retreat. The website is mobile-friendly and resizes for cellphones, tablets, and other devices.
  • To engage with its audience, TEC redesigned its newsletter to mimic the website and began publishing a monthly newsletter. The newsletter is formatted with the same brand colors, images, links, and messaging as the website. Visitors can quickly sign up for the TEC newsletter at the Home page. The sign-up form integrates with the email marketing platform Constant Contact.

What Changed on the Redesigned Inside Pages?

About

The two tabs under About go to Testimonials and About Anchor of Hope TEC. Visitors can read authentic first-hand accounts on the Testimonials page, whereas the About page contains TEC history and background information. Catholic teens (and their parents) and young adults interested in making a retreat can learn about the weekend before registering.

Applications

The four tabs under Applications explain how to apply and provide online registration forms and payment portals for retreatants and worker volunteers.

News and Events

The two tabs under News and Events show the upcoming retreat weekend dates and stories about the TEC community.

Location

The location page shows an image of St. Joseph Catholic School where the TEC retreats are held, along with a Google map to show the exact location.

FAQs

The FAQs page provides answers to common questions. Visitors click or tap the question to reveal the answer. Not only do the FAQs provide helpful information to human visitors, the FAQ pages also are rich in keywords. Keywords enhance Google searchability and ranking on search engine result pages. So, Google will suggest Anchor of Hope TEC to people searching for a Catholic retreat for teens or young adults in Green Bay.

Contact Page

The Contact page offers a quick way to ask a question or make a comment. A website visitor fills in their contact information and a message, then clicks Submit. The message goes directly to the TEC email. Spam blockers on the page prohibit junk emails from getting through.

Payments

The e-commerce payments page is a welcome alternative to collecting cash or checks at meetings or retreats. Retreatants and volunteer workers pay their retreat fee or donation at a secure e-commerce portal. Administrators can easily track payments and not worry about handling money. Additionally, TEC can add more merchandise or donation portals to the page.

Members Only

Members of the TEC organization have password-protected, members-only access to outlines, lists, and other information. This easy-access resource saves the organization money on paper and printing. Members have digital information available 24/7 wherever they are, as long as they have WIFI.

Redesigned Website Launched for Nonprofit

Thanks to Bill Koehne and Alexa Haverkorn, of Packerland Websites, and Joan Koehne, of Writer to the Rescue, for giving their time and professional talents to rebuild the TEC website. Also, thanks to Bruce McEwing, president of the TEC board, and Amanda Gerrits, secretary, for their input and guidance. The redesigned website truly represents how Together Encountering Christ can awaken spiritual growth and create disciples who strengthen the Catholic church.

Contact Packerland Websites to learn how a website redesign can breathe new life into your nonprofit or business website.