Bette Graffeo, who was one of our church’s very first employees, has retired from Prince of Peace effective May 30. She, along with husband Vic and their children Elizabeth, Jake, and Kevin were part of the small group of Catholics in Hoover who took up the challenge of forming a new parish in 1985 under Father Jerry Deasy to serve the growing population of southern Jefferson and northern Shelby counties. Bette and her family were members at St. Peter the Apostle Church and they became one of the founding families of our parish.
Bette became the church secretary in 1986, working for Father Deasy, in the church’s first location on Clearbrook Road in Bluff Park. She was responsible for all of the church office functions. In 1998, Father John Fallon arrived at Prince of Peace and she has worked under his direction ever since.
Bette’s last position at the church before she retired was Director of Pastoral Care. In that important role she was responsible for all service outreach efforts such as Food for Our Journey, weekender backpack ministry and the tutoring ministry; all social outreaches to hospitals and care facilities and families in need; planning and managing funerals; managing the columbarium; supervising the offertory collection accounting; and a variety of other duties. Prior to that role, Bette was the church’s financial manager. She was a great resource to everyone in the church office with her encyclopedic knowledge of all things Prince of Peace: parish families, relationships, school and church history.
“It has been a great honor, a wonderful journey, to work at Prince of Peace,” said Bette. “I should have started a book about my career here thirty years ago! My kids grew up in this church and I feel very blessed that for 30 plus years I have looked forward to coming to work every single day,” she added.
Fr. Fallon said, “Bette’s retirement marks the end of an era at Prince of Peace. She has been an incredibly loyal and dedicated employee of great faith and integrity. It is hard to imagine our ministries without her involvement. I am forever grateful for her service and for meeting every challenge. Bette is a true example of someone who lives a stewardship way of life. She has given in service to the people of Prince of Peace in spades. I wish her every happiness in retirement. We will miss you Bette!”
You will find Bette enjoying her well-eaned retirement tending her gardens, reading and traveling to visit her children and grandchildren who live in Arkansas, South Carolina and here in Hoover. Husband Vic will join her in retirement next year. Thank you Bette for devoting your life to Prince of Peace. You have made a big difference in so many lives and helped to transform an infant Catholic church into an amazing and welcoming place of worship.
Send your retirement congratulations to Bette at [email protected]