In Your Midst
The Pew Next to You
March 2007

Meet the Ipsen Family

The Ipsen Family
The Ipsen family: Ted and Teresa with sons
Andrew, Jack, and Isaac.

The newest and youngest altar servers at the 10 o’clock Sunday Mass give parishioners  cause to see not just double, but triple!

But Isaac, Andrew and Jack are not triplets.  Isaac and Andrew are the nine and a half year old twins, and Jack is their eight and a half year old younger brother. They are the sons of Teresa and Ted Ipsen of Auburn.

The family is well documented in the archives of St. James. Teresa was first to make the record books. She came to St. James after she moved here from Phoenix. Since she had not been confirmed, she joined the adult confirmation class and was confirmed by Archbishop Thomas J. Murphy in 1990.

Teresa was working at the Seattle Police Department as a dispatcher, and that is where she met Ted, a police detective on the force. Within a few years they were planning their wedding at St. James. Ted had been baptized a Catholic in Vietnam but had not received any other sacraments. So First Communion, Confirmation and Matrimony followed in proper order at St. James. Teresa and Ted were married in October, 1992 by Father Joseph Tyson.

When Isaac and Andrew were born on August 14, 1997 and Jack on July 21, 1998, the Ipsens’ lifestyle changed dramatically.  Andrew and Isaac were baptized on November 23, 1997 and Jack on November 22, 1998, all by Father Ryan. Andrew and Isaac received First Eucharist here on May 1, 2005 and Jack the following May.

Lead usher Patrick Martin had been Ted’s sponsor and would frequently ask him to fill in as an usher. When the time was right, Ted became an “official” usher at the Sunday 10 o’clock Mass.

Teresa, meanwhile, had begun volunteering with the RCIA program.  Jack, Andrew, and Isaac first began volunteering to help out by helping their mom place the reserved seating signs on the chairs in the East Nave.  Ted soon had his sons and Teresa bringing up the gifts at the offertory. And once all the boys had made their First Eucharist, they signed on as servers.

Andrew and Isaac are in the third grade and Jack is in the second at Holy Family School in Auburn. Teresa is the room mom, the field-trip mom and helps out wherever needed at the school. The boys are in the school’s Cub Scout den and sing in the school choir. They also serve at the Sunday evening Mass at Holy Family. They all take piano lessons with Isaac taking the lead.

Teresa says the musical talent comes from Ted. In grade school and high school, he played the violin with the Seattle Youth Symphony when fellow parishioner, Vilem Sokol, was the director. Teresa, Andrew, Isaac and Jack used to sit in the pew ahead of the Maestro and he thoroughly loved knowing another generation of his musical family.

Each summer the family goes to Arizona for several weeks. They stay in Phoenix with Teresa’s mother and in Tucson with her sisters. There are lots of cousins, including one family that has 10 children (8 girls!) so Jack, Isaac and Andrew do not lack for input from cousins of the female persuasion.

This will be the first Lent for them as servers and early on they were still deciding on what to give up— video games or candy, or maybe both. For all that they do, Jack, Andrew and Issac still have time for Star Wars battles with light sabers and goofing around playing pirates. So long as they are together, it’s fine. t


Joan McDonell is a longtime Cathedral parishioner and a daily volunteer in the parish office.

Back to the March 2007 Issue of In Your Midst