In Your Midst
The Pew Next To You
April 98

Barbara de Lateur
Although you are no doubt aware that our Cathedral parishioners come from all around the Puget Sound, one parishioner in particular should earn the St. James Long Distance Commute award - Barbara de Lateur. Barbara makes a monthly round trip of 6000 miles from her current home in Baltimore, MD! A Seattlite at heart, Barbara has, since 1993, served as chairman of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in the John Hopkins Univeristy Shool of Medicine. The first woman ever named as chair to a John Hopkins medical department, Barbara also serves as joint professor of their Health Policy and Medicine program and as medical director at Good Samaritan Hospital.

Besides her vocation as a physician, Barbara is also a talented organist and harpsichordist who, before coming to St. James, was a church organist. In Baltimore, she keeps her love of music alive by singing at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen and at St. Ignatius Church.

On trips back to Seattle, Barbara rejoins her fellow Cathedral Eucharistic Ministers serving at Sunday Mass and continues to be an active member on the Cathedral Development Committee. In addition she has served on the Advance Gifts Committee for the Cathedral Restoration and Renovation project, was appointed to the original St. James Stewardship Committee, and has been a familiar face welcoming fellow parishioners at the Sunday coffee hours.

The Colliers
Drake and Maria Collier
The next parishioner you may not recognize in the pew, but once you hear him speak, I'm sure you'll know the voice. He is Drake Collier, St. James lector and host of the KIRO Radio Evening Talk Show. Arriving in Seattle in 1991 from Chicago, Drake's deep resonant voice and warm personality on KING radio caught the ear of a newspaper reporter who was forecasting the trends for the new year. Right up there at the top of his list of "What's In '92", along with best selling novelists and Terrefazione Italia coffee was our own Drake Collier!

Drake grew up and began his broadcasting career in Chicago. Over the years he has been on both TV and radio as news anchor, announcer, and talk-show host, and has done documentaries, training films, voice-overs and promotions. Drake's own special outreach is volunteering himself as broadcaster for chritable organizations' fund raising documentaries, auctions, banquets and galas.

Drake met wife Maria Lingat-Collier at a PBS TV telethon in Chicago where she was a phone volunteer and he was host. Shortly afterwards they survived an unusual first date, attending a wake, and were married about a year later. Originally from the Philippines, Maria moved to Chicago with her family in the late '80s and worked in the marketing field. In Seattle, Maria is now an office supervisor at the Department of Public Health. Touched by Maria's devotion to the Catholic faith, especially the rosary, Drake entered the RCIA program at St. James and was received into the church at the 1995 Easter Vigil.

Jim and Chris McCluskey say they practically stumbled into St. James. With their children, Kyle, Max and Molly, the family moved to the Puget Sound from Colorado in February, 1997 so that Jim could accept a job in Tacoma. After settling into their new home Gig Harbor, one Sunday in March Jim decided to take the family exploring. He headed for Seattle thinking that there had to be a Cathedral in the city, somewhere. As they drove around the downtown streets, it didn't take them long to spot our big church on the hill. Jim remembers that the Italian Renaissance style and beautiful interior of the cathedral immediately appealed to him. "I'm from Chicago," said Jim. "My brothers, sisters and me - this is what we grew up in - a churh just like this."

There is no doubt that the McCluskey family makes on of the longest weekly commutes to St. James, but that hasn't hampered their volunteer participation. Soon after joining the parish, both Jim and Chris put in long hours at the annual Parish Picnic, flipping burgers and working clean-up detail late into the evening. Now Jim serves as an usher on Sundays and special events while son Kyle, 9 years old, is an altar server. Max, almost 8, and Molly, 6, attend the Children's Sunday Religious Education Classes after the 10 am mass, giving Jim and Chris some important quiet time together over a cup of coffee.

Joan McDonell, a Seattle Times' editor, is a parishioner of St. James, a volunteer and member of the Cathedral Development Committee.

Back To April 98 Issue