As a stay-at-home mother of eight, Hiedi Touney's free time has been somewhat limited over the years.
However, Touney, who moved to Fort Dodge in the early 1990s, has volunteered for the past seven years in the churches that have since become Holy Trinity Parish.
Through her participation in various projects, Touney was, by her estimation, spending the equivalent of part time job hours in parish work.
So, moving to full-time has been less of a stretch, she said.
Touney serves as parish life director, a newly created position that combines responsibilities previously overseen by several people.
"I oversee stewardship and evangelization ministries and have oversight of the pastoral staff," she said.
According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, a Christian steward is defined as "one who receives God's gifts gratefully, cherishes and tends them in a responsible and accountable manner, and shares them in justice and love with all."
Among stewardship opportunities Touney helps to oversee are prayer, offering and ministry, the latter of which is defined as ways church members can serve the parish in many roles, among them volunteering to read and sing at mass, sponsor an engaged couple as they prepare for marriage, help maintain church properties and many others.
This arrangement frees the "pastoral staff" - in other words, Holy Trinity's three priests - to devote more time to tending to the spiritual needs of the parish, Touney said.
"I'll handle more of the day-to-day things," she said.
Among Touney's immediate goals are to continue to build relationships between the parish and parishioners.
"I want to help families live out their faith," she said.
Currently, Touney is helping to produce a brochure with 10 tips on how families can center their lives in the teachings of the church.
Touney said she hopes to oversee successful programs that will help parishioners deal with parenting and financial issues - which are two of the biggest concerns faced by families, she said.
Since becoming parish life director in June, Touney said she has worked to become a more familiar face among church-goers.
"I've been working to get to know the staff," she said.
A native of Melcher-Dallas in south central Iowa, Touney is a graduate of Iowa State University and a former middle school and high school teacher. Her husband, Ed Touney, a native of Fort Dodge, is a physician at Trinity Regional Medical Center.