Batavia Banquet To Help Herwaldt Family
By Pat Szpekowski, Observer Correspondent
September 14, 2017

BATAVIA—Youth ministry has been a part of Mark Herwaldt’s entire professional career for the past 27 years.

His passion and dedication for serving in every phase of youth ministry, including conferences, prayer services, youth group meetings, retreats and camps, has never dimmed.

But a recent medical diagnosis has challenged him and his family.

‘Uplift Mark’ Dinner
Sept. 23, Holy Cross Parish, 2300 Main St., Batavia

What: An army of family, friends, supporters and fellow parishioners at Holy Cross are hosting “Uplift Mark,” an Italian Dinner and BBQ  The night will include a catered Italian dinner donated by Barone’s Restaurant in Glen Ellyn.  Raffle prizes include Chicago Bears and Blackhawks tickets, a 50/50 purse and more.

When: Sept. 23 after 4:15 p.m. Mass at the church.


And his parish, Holy Cross in Batavia, aims to return his dedication at a Sept. 23 fundraiser (see box).
In the fall of 2016, Mark wasn’t feeling well, visited the emergency room and was referred to a neurologist to undergo a series of tests.

He then received devastating news when he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, which is widely known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, named after the Hall-of-Fame New York Yankee’s first baseman.

Mark and his wife, Jan, and their five children, who range from 16 to 29 years old, are dealing wth his failing health.

“Unfortunately the symptoms are pouring on with devastating quickness,” says his sister Cathy Bogolin, who lives in Buffalo, N.Y.

“I came home to celebrate the Chicago Cubs World Series parade in November,” she said. “Our whole family, including Mark, joined the fun in Grant Park. Mark was doing well at the time and showed no physical symptoms.”

Today, however, Mark has experienced a steady decline in his overall strength and requires the use of a wheelchair.

Jan is his main caregiver helping him with everyday tasks, including eating, for Mark has lost control over his body.

He previously served in the Rockford Diocese as a diocesan youth minister and as youth minister at Holy Angels Parish in Aurora.

He is currently director of Youth Ministry at Corpus Christi Parish in Carol Stream in the Joliet Diocese.

His active participation as a youth ninister has taken a step back but his parish families at Corpus Christi, which held a  fundraiser for him in July, and at Holy Cross have rallied around him.

For the Sept. 23 fundraiser, Bogolin and her daughter, Allison, are acquiring a wide array of raffle items, too, such as Chicago Bears and Blackhawks tickets, among other things.

Money raised will be used to help Mark live more comfortably by modifying his home, including making access to the bathroom and shower easier.