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NOMINEE

Kim Baliman

Diocese of Grand Island, Nebraska

Often called “Kimball’s biggest cheerleader,” Kim Baliman is an unstoppable positive influence in her parish, St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, and in her town of Kimball, Nebraska. She puts Christ first, others second and herself third in every aspect of her life.

 

She has an energy and passion that is contagious and has resulted in bringing many people back to the Church because she encourages them to become involved. She asks for help, whether it’s for the parish’s stewardship committee, religious education classes, or putting together events, after finding that people are more likely to participate if they feel a sense of purpose.

 

Kim goes wherever she feels she is needed to help; this includes serving on the city council, teaching religious education, helping Altar Society Activities, putting together a church float for the annual city celebration, supporting the 4-H program, serving on the parish council and as a lector in the church, and being a founding member and chairman of the stewardship committee. She is always quick to volunteer and run to someone’s aid. All these responsibilities are done in her spare time while she works a full-time job as an independent business owner. Her dedication to the parish was needed during difficult times for the parish. Due to the shortage of priests in the diocese, the bishop of Grand Island had to make St. Joseph’s parish a mission of a neighboring parish, leaving Kimball without a resident pastor.

 

“Kim made the transition much easier for her parish because of her faith. Her energy and dedication to St. Joseph’s parish serves as an anchor for them,” said Bishop Joseph Hanefeldt. “Kim truly is the Light of Christ in her family, her parish and in her community.”

 

She was the executive director of the Kimball-Banner County Chamber of Commerce twice, for a total of fifteen years, and as a city councilwoman she continues to advocate for those in her community. She cares greatly for her townspeople and has singlehandedly brought back many parishioners to St. Joseph who had left.

 

In the last three years, the parish’s CCD program increased from eight students to thirty-five. She involves the children in all the church programs, such as spring clean-up activities, helping with bussing tables at dinner events, and even comforting residents at the Kimball County Manor, an assisted living facility. She believes in setting a positive example for the young church members and finds that it increases child and parent enthusiasm for church activities.

 

Kim credits her faith for guiding her decisions and giving her strength as she takes on these countless community and parish projects.

 

"l work alone—usually in silence,” she said. “I pray as I work and I talk to God all day. I pray about our community, our Church, friends and family, and the world. God is everywhere I go. He listens to my needs and he hears me. I am always open to personal growth and opportunities. I seek God's help and pray for his support and assurance.”