With the loss of our beloved Father John Vakulskas, Jr. (“Father John”) late last year, who was the spiritual leader for SLA for over three decades, President Robert Thorson established a new Spiritual Leader Search Committee. Robert Johnson, Third Vice President of SLA, chaired this committee, along with Past President Bill Johnson, former Executive Secretary Rick Haney, and Thorson headed that committee to help find a new Chaplain. Others included Patrick Jamieson, First Vice President and Marc Janas, Second Vice President.
The Committee established SLA’s spiritual needs, including those of carnivals and others, who Father John assisted from time to time, over many years serving his traveling show’s ministry.
Recently the Committee was pleased to report to the SLA Board that they have made arrangements with five Chaplains, two who are Deacons and three, who are Pastors in their respective churches. One resides in Northern California, one in Kansas City, one in Tulsa and two reside in Illinois. They are no strangers to the mobile amusement industry and have experience with migratory workers, carnivals and youth organizations.
Each is available, with advance notice to visit your business, carnival, festival or fair to help those in need and to perform services such as marriages, baptisms, etc. Expenses for such travel and accommodations will be the responsibility of the requesting business, in addition to a donation to the Chaplain.
As President Thorson remarked, “Father John would be very pleased to know that it took five spiritual leaders to replace him!”