Having shared with our Wellness Wednesday readers that TEAM is my One Word for 2023, I experienced a special example of team last week. Fr. Bob White is the pastor of St. Victoria Church in Victoria, Minnesota. Fr. Bob and I have known each other for 45 years. For the last several years, he has been blind.

Fr. Bob recently asked me to meet with him and his staff to discuss possible Top 20 sessions we could do with his parish. As I slowly pulled into the icy parking lot the morning of the meeting, I noticed a man and a dog at the other end of the parking lot slowly walking toward the church. Yes, it was Fr. Bob with his dog Arlo.

I remained in my car for several moments watching one of the most meaningful and beautiful examples of team that I have ever witnessed. A man and a dog, who have both dedicated their lives to helping others, demonstrated what is possible when being a team.

Getting out of the car, I yelled to Fr. Bob that it was me. As I joined the duo, Arlo led us down the steps and into the office area of the church.

A week later I continue to be inspired by Fr. Bob and Arlo who remind me that even though we are all limited in some way by handicaps, when working together we can get to where we need to go. They also remind me that going alone drastically limits our possibilities.


  • Who or what has inspired you to be a team?
  • How has your experience of being a team led you to an amazing place?
  • How has the absence of team limited what is possible?

Molly Loder, music and science teacher at St. James School in Howard Lake, Minnesota, responded to my invitation in last week’s Wellness Wednesday to share her One Word for 2023.

“Grace is my reminder,” says Molly, “to be quick to forgive. I want to live in the grace that says, ‘I’ve been forgiven and I can forgive myself and others. I don’t have to treat others with retaliation or justice — but rather with grace that sees the best in everyone’s efforts.’ In our litigious world, this may not be a popular message. But it’s been my favorite word yet! I’ve done the One Word for the past three years, and I love the philosophy behind it!!”

Sounds like grace may be necessary for us to function as an effective team.

From our team…Willow, Kevin, and Tom…who are on our way to getting where we want to go.

Paul Bernabei, Director
Top 20 Training