Service isn’t just something Mark Thiel does. It’s central to who he is.
Thiel has dedicated himself to working with people who have disabilities, in the process forming long-term friendships — and cultivating Johnnie football and baseball fans by bringing sports-enthusiast clients to games.
He retired after nearly 30 years with the State of Minnesota’s Department of Human Services but continues to work part-time with several people who have disabilities. He joins them for fun activities like bowling, and they help him deliver Meals on Wheels in St. Paul, which he has done for more than 30 years.
Thiel and his wife Mary have an adult foster care license in their home and care for two people with disabilities one weekend a month.
A longtime member of the Minnesota Contemplative Association, Thiel facilitates weekly virtual Lectio Divina and meditative centering prayer at Saint Stanislaus Parish in St. Paul. He also is part of a volunteer group that leads weekly centering prayer sessions for inmates at Stillwater Prison. He helped tell the stories of those in the prison system this May as a cast member of “The Labyrinth and the Minotaur: The Incarceration Play Project,” at Mixed Blood Theatre.