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St. Philip Benizi Catholic Church's firewood ministry is conducted in coordination with Love INC

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Members of the rugby team at Oregon City High School split and stack several cords of firewood.Oregon City High School's rugby team members cut and stacked firewood for people who don't have enough money to heat their home.

The boys were able to get several cords of recently donated wood split and stacked and a truck loaded with a cord of wood to be delivered.

St. Philip Benizi Catholic Church's firewood ministry is conducted in coordination with Love INC, which networks with local churches, church volunteers and community agencies to serve neighbors. The firewood ministry's leader, John Buxman, has given away about 23 cords of wood to the "less fortunate" each of the past two winters.

"Oregon City High School students who are rugby team members worked hard helping me split rounds of wood," Buxman said. "These students did this with great enthusiasm. I'm very proud of all of them."

St. Philip Benizi Youth Minister Katy Schnoor said there's a good reason the 79-year-old Buxman was grateful that teens came out to help. 

"They were able to do the splitting and stacking in two hours that would normally take him weeks," Schnoor said. "The rugby team is made up of some amazing boys from Oregon City and it showed in the work they did for families in Clackamas County that don't have as much as they do."

Keith Swensen, Oregon Pioneer Rugby's head coach, said the sport "requires a strong work ethic, character and humility ... players who are not in it just for themselves, but for their teammates and for the community. Players like the Oregon Pioneer rugby boys who gave their time and effort to cut, load and deliver firewood to benefit senior citizens in the Oregon City area."

The team plans to help with the firewood ministry again before the rugby season starts in March.

The players, parents and coaches of Oregon Pioneer Rugby, the boys' rugby team at OCHS, are hopeful that a youth rugby program, for grades six through eight, can be brought back to Oregon City after a four-year absence. 

Interested parents and kids should contact 503-245-4664 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For more information about the church's firewood ministry, which is raising money for a firewood storage shed near Oregon City, call 503-631-2882 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This story has been updated from its original version online with the correct phone number for Keith Swensen.


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