Eight Pompton Lakes Parishioners Receive Francis Medal

HNP Communications Around the Province

POMPTON LAKES, N.J. — The friars of St. Mary’s Parish presented the HNP Francis Medal to eight parishioners over the last two months. The medal was given to people who have demonstrated dedication to service and to the Franciscan message.

In May, Bernadette Shea, Keith Orotosky and Carol Johnson were given the medal at Sunday Masses. Shea, a daily communicant at St. Mary’s, “has evangelized and promoted our Catholic and Franciscan values for more than 70 years,” according to pastor Gonzalo Torres-Acosta, OFM, who describes Orotosky and Johnson as committed sacristans, Eucharistic ministers and “volunteers extraordinaire.” Orotosky has also served as director of the parish’s RCIA program.

In June, five parishioners were recognized – Joanne Miller, Gerard Provost, Christopher Brillante, Jane McEwen and B. Theresa Walsh. Miller is a part-time outreach director who managed all aspects of the ministry for several years. “She was completely dedicated to the people she served,” said Gonzalo adding, “her true gift was listening.”

Provost has been a dedicated St. Mary’s Food Pantry volunteer for decades, serving as director for two years. Brillante and McEwen, are parish trustees and devoted Eucharist ministers. Brillante also served as an usher and McEwen as a lector – both for decades, Gonzalo said. Walsh was a volunteer nurse at St. Mary’s School, a food pantry volunteer and a Eucharist minister, and she worked in the parish office for many years before becoming a part-time secretary of sacramental records.

Lawrence Anderson, OFM, Michael Carnevale, OFM, Lawrence Hayes, OFM, Richard Husted, OFM, and Emerson Rodríguez, OFM, joined Gonzalo in presenting the medal to the parishioners.

The HNP Francis Medal was established in 1998 by then-Provincial Minister John Felice, OFM. Recipients are people who have displayed an uncommon contribution to the advancement of the ideals and values of St. Francis.

In recent months, friars in Wood-Ridge, N.J., and in Western New York have recognized partners-in-ministry with the HNP Francis Medal.

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