The Francis Award was presented to 5 individuals by John O’Connor on the weekend of Jan. 28. He was there to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of St. Mary’s as a parish. These five individuals have all played a significant role in the history of St. Mary’s. They are individuals who contributed in those areas of the parish that we are known for as a parish: outreach to the poor, youth ministry, liturgy, and lay leadership.
The recipients of the Francis Award were:
1. Judi San Damiano for 30 years has cooked the Thanksgiving Dinner we provide for over 125 nursing home residents who we transport to the parish every November for this very special meal prepared for them.
2. Judith Deak has provided the music for our Family liturgies for 25-plus years, and she is the “heart and soul” of this great ministry that has touched the lives of all the families in the parish who have children.
3. Ann and Tony Rosone were involved in Youth Ministry back in the days when Bob Hudak was beginning this great ministry that today is ranked # 1 in the nation. Ann and Tony’s involvement in the parish has also included Marriage Prep., Partners in Ministry, and being Eucharistic Ministers, besides their years of service in Youth Ministry.
4. Basil Ricci’s generosity to the parish and to St. Mary’s school is legendary. We have a parish library because of him. He has been the advisor and confidant of every friar who has ever had the privilege of being assigned to St. Mary’s.
5. Deacon Edward Higgins is a man who is greatly loved and respected in the parish. Many a couple has been married by Deacon Ed or had their baby baptized by him. He has always been there for the friars sharing the work load and lending a hand. Ed is retired now from active ministry but he is still seen as a spiritual leader within the parish.