Francis Medal Presented to Five in Virginia

Maria Hayes Around the Province

TRIANGLE, Va. — Earlier this month, Frank Critch, OFM, presented the Francis Medal to five members of St. Francis of Assisi Parish recognized the work they have done during the past two years to help the parish receive a GreenFaith Certification, the first in the state of Virginia.

The GreenFaith Certification Program is an 18-month comprehensive environmental education and training program that trains houses of worship to become strong religious environmental leaders. St. Francis Parish has held more than a dozen environmental activities over the past two years. This included eco-themed worship services, religious education on the environment, reducing energy usage in buildings and engaging in environmental justice advocacy.

For their ministry and dedication, the friars honored the following members of the GreenFaith team: Margy Carlson, OFS, chair of the Green Team; John Carlson, OFS, chair of the Spirit Committee; Frank Duncan, chair of the Stewardship Committee; Ulli Vaerst, chair of the Environmental Justice Committee; and Gina Staub, chair of the Communications Committee. The medals were given during the Vigil Mass on June 14.

“The ideals of the Franciscans and their dedication to creation and the Gospel have been the driving force in the many hours these people have given to the parish community through this ministry,” said Frank, shown in photo.

Holy Name Province’s 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.

Earlier this year, the medal was presented to seven partners-in-ministry at St. Mary Parish in Obernburg, N.Y., and to two long-time employees of St. Anthony’s Guild.

 Maria Hayes is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province.