BRANT BEACH, N.J. — Stephen Kluge, OFM, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Church on Long Beach Island here, presented the Province’s Francis Medal to four individuals and three families last Sunday.
At Masses on Dec. 20, the following were given the medal, established in 1998 by the Province:
Lynn DeFreitas is a choir member, usher and “a special needs woman, who does not let her intellectual limitations stop her,” Stephen said. DeFreitas “always has a smile and open arms,” he said.
Jack and Noreen Cover minister together in the Human Concerns Department of the St. Francis Community Center. Though Jack is currently battling a serious illness, together, they “put the needs and problems of others before their own,” Stephen said.
Laura Benson is a lawyer who “for years has done pro-bono work for the parish and the St. Francis Center,” Steve said. She has been on the parish finance council for six years and is on the council steering committee.
The Reale family: Anthony, Marguerite, Anthony Jr. and Joseph have been ushers at the 10 a.m. Mass for many years. They volunteer at the parish’s Festival of the Sea and have worked for the religious education program.
The Wojciehowski family: Steve, Laura, Daniel and Christopher are ushers and volunteer at the parish festival. Steve provides the accounting work for the festival gratis.
The Dudek family: Jim, Lori and Todd usher at 11:15 a.m. Mass, where Jim is the head usher. They sell raffle tickets and serve on the parish council steering committee.