Raleigh Parish Awards Two Francis Medals as Anniversary Begins

HNP Communications Around the Province

RALEIGH, N.C. — The feast of St. Francis in October began a year-long celebration of the 25th anniversary of The Catholic Community of St. Francis of Assisi here.

The parish, which was founded in 1982 by a Jesuit, Fr. Jim English, S.J., and staffed by the friars of Holy Name Province since 1987, has many activities planned as a part of the celebration, including a parish revival mission to be led by Joseph Nangle in late January.

For the first time in the parish since the Francis Medal was initiated by Holy Name Province, the medal was awarded to two parishioners as part of the year of jubilee.

Mary Casey Morch, director of ministerial development, retired after 20 years as a member of the pastoral staff.  Mary was involved in every ministry of St. Francis of Assisi. Beginning her service as a volunteer in youth ministry, she quickly came to the insight that for youth ministry to be successful it needed adults to be facilitators and catechists;  one youth minister could not do it, according to pastor Mark Reamer. Mary quickly realized these adults needed training and leadership, he said.

She evolved into the director of volunteers for St. Francis. In presenting the Francis Medal, Mark described Mary as “called and gifted.” She has been here leading the way – inviting, cajoling, encouraging us to share our gifts for the sake of the mission of our church.”

Mary has also served the friars of Holy Name Province for a decade as a member of its Ministerial Development Directorate, offering her wisdom, insight, and leadership.

In late October, parishioner David Andrew Nerz  was awarded the Francis Medal. David has served as chair of the finance council, chair of the pastoral council, and founding member of the school advisory council of St. Francis of Assisi Parish. David also chaired the building committee for the present church, and was instrumental in leading the initiative to create a parochial school as a part of the mission of St. Francis of Assisi, Mark said.

David has also been a trusted friend to the friars, offering wise counsel, humble guidance and genuine friendship.  David McBriar read the citation, presenting the Francis Medal at the parish’s jubilee dinner at the Crabtree Marriot.

Both Mary and David helped to implement the provincial priorities of “refounding,” and more recently “Partners Iin Ministry” at St. Francis, Mark said.