St. Camillus Friars Honor Longtime Musician

HNP Communications Around the Province

Christopher Posch with Francis Medal recipient (Photo courtesy of Chris)

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The friars of St. Camillus Parish recognized the contributions and talents of organist Mary Shipley last month, giving her the Holy Name Province Francis Medal during a Sunday service in the presence of her family.

Pastor Christopher Posch, OFM, Erick López, OFM, and Fr. Jean-Marie Kabango, OFM, presented the medal to Shipley on Aug. 27 during the 9 a.m. Mass. Walter Liss, OFM, guardian of nearby Holy Name College, witnessed the ceremony.

The honoree has played the organ at St. Camillus for the past 40 years.

“In recent years, Mary has been playing at the Saturday 4:30 p.m. Mass and the Sunday 9:00 a.m. Mass,” said Chris. “Our Vicar Provincial Larry Hayes, OFM, cantored for her when he was simply professed at Holy Name College. Mary started playing the organ at her home parish when she was a teenager 72 years ago.”

“In her music ministry, Mary has deeply enriched us and has given concrete expression to the spirit and ideals of St. Francis of Assisi,” added Chris. “May God bless her abundantly.”

The friars of Holy Name Province have been serving the people of St. Camillus, located just outside the nation’s capital, since 1983.  Photos of the presentation of the Francis Medal as well as images of other parish events can be found on the parish’s Facebook page.

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. Recently, friars in Loudonville. N.Y., Silver Spring, Md., and Wilmington, Del. have presented the medal to partners-in-ministry in their communities.

— Jocelyn Thomas is director of communications for Holy Name Province

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