Virginia Friars Present Francis Medal

Jocelyn Thomas Around the Province

TRIANGLE, Va. — A long-time employee of St. Francis of Assisi School was recognized last month with the HNP Francis Medal.

Ann Zicafoose finished her school career and was given the medal on the same day, Dec. 20. Kevin Downey, OFM, pastor, and Frank Critch, OFM, presented the medal to her at a school Mass on the day she retired, after 10 years.

Zicafoose served the St. Francis School community through her volunteer service at parish and school events, said Frank, who called her “one of our amazing employees. Her steadfast spirit welcomed the St. Francis School K-8 students by 6:30 a.m. each morning. She arrives by 6 a.m. to ensure her trek on the I-95 corridor.”

“On any given day, she could be found volunteering by escorting students who arrive after prayer, stocking the paper closet, or decorating for the next seasonal event,” said Tricia Barber, principal. “Often, we would request that Mrs. Z quickly substitute in a classroom to release a teacher to visit with a parent or colleague.

“Miss Ann’s smile, warm heart, and positive spirit models the virtues of a Franciscan Catholic school,” Barber added. “The faculty, staff, and I hope that, as we volunteer and work into our mid 70’s, we will have Mrs. Zicafoose’s patience, humility, and love for others.”

Zicafoose has a host of grandchildren who have graduated from St. Francis, said Frank. Through the years, when her children lived in the area, they had leadership roles in the parish. She is a gifted and well-loved member of the school community who will be missed, added Barber.

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.

Last year, friars presented the medal to partners-in–ministry in Pompton Lakes and Long Beach Island, N.J., in Wilmington, Del., and at two schools: Christ the King Prep School in Newark, N.J. and Borough of Manhattan Community College.

— Jocelyn Thomas is director of communications for Holy Name Province.