With family and friends in attendance, nearly 150 people from 77 parishes and Catholic organizations were recognized by Bishop Kevin J. Farrell for their outstanding service to the church.
Those recognized were bestowed the Bishop’s Award for Service to the Church during a Mass and ceremony at the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe on Feb. 22.
“Today, our whole diocese comes together to celebrate, honor and give thanks to what I call the backbone of the Catholic Church: those who tend to the flock of God, those so many volunteers who do so much work,” Bishop Farrell said. “We honor all of those people who have made our church what it is today: a vibrant, Catholic and living church in every corner of this city. You are the agents of our church today of the New Evangelization. You are commissioned to make our church work.”
In a ceremony during the Mass, Bishop Farrell placed a personalized medal around the necks of each recipient.
Among the recipients was Andrée Hawkins, a parishioner at Christ the King Catholic Church who runs the parish’s Grief Ministry.
“When I went up and the bishop put the medal over my neck, he held my hands, said the sweetest words and brought tears to my eyes,” said Hawkins, whose great-great-grandfather Maxime Guillot hosted the diocese’s first recorded Mass in the parlor of his home in 1859. “When I got the letter saying that I would be receiving this award, I felt very humbled and shocked, to be honest. This day has been a very moving experience.”
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