Immaculatas honor service

By Katherine Long
Editor

Ninety-seven lay volunteers from 78 parishes across the diocese were honored for their service at the annual Immaculata Awards celebration held at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse Dec. 6.

Now in their fifth year, the awards were instituted by Bishop Robert J. Cunningham to recognize the “unsung heroes in our midst who build up our parish communities by extraordinary service.” Recipients are nominated for the award by their pastors and/or parish councils.

Noting the approaching Year of Mercy, Bishop Cunningham spoke to the “messengers of mercy” being recognized. “All of us are recipients of God’s mercy. In turn we are called to be heralds of God’s mercy, announcing by our words and deeds the lavish mercy of God who reaches out to all with the warm embrace of his forgiveness and peace,” he said. “Through you, God’s mercy is visible to others.”

At 35, Michael Fanto of St. Peter’s Church in Rome may be a young honoree, but he’s already offered more than a decade of service to his parish. A physicist by trade, Fanto is a Eucharistic minister and a Confirmation teacher, and he tries to show his students that science and religion don’t need to be mutually exclusive, he said.

Humbled to receive the award, Fanto believes community is built on acts of kindness. “Whatever I can give back, I will,” he said.

Honoree Dorothy Leonard has been a member of St. Joseph’s Church in Deposit for 73 years. In charge of recruiting, training and scheduling Eucharistic ministers, lectors and altar servers, she’s on the phone every Saturday morning making sure coverage is in place. On Sunday mornings, she and her husband open the church and prepare the space for liturgy. Why does she do it, after all these years? “It’s my parish,” she said simply. “It’s my church.”

Despite all her efforts, Leonard said she doesn’t feel “quite worthy” of her award. “I don’t feel I deserve it, because I like what I do.”

Honoree Dolores Brulé was nominated for her extensive contributions to the parish, the diocese and beyond over more than half a century. A champion for civil rights, opportunity and equality, Brulé’s past service includes the Bishop Foery Foundation, the Catholic Interracial Council, the New York State Catholic Conference, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ National Advisory Council, and the diocesan Office of Black Catholic Ministry, which “served to seek out, to encourage, to evangelize in whatever way they could, to enhance the presence of our lives within this Church” which had been overlooked or not seen, she said. As a parishioner of St. Anthony’s of Padua in Syracuse, she was a lector and a member of the parish council. (Since moving, she now attends All Saints Church.)

Brulé cites Msgr. Charles Brady, whom she first met in 1949, as a great influence in her life. “He was a man to be admired,” she said. “He represented a side of the Church that I would have not known about had it not been for him.”

She drew on his example when asked about receiving the Immaculata. Msgr. Brady was initially uncomfortable receiving the title “monsignor,” but his friends ultimately convinced him it was a reflection of his service. The Immaculata is not an award for Dolores, she said, but “an award for the faithfulness of the people of St. Anthony’s.”

Below are photos and video from the celebration (part of the Dec. 9 edition of “Around the Diocese”) and a complete list of honorees.

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2015 Immaculata Award honorees

Honorees are listed by region and parish/PCA

 

Northern Region

 

Anthony and Marjorie Corsoniti

Holy Trinity, Fulton

 

Suzanne Powers

St. Anne, Mother of Mary, Mexico

 

Laura L. Kehoe

Christ Our Light, Pulaski

 

 

Southern Region

 

Bonnie Mandyck

St. Anthony, Endicott

 

Lillian M. Babicek

St. Joseph, Endicott

 

Mary Inman

St. Ambrose, Endicott

 

Hope Hannon

Holy Family, Endwell

 

James Tokos

Most Holy Rosary, Maine

 

Dorothy Leonard

St. Joseph, Deposit

 

Dennis and Jane O’Dea

St. Mary, Kirkwood

 

Joseph and Linda Sanderson

St. Joseph, Sanitaria Springs

 

Corinne Mott

Our Lady of Lourdes, Windsor

 

Greg Hrostowski

St. Vincent Blessed Sacrament, Vestal

 

Nancy Hargrave

Our Lady of Sorrows, Vestal

 

Joanne S. Pucek

Ss. Cyril and Methodius, Binghamton

 

Marianna Diehl

St. Patrick, Binghamton

 

Gloria Rokicsak

St. Thomas Aquinas, Binghamton

 

Joan Trepa

Immaculate Conception, Greene

 

Sandy Beckwith

St. Joseph, Oxford

 

Ann Marie Lenkiewicz

Holy Trinity, Binghamton

 

Sheila B. Madigan

St. James, Johnson City

 

John Desimone

St. Mary of the Assumption, Binghamton

 

Doris Homan

St. Paul, Binghamton

 

George and Elizabeth (Betty) Mayerhauser

St. Agnes Mission, Afton

 

Theresa Mary MacAvoy

St. John, Bainbridge

 

 

Eastern Region

 

Robert Fetzko

St. Malachy, Sherburne

 

Sharon Norton

St. John, Camden

 

Barbara C. Thomas

St. Mary, Rome

 

Michael Fanto

St. Peter, Rome

 

Sharon Reilly

St. Paul, Rome

 

Lorraine A. Withers

St. Mary, Hamilton

 

Elaine Gray

St. Joan of Arc Mission, Morrisville

 

Sharon Zombek

St. Joseph, Oriskany Falls

 

Katherine I. Peck, OCDS

St. Bernard, Waterville

 

Vincent and Patricia Zaleski

St. Mark, Utica

 

Lucille LaVine

St. Mary of Mt. Carmel-Blessed Sacrament, Utica

 

John and Regina Aliasso

St. Anthony-St. Agnes, Utica

 

Carol Parker

Our Lady of Lourdes, Utica

 

Valerie Elacqua

Holy Trinity, Utica

 

Ann Krol

Sacred Heart-St. Mary, Our Lady of Czestochowa, New York Mills

 

Les and Marie Carroll

St. Patrick-St. Anthony, Chadwicks

 

Marybeth K. McCall

Our Lady of the Rosary, New Hartford

 

Doris M. Goff

St. John the Evangelist, New Hartford

 

Margaret Iffert

Church of the Annunciation, Clark Mills

 

 

Western Region

 

Patricia Van Nortwick

St. Mary, Cortland

 

James Perfetti

St. Anthony of Padua, Cortland
Carole Harris

St. Margaret, Homer

 

Margaret (Peg) Orzel

St. Stephen-St. Patrick, Marathon/Whitney Point

 

James and Brenda Hiza

St. Joseph, LaFayette

 

Paula and Michael Skvarch

Immaculate Conception, Pompey

 

Ted and Patty Shaw

St. Leo, Tully

 

Lawrence E. Gray

St. Patrick, Jordan

 

Brenda DeGroff

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Syracuse

 

Anne Lawton

Most Holy Rosary, Syracuse

 

Marilyn J. Madison

Our Lady of Lourdes, Syracuse

 

Frederick and Jeanette Mohr

St. Anthony of Padua, Syracuse

 

Dolores Brule

Spanish Apostolate in collaboration with Office of Black Catholics, Syracuse

 

Jay K. and Young H. Lee

St. James, Syracuse

 

Harold and Rita Thompson

Blessed Sacrament, Syracuse

 

Alberta P. DeStefano

St. Vincent de Paul, Syracuse

 

Kathleen A. Kinsey

Immaculate Conception, Fayetteville

 

Frank and Frances Pavone

St. Ann, Manlius

 

Henry (Hank) Centore

St. Charles-St. Ann, Syracuse

 

Joseph and Rosalie Durand

St. Francis Xavier, Marcellus

 

Edward M. Campagna

Holy Family, Syracuse

 

John M. LaManche

St. Michael-St. Peter, Syracuse

 

Charles C. Hawks

Sacred Heart, Cicero

 

Frank and Edie Zdep

St. Margaret, Mattydale

 

Coleen Dembowski

St. Rose of Lima, North Syracuse

 

Frank Sylvester

Pope John XXIII, Liverpool

 

Cait Clark

Immaculate Heart of Mary, Liverpool

 

Terrance and Theresa Wellenzohn

St. Joseph the Worker, Liverpool

 

George and Carole Van Skoik

St. Augustine, Baldwinsville

 

E. Scott Brown, Jr.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Baldwinsville

 

Claudette and Jim Pitts

St. Mary of the Assumption, Baldwinsville

 

Laurie A. Mogilewski

St. Stephen, Phoenix

 

Sabatino Porrino

Our Lady of Pompei-St. Peter, Syracuse

 

Gerald Mott

St. John the Baptist-Holy Trinity, Syracuse

 

 

 

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