Syracuse parish associate receives Bishop Frank J. Harrison Award

BY Claudia Mathis
SUN staff writer

Photo by Paul Finch

Sister Paula Jude Egan, CSJ, parish associate at St. Ann and St. Charles Borromeo Churches in Syracuse, was honored June 8 with the 10th annual Bishop Harrison Award at the Pathways to Ministry Dinner.

The event, attended by approximately 300 people, was the largest celebration of catechetical ministry ever held. The dinner, award and certification ceremony took place at the Holiday Inn in Liverpool. “It was a wonderful celebration,” said Sister Katie Eiffe, CSJ, director of the diocesan Religious Education Office.

According to the many people who nominated her for the award, Sister Paula Jude is someone who has exhibited outstanding dedication to catechetical ministry.

In the Jubilee Year 2000, the diocesan Religious Education Office established the Bishop Frank J. Harrison Award in order to honor both Bishop Harrison for his visionary leadership and steadfast support of catechetical ministry and someone from within the catechetical community who has supported that mission. Each year, the Religious Education Office seeks nominations from pastors, catechetical leaders and others for the Bishop Harrison Award. The criteria listed on the nomination form include the following: “The recipient must be one who has significant length of service in catechetical ministry, mentored and encouraged others, lived out the vision of Vatican II, witnessed to the importance of ongoing faith formation for self and others and who stands in the midst of the people of God to serve,” said Sister Katie.

Sister Paula Jude has been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for 54 years and has served in the Albany and Syracuse Dioceses in a variety of ministries — as a Catholic school teacher, parish catechist, parish catechetical leader, coordinator of parish RCIA, pastoral associate/pastoral care minister, regional resource center administrator and regional director of religious education. In addition, Sister Paula Jude taught in the diocesan Formation for Ministry and Diaconate Formation programs, facilitated the RENEW program, presented adult faith formation courses, facilitated Scripture study, presented workshops, reflections and retreats and served as spiritual director at the Spiritual Renewal Center in Syracuse.

Today, Sister Paula Jude continues to serve as director of the RCIA program at St. Ann’s Parish in Syracuse as well as minister to the sick and homebound and to those in long-term care facilities as a pastoral associate at St. Charles Borromeo and St. Ann Parishes.

Sister Katie spoke about the dedication Sister Paula Jude shows in her ministry. “Listing her various ministerial titles does not come close to representing the fullness of who she is, nor does it convey the myriad ways in which the Lord has worked through her to touch the minds, the hearts and the lives of thousands of people,” Sister Katie said.

Many of the people whose lives she touched came to honor Sister Paula Jude at the dinner that night. Numerous clergy, parishioners from St. Ann and St. Charles Borromeo and members of her order were present, along with the director of Bellevue Manor, a senior care facility in Syracuse. Sister Katie said many of the residents of the facility had nominated Sister Paula Jude for the award. “She’s been ministering to the residents and she still does Scripture studies and retreats there,” said Sister Katie. “She’s one of those people behind the scenes who quietly reaches out to people. She’s faithful in her ministry and she’s a very caring and compassionate person.”

Sister Paula Jude was surprised when she learned she would be honored with the award. “I always looked at myself as a general practitioner,” she said. “It’s rewarding to do this. I’m grateful for the time and opportunity to serve. It’s been phenomenal to receive all this recognition.”

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