St. Lucy’s Parish will honor Dave Pasinski and Geri Hall as the 2016 Dorothy Day Award recipients. The late Samera Frank will also be celebrated as an “awardee in honor.”
Named for the co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement, the Dorothy Day Award honors individuals who share Day’s dedication to peace, social justice and hospitality to the poor. The award began at St. Andrew the Apostle Church in 1994; the tradition was carried on at St. Lucy’s when the two parishes merged in 2009.
“When I think of working with those on the margins, when I think of building and support[ing] community, when I think of putting yourself out there where the work of Dorothy Day can best be realized, I think of this dynamic, active couple,” Eileen Clinton wrote in a press release about the dinner.
The 2016 Dorothy Day Award dinner will be held May 5 at the gym at St. Lucy’s Church, 432 Gifford St., Syracuse, beginning at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10. Proceeds will benefit Dorothy Day House, an emergency shelter for women and children run by Catholic Charities of Onondaga County. For more information and/or tickets, call Sister Pat Bergan at (315) 422-2244.
Excerpts (edited and condensed) from Eileen Clinton’s release are below:
In 1967, Pasinski was in the seminary and spent one summer at St. Lucy’s with the likes of Fathers Ray McVey, Ted Sizing, seminarian Dick Keough and with coordinator Father Frank Woolever. These men had a profound influence on Pasinski and moved him to work in urban environments.
In 1982, inspired by the martyred bishop Oscar Romero and American women in El Salvador, he was allowed to serve with the Maryknoll Missionary Society. It was here that he met Geri Hall. Both were assigned to South America, Dave as a cleric and Geri as a nurse, in Venezuela and Peru respectively for almost five years. After a long discernment, they were married in 1993.
Pasinski added a master’s in family counseling from SU to his moral theology master’s in ethics. In continued study of medical ethics he later served many organizations, including 20 years on the St. Joseph’s Hospital Ethics Committee and the National Hospice Ethics Committee. Pasinski has been on the mental health crisis intervention team for the Red Cross for over 25 years and was the mental health program director at Contact. He served for over 17 years as an educator and chaplain with Hospice of Central New York and, as needed, fills in at many hospitals and occasionally at other churches.
His community work also includes “Book Buddies,” nursing home ombudsman program, election inspector, continued commitments to St. Lucy’s sister community in Villa Nueva, Nicaragua, and work for Unity Acres, ACTS, and other nonprofit organizations.
A prolific writer, he has published in the past 29 years over 140 letters and columns in local papers, some dozen in the New York Times, and many others in the National Catholic Reporter, America, Commonweal, etc … all on the subjects of social justice, end of life care, church reform, and acceptance of all in our communities.
Hall, in addition to work with Upstate Medical Center and Hillbrook Detention Center, volunteers teaching health classes to women at Exodus House. She is a monthly volunteer at Poverello Clinic and serves as a nurse practitioner to the underinsured of our community. As a family nurse practitioner, the organizations in which Geri has shared her talents are numerous: Migrant health work in Oswego County, Medical Reserve Corps, health classes at Hillbrook for the adolescents, and her passion for refugees in being part of the Center for New Americans Refugee Committee.
A core value of the Catholic Worker Movement is hospitality. Samera Frank shared in the spirit of this gift. Frank primarily practiced hospitality as a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and as a good friend to so many. Among other involvements, she served on a committee for the l’Arche community, on the Breakfast Committee at the Brady Faith Center, and most notably at St. Lucy’s Agape Shop where she lovingly served as the coordinator.