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Bishop tells honorees they are like Jesus' 'ordinary' friends

photo courtesy/Emily Aylward
Bishop Raymond Boland offers a prayer of blessing for the Bishop's Award winners and the award medals at the recognition Mass on Sept. 28.
KANSAS CITY - Non-celebrities who quietly do God's work "have blown their cover," Bishop Raymond J. Boland said at a Mass honoring Catholics named by their parishes to receive the Bishop's Award.

Receiving recognition and the Special Bishop's Award Medal at the Sept. 28 Mass in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception were 109 parishioners nominated by their parishes. Concelebrating along with Bishop Boland was Coadjuator Bishop Robert W. Finn and many pastors of the diocese.

In brief remarks at the conclusion, Bishop Finn congratulated the honorees on their good work and told them, "Don't stop now."

Bishop Boland likened the honorees to the ordinary non-celebrities in the Gospels, among them the unnamed couple at Cana, the two disciples on the road to Emmaus - one of whom was named Cleopas. Only slightly better known were Lazarus, Martha and Mary, Joseph of Arimathea, and Mary Magdalen.

Some of the people in this "network of people of good will who supported the ministry of Jesus are named, but little else; some are merely mentioned. Their tasks were mundane, humble, often unnoticed."

St. Paul also had a network of nearly anonymous supporters, among them Tertius, Gaius, Erastus, Aquila and Priscilla - "people he mentioned or to whom he sent greetings, or to whom he wished to be remembered."

"Every religious order, every diocese, every parish has such people," the bishop said, people who carry out "a work of grace following the promptings of the Holy Spirit, humbly engaged in ministry, not seeking recognition."

The honorees at the awards Mass "are the heirs" of those ordinary people in the Scriptures who were the coteries around Jesus and Paul, Bishop Boland said.

All of them, "saints and sinners," were involved in conversions and miracles, Bishop Boland said.

"Congratulations," he said. "Your pastors, your fellow parishioners and your bishops now recognize you. Your cover has been blown."

He concluded with the exhortation from Paul to the Colossians (4:17): "Give Archippus this message: 'Remember the service that the Lord wants you to do and carry it out.'"

List of Bishop's Recognition Awardees, 2004

Annunciation, Kearney: Dianna Page, Karen Withee.
Blessed Sacrament, Bethany: Muriel Broce, Karen Coates.
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Kansas City: Jim Randolph, Kathy Randolph.
Cathedral of St. Joseph: Linda Miller, Marvin Burke.
Coronation of Our Lady, Grandview: Dottie Ballard, Mary Schmidt.
Guardian Angels, Kansas City: Lucy Urlacher, William Shefchik.
Holy Cross, Kansas City: Frances Thompson, Ruth Ross.
Holy Family: Marcy Johnson, Mary Kaminski.
Holy Rosary: John Mancuso, Ross Distefano.
Holy Spirit, Lee's Summit: Geri Watts, Stephanie Rasmussen.
Holy Trinity, Weston: Helen Marr, Mike Marr.
Immaculate Conception, Lexington: Laurie Lichte, Bettye LaJaunie.
Immaculate Conception, Montrose: Juanita Schmedding, Theresa Munsterman.
Nativity of Mary, Independence: Matt Jonas, Larry Pribyl.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. Joseph: Terry Steinbecker, Sheila Surmeier.
Our Lady of Lourdes, Harrisonville: Susan Wiedenmann, Jerry Wiedenmann.
Our Lady of Lourdes, Raytown: Mary O'Leary, Precilla Nowak.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help: Fran Barchak, Dave Barchak.
Our Lady of the Presentation, Lee's Summit: Rose Marie Greco, Jim Kemp.
Our Lady of Sorrows: Raymond Robinson, Paul Villotti.
Sacred Heart, Warrensburg: Greg Baldwin, Kristen Brechwald.
St. Aloysius: Elvira Lira, Gabriela Fierro.
St. Aloysius, Maysville: Anne Heaton, Alan Heaton.
St. Andrew the Apostle: Ann Donahue, Frances Saccone.
St. Ann, Excelsior Springs: Ursula Tate, Ethel Zegers.

St. Anthony, Louis Schorgl, Phillip Pence.
St. Bernadette: Rocky Sapenaro, Linda Sapenaro.
St. Bridget Pleasant Hill: JoAnn Christensen, Haydee Vogel.

St. Catherine of Sienna: Sam Santee, Elizabeth Markey.

St. Charles Borromeo: Joyce Carron, Douglass Hayden.
St. Elizabeth: Norma Gagerty, LeRoy Joehnck.
St. Francis Xavier: Anna Livingston, Steve Livingston.

St. Francis Xavier: St. Joseph: David Gach, Theresa Gach.
St. Gabriel Archangel: Mary Ruso, Sam Angelo.
St. James: John Frey, Roshan Paiva.
St. James, Liberty, Bob Bagby, Bridget Bagby.
St. James, St. Joseph: Michael Aberer, Joleen Aberer.
St. John Francis Regis: Michael King, Barbara Durante.
St. John LaLande, Blue Springs: Bernadette Madison, Earl Madison.
St. Joseph, Easton: Paul Pottier, Jean Pottier.
St. Louis Parish: Rose Addison, Pearline Castille.
St. Mary, Carrollton: Ann Campbell, Juanita Meyers.
St. Mary, Independence; John McEvoy, Richard McAfee.
St. Munchin, Cameron: Tom Hamlet.
St. Patrick, Ford City: Leo Derks, Majorie Derks.
St. Patrick, Holden: Mary Wiseman, Becky Barnett.
St. Patrick, St. Joseph: Steve Gach, Earl Puett.
St. Peter: Jean Halley, Vince LaTona.
St. Peter, Stanberry: Leo Ginther, Laveta Ginther.
St. Robert Bellarmine, Blue Springs: Bob Drake, Kaylee Sheddrick.
St. Rose of Lima, Savannah: Anna Brill, Rodney Saunders.
St. Sabina, Belton: Arleen Martinez, Angel Martinez.
St. Therese Little Flower: Yvette Tunley, Mary Tichenor.
St. Thomas More: Pat Redman, Susan Sharp Blacker.
Visitation: Susan Erwin, Kathleen Wiedeman.


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