2013 Award Honorees
Lumen Gentium Recipients
St. Mary Parish, Lampasas
Manuela is a dedicated parishioner of St. Mary. She is an extraordinary minister of holy Communion, and a member of the Altar Society, the Rosary Crusade and Guadalupana Society. She visits the sick and those in nursing homes and is the first one to line up when the parish is in need volunteers. People in the community appreciate her prayerful dedication and support for the life of the parish and her faithful and humble attitude to serve others with the love of Christ.
Charles and Rose Baily
Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Taylor
Charles and Rose have been parishioners for more than 20 years. Both have given generously of their time and talent. Charles is a member of the choir that sings at the 8 a.m. Spanish Mass each Sunday and for funerals and weddings. Rose started a women’s prayer group that met over 15 years to pray and study the Bible. She has been a catechist of Confirmation, teaches Baptism classes and serves as a sacristan and extraordinary minister of holy Communion. For the last five years she led the English RCIA team and has led many Bible studies throughout the year. She coordinates the Year of Faith activities for the parish. Together, they lead by example, demonstrating strength of character and caring for those whose lives they positively touch.
St. Thomas More Parish, Austin
Shayne serves as the Camp Director for Mobile Loaves & Fishes at the parish. In 2009, a pilot camp was developed to teach children about social issues and how Jesus and our church respond to those needs. Nearly a thousand kids have gone through the camp, which is designed for elementary-age children; however, middle school and high school-age youth participate as well. She has created, organized and managed this ministry to rave reviews of our church community.
St. Joseph Parish, Manor
Joe is a longtime member of St. Joseph Parish and has served the parish in various ways through the years as Mass coordinator, extraordinary minister of holy Communion, greeter, Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus, president of KJT #131 and member and president of the Parish Council. He has volunteered for many special projects or programs in addition to his other services. He is a pillar of strength and faith in the church and community and he is a humble servant who seeks no recognition.
University Catholic Center, Austin
Albert is a very active member of the University Catholic Center community. He is a student leader, member of Lambda Omega Alpha Catholic Fraternity, a weekly Carbos for Christ coordinator and Phonathon manager. He is strong in his Catholic faith, and at the same time, open to and respectful of the beliefs of others. He is respected by his peers who look to him for friendship, advice, integrity and leadership.
St. Patrick Parish, Hutto
“Tony” has been a member of St. Patrick Parish since it began in 2000. His love and dedication to our parish community and to the church have led him to actively minister to the people in the areas of liturgical music (choir), RCIA and as president of the Finance Council. St. Patrick’s community has a very special place in his and his wife’s hearts, he said, as the parish has played a key role in their family’s faith. His daughters were an inspiration for him to get involved with the choir. He never expects to be recognized for the service he so joyfully, tirelessly and generously gives to the parish.
St. Joseph Parish, Bryan
Henry is a lifelong member of the parish. He is dedicated to music ministry at the parish. Serving as organist and choir director, Henry has given his time and musical talents to his church for more than 40 years. He also gives piano lessons to students at St. Joseph School and to anyone who wants to learn. Some of his students have gone into music ministry in other parishes.
Norm and Claire Blanchard
St. Charles Borromeo Parish, Kingsland
Norm and Claire are among the most active parishioners. Norm has been the chairperson of the Finance Committee for more than seven years. He handles the parish bookkeeping as a volunteer. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus and St. Charles Men’s Club. Claire has been a catechist for many years. She is a member of St. Charles Ladies’ Club. They participate in most of the parish’s activities. Norm and Claire faithfully attend daily Mass.
St. Joseph Parish, Elk
Joe has been a member of the parish for 45 years. He exhibits his faith in the way he discharges his stewardship to the church. He is a member of the choir and is very generous to the church. He is a regular at both Sunday and weekday Masses. He is also an example of fidelity; his wife of 57 years, Verna, died earlier this year.
Church of the Resurrection, Emmaus Parish, Lakeway
Joan is a longtime parishioner who has been a source of inspiration to many in the parish. She is responsible for the fact that perpetual adoration has been a central focus of the parish for more than 10 years. In addition, her example of faith and perseverance has helped many suffering from serious illness to do so with faith and trust in God’s providence in their lives. Everything she has done has been out of faith and dedication to helping people to know that the love of Christ is there for everyone.
Morris and Peachie Burlin
St. Ann Parish, Somerville
Morris and Peachie are dedicated and faithful parishioners. Morris is on the Finance Committee. He has worked in many ministries including music ministry, and as chair of the festival raffle and raffle auctioneer. Currently, Peachie is the 2013 Festival chair, director of the music ministry, EIM site administrator, officer in the Altar and Rosary Society, chair of the Liturgy Committee and coordinator of RCIA. She also serves as a lector and extraordinary minister of holy Communion and is a former catechist. When the parish needed administrative staff, she twice answered the call to help. They are always cheerful and willing to help with any ministry or task, no matter how large or small.
Noel and Mari Caballero
St. Anthony Marie de Claret Parish, Kyle
Mari and Noel have served at the parish for five years as extraordinary ministers of holy Communion as well as in the home-bound ministry visiting the ill and elderly. They lead the Spanish pro-life ministry. They led the charismatic prayer group for four years. They are very energetic witnesses in our church not only by word, but also by example. For the last year, they have instructed the parents of children in religious education in basic faith formation. They are always ready to serve in any capacity.
Sacred Heart Parish, Waco
Vidal has shown dedication to the parish by serving as director of the Spanish Prayer Group. He also served on the diocesan Spanish Charismatic Renewal Committee.
Daniel and Rose Cernoch
Sacred Heart Parish, La Grange
Daniel and Rose have been married for 35 years and they have four children. Daniel is a member of the Knights of Columbus Chromcik Council #2574, the KJT Society #46, and the Sacred Heart Holy Name Society where he currently serves as vice president. He serves on the Parish Council and on the parish Maintenance Committee and has served as an usher since 1978. Rose is a member of the Altar Society, KJT Society #46, and the Catholic Daughters of the Americas Court Annunciation #1962, where she served as regent for two terms and financial secretary for one term. She worked with the high school youth group, accompanying them on five summer trips. She has served on the Parish Finance Council for 25 years and currently serves as a lector and extraordinary minister of holy Communion.
Jim and Janie Coy
Santa Cruz Parish, Buda
Jim has provided great leadership as Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus for the last 10 years. The parish and our youth ministries have benefited greatly from this leadership. Janie has chaired a number of successful fundraising projects, and freely gives of her gift of calligraphy in creation of ministry signage when the needs arise. She currently serves as the chair of the Stewardship Council. They are known and admired as a couple who live their faith on a daily basis and are truly stewards in giving of their time, talent and treasure.
Betty Ross Crook
St. Mary of the Assumption Parish, Waco
Betty has been an active parishioner for many years. She is a member of the Women’s Guild and has previously served as president. She is a member of the choir and currently serves as a board member of the Parish Council, the Finance Board and Holy Cross Cemetery. She previously served on the Reicher Catholic High School Board and Association Board. She is the historian for the parish and the Holy Cross Cemetery Association.
St. Martin De Porres Parish, Dripping Springs
Norma Dale, longtime parishioner, has served as a catechist and head money counter for a number of years. She also oversees the music ministry. She maintains the music library, coordinates the planning and preparation of music selections for liturgies, and schedules choir rehearsals and cantor practices. She is one of those invaluable “behind-the-scenes” parishioners who live the Gospel through the giving of her time, talent and treasure.
Holy Vietnamese Martyrs Parish, Austin
Nghiep has served as secretary of the Parish Council for many years. He is a very active parishioner and is always the first to volunteer for any and all parish activities.
St. Louis Parish, Waco
Mike has immersed himself in the spiritual outreach of the parish. He is a member of the core team of the Youth Group, which he attends and supports every Sunday night. He is an active member of the ACTS mission team and has staffed many weekend retreats. He has brought many lapsed Catholics back to the church. He is also the coordinator of the RCIA program and adult confirmation classes where he teaches the faith with passion and enthusiasm.
Jesse and Patsy Eckelkamp
St. Theresa Parish, Austin
Jesse and Patsy joined the parish in 1977. Jesse has shown exemplary commitment to his faith by becoming a member of the Knights of Columbus both as a member at large and as Grand Knight. He assists in Lent with the Friday Night Fish Fry, Stations of the Cross, parish picnics and numerous other parish events. He also serves as a lector, an extraordinary minister of holy Communion and fundraiser for the building expansion. He also organizes blood drives throughout the year. Patsy is one of the founding members of the Ladies Club – the first ministry to serve the women of the parish. She also served as an extraordinary minister of holy Communion and for the last seven years she has served as head of the Helping Hands Ministry, which provides funeral receptions for families.
St. Albert the Great Parish, Austin
Betsy has been involved in high school and junior high school youth ministry since 1995. As director she supervises Teen RCIA, confirmation preparation and youth choir. She serves on the Liturgy Committee and was part of a team of youth ministers who collaborated with Eagle’s Wings Retreat Center to create Austin Godstock.
Don and Barbara Fowler
St. Mary Parish, San Saba
Don and Barbara are devoted parishioners. Don has been a lector for 28 years. Barbara enjoys active participation in Mass and has been the music leader for Sunday Mass for the last 15 years. They have provided support for parish religious education students and work to provide support for the church. They have been a great Christian example of leadership for our parish.
St. Mary Our Lady of the Lake Parish, Lago Vista
Dodie and her late husband, Matt, registered in the parish in 1995. Dodie is a member of the Pastoral Council, president of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and is the Vacation Bible School coordinator. She is also a lector and an extraordinary minister of holy Communion. Dodie and Matt also coordinated many pictorial directories. Dodie certainly exemplifies the spirit of Christ in her everyday life.
Good Shepherd Parish, Lometa
Dianna is a dedicated parishioner. For many years, she has volunteered in any position needed, such as catechist, liturgical coordinator, parish committees and councils. She shows her Christian spirit in all that she does. She is appreciated by the community and is a recognized leader.
William “Bill” Gee
St. Elizabeth Parish, Pflugerville
Bill has been actively participating in ministries such as the St. Vincent de Paul Society, Stewardship Committee, Christ Renews His Parish, ACTS Retreats, Bible Study, hospitality, Landings, 40 Days for Life, RCIA and the Ministries Fair. He also serves as an extraordinary minister of holy Communion, lead sacristan and volunteers in the religious articles store. He joined the Knights of Columbus and became a Third Degree Knight. His love for our parish community and the church shines forth like the Light of Christ through his words, actions, service, gentleness and generosity. He never expects to be recognized for the ministries he so joyfully and tirelessly does.
Jaime T. Gomez
Sts. Cyril and Methodius Parish, Granger
Jaime is a vital parishioner. His many hours of service are a priceless gift as he is a dedicated sacristan, extraordinary minister of holy Communion, carpenter and craftsman. He is a kind and inviting member of the parish who welcomes and assists the Hispanic community by instructing them for sacramental preparation. Jaime is always willing to assist.
Guadalupe Gonzales Jr.
St. William Parish, Round Rock
Guadalupe is a bright luminary at the parish. He is known for being a hard, dedicated worker in all that he does. He is an active member of the Buildings and Grounds Committee where he uses his expertise to make sure the campus always looks its best. He is also an active leader in the RCIA program. He is a person that can be relied on to lead small groups, share his testimony and take on the teachings for the week. He is the “go to” guy when emergencies arise and can be trusted to complete the project and to do it well. He takes care of the parish in both exterior and interior ways that exemplify what we are all called to do during this Year of Faith.
Reuben and Gladys Grebe
St. Mary Parish, Brenham
Reuben serves as a lector, extraordinary minister of holy Communion, greeter and is an active member of the Fourth Degree of the Knight of Columbus. He also serves on the Parish Finance Council. Gladys is an extraordinary minister of holy Communion at Mass and at rest homes. She also serves as a greeter and giftbearer. She is also involved in the evangelization process at the parish.
Mark and Monica Guenat
St. Mary Parish, Temple
Mark and Monica were married in the parish in 1980. Since then, they have devoted a major portion of their time to serving the people of God. Mark serves as a lector and on the Finance and Strategic Planning committees. As a teenager, he and his family helped Msgr. Michalka build the Lodge at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center. Monica gives many hours of overtime to her position of parish administrative secretary. She is creative and diligent in decorating for liturgies and celebrations. Both have made ministry their first priority, setting personal goals aside to be there for everyone as the need arises. They are both deeply involved with every aspect of the religious education program. They are multiplying the many talents God gave them by tirelessly investing them for the good of others, with amazing heartfelt generosity.
Jeanette “Netty” Hartmann
St. Ignatius, Marytr Parish, Austin
Netty has been an active parishioner for many years and has served in a number of capacities. Netty is passionate about helping others grow in their Catholic faith. She is coordinator of the Baptismal Preparation Team. She is an excellent teacher of the faith and sacraments and it is obvious that she truly loves her ministry. She is knowledgeable about the history and richness of our Catholic faith and has a wonderful way of teaching others so that they can embrace it. Most of all, Netty inspires our parents and godparents to take seriously the words of Jesus: “Go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”
Lambert and Sue Havelka
St. Eugene Parish, McGregor
Lambert and Sue have been parishioners for more than 20 years. They have been teaching RCIA for more than half of that time, starting in 1994 and then continuously for the last 10 years or so. Lambert generously offers his Catholic upbringing as well as his knowledge in biblical studies, theology, Christology and liturgy and his joy of teaching. Sue, being a convert, is sympathetic to the fears, anxieties and curiosities of folks interested in RCIA. She brings structure, organization and loving care to the program. Together they have helped many folks enjoy and appreciate their belief in Jesus Christ through worship in the Catholic faith.
David and Esmeralda Henriquez
Santa Teresa Parish, Bryan
David and Esmeralda are both catechists, they serve in the Community of Evangelization, Reconciliation and Service and they help with marriage preparation classes. David is an usher and lector. Esmeralda is an extraordinary minister of holy Communion.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Temple
Isabel has been the Altar Floral Coordinator for the last 30 years. She is dedicated to providing a beautiful setting for the worship space according to the different liturgical seasons. These settings help create an inspirational environment for prayer and worship and help parishioners focus on their relationship with God. She assists families with their decorations for weddings and quinceañera celebrations. Isabel takes humble pride in creating something beautiful for God.
Our Lady of Wisdom University Parish, San Marcos
Victoria has been an outstanding parishioner since 2007 when she returned to the parish. Because of her time as a Texas State student, she immediately felt at home. Using her God-given musical talents, she leads musicians for the 10 a.m. Mass, high feasts, holidays and other special occasions. She has taken advantage of the talents our university and community have, by enlisting them in these celebrations. On campus, she serves as a voice as staff adviser of the FOCUS missionary team, which dedicates their time to leading students into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Andrew and Theresa Keilers
St. John Parish, Fayetteville
Andrew and Theresa are very active parishioners. Andrew is a catechist for 12th graders. Theresa is the Pro-Life coordinator for the parish. She is a fourth-grade catechist who also coordinates the annual Vacation Bible School program. She also organizes the Midnight Mass presentation of the Birth of Jesus. Together, they tend the Rose Garden dedicated to the unborn and take the Senior Class for a road trip during Spring Break. They have been active on the Parish Council and have served the parish in many other ways.
St. Austin Parish, Austin
Christopher became a parishioner while studying at the University of Texas at Austin in 1982. For more than 31 years, he has been an active parishioner and has brought great energy and innovative approaches to his endeavors. Always with the heart of a servant leader, he has chaired the Parish Pastoral Council, chaired the Planning and Development Committee, served as an extraordinary minister of holy Communion, and currently chairs the Finance Council. He also served on the Core Community, the foundation of the parish’s Small Christian Communities. His humble and wise leadership is a wonderful example of discipleship for our world today. His willing service gives great witness to God’s love and is a beacon of light to all.
Yong “Joe” and Sun Ko
St. Paul Chong Hasang Parish, Harker Heights
“Joe” and Sun have been parishioners for 18 years. Joe is chair of the Korean Community, director of the Korean Choir, a Knight of Columbus, and a member of the Finance Council. Joe has frequently served as a translator and parish liaison in helping the Korean priests become acclimated to their new environment and parish responsibilities. Sun is an active member of the Legion of Mary, the Korean choir, a lector and has served on the Bereavement Committee. They are selfless and generous in their service to the parish. They are dedicated to building up the Korean Community, yet successfully unifying with all the diverse cultures of our parish. They are instrumental in welcoming and providing assistance to visiting Korean priests.
St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Austin
Tracy has shared her gift of music with the parish since its inception. She has fostered a sense of “full, active and conscious” participation in the Eucharist by the way she has prepared and carried out music ministry for the various needs and concerns of the parish. Her love for the sacramental and ritual needs of the parish is evident as she helps to organize and prepare the ministers of music and the parish community for the celebrations at hand. She is very aware of how music ministry helps to evangelize the people of God week after week. She is selfless in the way she offers herself to the church.
Dolores Parish, Austin
Joe fulfills the criteria of the total parishioner. He serves on the Pastoral Council, his family hosts a breakfast group, and he is a member of the newly established Men of Faith group. For many years he has headed a fiesta booth that brought much revenue to the parish. He is a great landscaper around the parish grounds. Every Lent he and his family successfully serve a fish plate fundraiser. He attends adult formation classes and is involved in all aspects of the life of the parish.
Santiago and Laura Lopez
Sacred Heart Parish, Austin
Santiago agreed to coordinate bringing the Boy Scouts to the Hispanic community in August 2012. There are now 65 active Hispanic Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts in Troop 489. There are also 23 trained adults whom Santiago leads as Scoutmaster. Santiago has become a well-known, much sought-after speaker in Central Texas for Hispanic evangelization groups and is a respected member of the Sacred Heart community. In April, more than a hundred girls signed up to join the new Hispanic Girl Scout troop led by Laura. Many adult leaders have been trained and are assisting her. The couple also serves as catechists and each summer they host and lead a weekend retreat in Spanish for 150 couples from all over Texas for marriage healing and enrichment.
Dennis and Mary Lynch
St. Luke Parish, Temple
Dennis and Mary have been longtime parishioners. They are truly a living example of a faithful couple committed to doing God’s work. They have been involved with various ministries including serving on the Pastoral Council and Finance Council. They serve as extraordinary ministers of holy Communion, in the choir and in Bible study groups. They have been actively involved with Holy Trinity Catholic High School. Their willingness to always give of themselves in service to the parish community is truly a testimony of their faith.
St. Joseph Parish, Marlin
Vence has been a parishioner for more than 30 years. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus and has been involved in the Finance Committee, off and on for years. He also serves as an usher.
St. Joseph Parish, Rockdale
Dolores has been a catechist since the age of 17. She started during the time when the mother of Msgr. Lonnie Urban was the RE Coordinator. She has committed all her life to preaching and teaching the “Word of God.” In fact, she decided to remain single to take care of her father and to serve the church.
Edward J. McDonald
St. Mary Catholic Center, College Station
Ed, a Yankee in the heart of Texas, has made a lasting impression on the lives of many students at St. Mary. Arriving here to complete a master’s degree in 2002, he quickly became an active permanent parishioner. For years, he has been on the team that prepares students for confirmation. During the last two years, he has been a key member of an RCIA team that has brought more than 150 students into the church. A selfless servant with a Boston twang, Ed is also an usher and an engaged member of the liturgy team. Currently an engineer for the City of College Station, Ed is a living example of a young professional who loves God, his church and his country.
Francis and Kathleen McNamara
Sts. Peter and Paul Mission, Kovar
Francis and Kathleen attend the monthly Mass celebrated at the parish and help with the care and cleaning of the church, which is a mission of St. Paul Parish in Smithville. Frank is Fourth Degree member of the Knights of Columbus. Kathy is a member of the Altar Society. The couple began the parish Pro-Life Ministry in 2010, praying a weekly Rosary for Life, praying each week in front of an Austin abortion clinic during the 40 Days for Life project and speaking to various organizations about the movement to end abortion and restore respect for all human life. They are catechists who also coordinate the procession and May crowning of Mary, hoping to instill a great devotion and love of the Blessed Mother in the children who experience this Catholic tradition.
Hector and Maribel Medrano
St. Paul Parish, Smithville
Hector and Maribel have been married for 23 years and are an inspiration for others by the way they give of themselves. Hector is a catechist’s assistant, a member of the Knights of Columbus and past member of the Pastoral Council. He also helps coordinate volunteer work within the parish. Maribel is a sixth-grade catechist and is active in the Youth Group. She coordinates the annual Tamale Fundraiser and helps with the translation and completion of forms within the parish’s Spanish-speaking community. As coordinators for the Hispanic Ministry, Hector facilitates preparation classes in Spanish for baptisms and quinceañeras with Maribel’s assistance. They are dedicated to assisting with the weekly Spanish Mass by preparing the altar, being lectors and extraordinary ministers of holy Communion. They also coordinate the lay ministry and server schedules for the Spanish Mass.
Celedonio and Juanita Mendoza
St. Michael Parish, Uhland
Celedonio and Juanita are longtime parishioners and parents of 10 children. They both are catechists and extraordinary ministers of holy Communion. They serve the community every Sunday with generosity and dedication.
Polo and Lety Mora
St. Mary Parish, Mexia
Polo and Lety are longtime parishioners with more than 30 years at the parish. They have educated their four grown children with proper religious formation. Both are lectors and extraordinary ministers of holy Communion. They continue to work to build up the Hispanic community as leaders of the Guadalupano group, hospitality ministry, coordinators of Hispanic traditions and feasts and as a unifying force between different cultures in the parish. They are always at the service of the common good and the church. Their consistency and perseverance are priceless gifts for the community.
M. Guadalupe Morales
St. Joseph Parish, Mason
Guadalupe is an active parishioner who serves as an extraordinary minister of holy Communion and catechist. She is a very cheerful person and witnesses to her faith with a smile on her face. She readily speaks of her gratitude for her blessings in all situations. She is a spiritual influence for charity in our community.
St. Ferdinand Parish, Blanco
Bill has been a parishioner since 1999. He has served as Pastoral Council Chairman, Financial Council Chairman, worked on the Annual Gala Fundraiser team, delivers Meals on Wheels and served as president of the Men’s Club. He has also served on the Building and Development Committee, worked on the Angel Crusade, the Catholic Services Appeal and Our Faith ~ Our Legacy. He serves on the ACTS team. He is the chair of the Fundraising Committee of the Capital Campaign for a new sanctuary. His service, dedication and contributions to the church and community are examples of his love for Christ and the church.
Diocese of Austin
Charlene began her catechetical ministry as a Catholic school teacher andas a director of religious education. She began serving in the Diocese of Austin at St. Mary Parish in Temple. She was hired by the Diocese of Austin Office of Religious Education and Formation and has served as the Associate Director for Catechesis for elementary, sacramental and special needs religious education for more than 22 years. She shared her enthusiasm for the ministry to many directors of religious education, catechists and Catholic school religion teachers. She serves on the Diocesan School Board. She was the chair of the two diocesan Symphony of the Faith conferences as well as the designer and implementer of workshops for special needs. She served as co-chair of Bishop Vásquez’ installation committee and is currently spearheading the Year of Faith: The New Evangelization. She assisted other diocesan departments and shared her creative and artistic talents. Charlene retired at the end of May and will spend her time enjoying her family, especially her grandchildren, and volunteering in several endeavors.
Don and Dolores O’Toole
St. Jerome Parish, Waco
Don and Dolores have been active parishioners since 1993. Don can always be seen around the parish helping with different projects. Dolores serves as co- chair of the wedding coordinator ministry. Both participate in several of our ministries including the Senior Youth Ministry and as extraordinary minister of holy Communion. They also sponsor couples preparing for marriage. They unselfishly devote much of their time and talents so that each ministry can be a true reflection of Christ working among us.
Alfred and Margaret Omeluchuck
St. Mary Parish, Wimberley
Al and Margaret have been parishioners for 22 years. They have been married for 54 years and raised six children. He is the Renew Group leader and established the Society St. Vincent de Paul chapter for the parish and was active in it for 19 years. He is president of the Parish Council and a member of the Knights of Columbus. Margaret is involved in the Parish Retreat Team, Renew Group and Liturgy Committee. She is coordinator of the extraordinary ministers of holy Communion, and president of the Ladies Guild. She is part of the Environment Committee, parish choir and Scripture sharing group. Together they serve in the Catholic Family Movement and as Marriage Encounter speakers. They have been catechists and foster parents, and they sponsor marriage preparation couples. They also co-chaired the annual garage sale for 11 years.
Leonardo and Saturnina Orocio
St. Margaret Parish, Giddings
Leonardo and Saturnina have been in charge of the Spanish Liturgy for more than 15 years. They have become excellent liturgists, musicians and vocalists. Leo is a member of the Sacred Heart Society and helps his wife in all her ministries. Nina has been president of the Guadalupana Society for the last six years and has worked in religious education. She leads the tamaladas for the annual Jamaica. They have three sons and a daughter and are an exemplary family.
Perry and Connie Petru
Church of the Visitation Parish, Westphalia
Perry is very active in the Knights of Columbus Council 13902 where he is program director. Perry is always willing to help with repairs at the church and church buildings. He helped paint the inside and outside of the church and the Little School Building. Connie is a member of the Ladies Altar Society and is an extraordinary minister of holy Communion. Connie takes care of the altar flower arrangements and helps decorate the church Christmas tree. They are both willing to help with church functions. They have one son, Luke, who plays the organ at the Children’s Mass on Wednesdays and is an altar server.
Holy Rosary Parish, Frenstat
Margaret Polansky has been a parishioner for 25 years. She has been a member of the KJZT for 60 years. She is a member of the Altar Society and has served as a catechist, lector, extraordinary minister of holy Communion and choir member. She also helps coordinate the local Relay for Life team (Holy Rosary Angels), is a member of the Lions Club and the Burleson County Czech Heritage Museum.
Anton and Beverly Polansky
St. Martin Parish, Tours
Anton and Beverly are dedicated and committed parishioners who have been married for 41 years. Anton has served as an extraordinary minister of holy Communion for several years. He is also on the money counting team and has served on the Pastoral Council several times. Beverly is the president of the St. Elizabeth Altar Society, a member of the money counting team and Finance Council. She has also served as a catechist, extraordinary minister of holy Communion and on the Pastoral Council.
Ben and Connie Portillo
St. Ann Parish, Rosebud
Ben and Connie are lifelong members of St. Ann Parish. Ben serves as an usher and Connie serves as an extraordinary minister of holy Communion. They have served as Youth Ministers for several years, evangelizing the youth and leading them in service projects, retreats and learning more about their faith. They continue to serve as catechists. They are an example of a loving Catholic family, always willing to serve others in any way they can. They are the proud parents of a son, Anthony, who is also very involved in church activities.
Eric and Carol Ramberg
St. John Neumann Parish, Austin
Eric and Carol are included among the founding families of St. John Neumann and registered as parishioners on May 27, 1984. Eric serves as an extraordinary minister of holy Communion and as a weekend sacristan. He was also involved with the new church Dedication Committee. Carol serves as an extraordinary minister of holy Communion and as parish Wedding Liaison. She is also a member of the Mary and Martha Guild and the Bereavement Committee. She works with Hospice Austin and the Alzheimer’s Association.
Vince Reisner Jr.
St. Monica Parish, Cameron
Vince is a lifelong parishioner. He graduated from the parish parochial school of St. Anthony. He has lived in a manner that provides an example of his faith and service to his peers and fellow parishioners. He is an active member of the Knights of Columbus, an usher, a tireless festival volunteer and a member who readily offers a hand to those in need.
Leon and Patricia Roberts
Holy Cross Parish, Austin
Leon and Patricia serve in numerous ministries such as fundraising, the Office of Black Catholics, the Social Justice Committee and the Knights of Peter Claver. Their valued contributions in these and many other areas have helped the church bear witness to the Gospel.
St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, College Station
Sarah exhibits a vibrant faith in the Eucharist, and in her personal life has been leading Eucharistic devotion since 1998. Besides her full-time job of being a nurse and caring for the sick, she is a good example of selfless service in the church and the community through various other apostolates in spreading our faith.
Ramiro and Celia Segura
St. Paul Parish, Austin
Ramiro and Celia Segura don’t do anything showy and you won’t find them in the limelight, but it seems that every fiber of their lives is invested in living their marriage sacrament, thereby being a shining light. They are actively involved in the Our Lady of Guadalupe Society, the Rosary Makers Group, the Spanish Choir and in serving as lectors.
Theresa Joan Shafford
Good Shepherd, Johnson City
Joan has been a parishioner since the church was meeting at a funeral home chapel. She was in the choir for many years and just recently retired. Her love of music shows in the singing she does on special occasions. She served on the Pastoral Council, Finance Council, Mexican Dinner Committee and many other committees for many years. Despite retiring from all those committees, she continues to help when she is able. She is a friend to all and an example of faithfulness, devotion and loyalty to Christ and the church. She has two children and three grandchildren.
St. Mary Parish, Caldwell
Raynard is a lifelong parishioner. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus and serves on the hospitality team to welcome parishioners and visitors to Mass. He has volunteered his time as a catechist youth ministry assistant for more than 20 years. He has also been active in the community by volunteering his time with the Boy Scouts, Booster Club and Caldwell Athletics.
St. Margaret Mary Parish, Cedar Park
Nancy, along with her husband Jose, has been a parishioner since February 2004. She has served on the Spring Fest Committee and is the church office liaison for Hispanic Ministries. She leads the Ministerio Guadalupano and the Formación Católica en Español Para Adultos (Catholic Formation for Adults in Spanish). She has also coordinated several training sessions for the Spanish-speaking extraordinary ministers of holy Communion. In addition she has helped with several receptions and banquets, purchasing food for major events such as Spring Fest food booths and the annual Christmas Dinner, as well as helping to coordinate the annual Arts & Crafts Show, which is sponsored by the Guadalupanos. She has taken the lead in helping the parish with fundraising by coordinating several weekend dinners to help raise extra funds. She also served on the Pastoral Council from 2008 to 2011.
Our Lady of the Lake Parish, Sunrise Beach
Emily is an active parishioner and a member of the Ladies Guild. She offers her talent in arts and crafts to the service of the parish. She is in charge of decorating at the parish’s functions. She regularly attends weekday Mass. She is a good example of Christian faith.
Diocese of Austin
Reta is a lay Carmelite and was the foundress of the Carmelite Community of St. Edith Stein in Austin. She is an immigrant from Nazi Germany. She has training and experience as a medical doctor and received a doctorate in hematology. Her early passions of motherhood and medical practice led to her strong desire to “save the human soul.” She and her family settled in Austin in 1970, after many years of living the Army life in support of her husband’s profession. For 25 years she served as a spiritual director in the Diocese of Austin, often giving retreats and lectures.
James and Keum Ja Thomas
St. Joseph Parish, Killeen
Jim and Keum Ja have been a wonderful asset to the parish. James is an extraordinary minister of holy Communion and he brings the Eucharist to the homebound each Sunday. For eight years they have been the key facilitators for RCIA. Keum Ja prepares the main dish for the meal that goes with each class. James is the greeter for RCIA and also instructs on the Ten Commandments. The spirit of charity and selflessness of this wonderful couple is truly an inspiration to all they meet.
St. Anthony Parish, Bryan
Mike is a lifelong parishioner. He regularly cooks wonderful meals for parish events including the seniors’ club, Golden Years. During Lent, his Friday fish fries are very popular and the proceeds raised are a great help because they are dedicated to maintenance of parish facilities. His dedication and his willingness to share of his time and talents are truly inspiring.
St. Francis on the Brazos Parish, Waco
Henry consistently and faithfully serves as an usher and volunteer custodian. He is a shining example of faith in our parish community.
Diocese of Austin
Bob retired from the Diocese of Austin on May 31 after nearly nine years of service. Bob joined the diocese in July 2004 after a successful business career with Eastman Kodak and Wallace Engraving. His extensive knowledge of the printing industry has been an invaluable asset to the diocese during his tenure. He effectively assisted with a number of projects in the diocese, most importantly, the $84 million Our Faith ~ Our Legacy Capital Campaign. His business acumen and positive attitude have been a blessing to many Catholics and donors throughout the diocese.
St. Catherine of Siena Parish, Austin
Ela is the official organist. She is an accomplished and professional organist. She makes herself available for all liturgies when she is asked. At Christmas and Easter she is often in the church for many hours rehearsing and performing on the piano and organ.
Robert and Carolyn Vasquez
St. Peter Parish, Goldthwaite
Robert and Carolyn have been active members for more than five years. Robert serves as an usher and is currently the vice president of the Pastoral Council. He is always ready to volunteer his talents as a handyman in tending to the maintenance needs of the parish. He organizes the funeral meals for grieving families. Carolyn is a lector, a choir member and an extraordinary minister of holy Communion. She also serves on the Finance Council and assists in counting the weekly collections. In the spirit of evangelization, they often invite inactive Catholics to Mass.
Cresencio and Martha Vega
Ascension Parish, Bastrop
Cresencio and Martha have been very faithful parishioners. They are always willing to help in whatever is needed. They are very humble and respectful to everyone. Their family is strong in the Catholic faith.
Our Lady of San Juan Mission, Moody
Zenaida was born a year before the inauguration of the mission. At 8, she began religious education and guitar lessons. A year later she joined the choir. After confirmation, she became a catechist’s aide. She has participated in many religious education and liturgical music workshops. She is a faithful fundraising participant. After high school, she continued her education at McLennan Community College graduating with an associate’s degree in Criminal Justice.
Dr. Steve Vitucci
Holy Family Parish, Copperas Cove
Steve leads Sunday Bible study and is the director of RCIA. Both programs have flourished under his leadership. As an RCIA catechist, he has been helpful for others as they discerned entry into the Catholic Church. He has a passion for evangelizing the Catholic faith.
Sts. Cyril and Methodius Parish, Marak
Anton is a lifelong parishioner. As a member of Vrazels’ Polka Band, he has played for the annual Homecoming Parish Picnic for 51 years. He has donated his time and talents to many church functions including Polka Masses. He has helped maintain the church, the parish hall and grounds with numerous repairs, following in his parents’ legacy. He continues to help the church in promoting the faith with volunteerism and dedication in helping at the annual picnics and other community functions. He and his wife, Albina, have been married 61 years.
Christ the King Parish, Belton
Diane Waite hails from upstate New York and studied chemistry in college. She moved to Texas in the 1970s with her husband, Al. She has worked in education, as a teacher and principal at public and Catholic schools. She is a certified spiritual director and currently directs several people. She is a past president of the Woman’s Ministry (DCCW) and coordinator of extraordinary ministers of holy Communion and lectors. She is also a board member of Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center. She ministers to inmates at the Bell County Jail and the Crane Unit in Gatesville. She participates in the Lions Club and attends daily Mass.
St. John Vianney Parish, Round Rock
Ann lives and embodies the faith. She is always willing to be the means through which others grow in their faith. She helps at the parish wherever and whenever it is needed. She has a great spirit of generosity and truly embodies the light of Christ in her daily life. She is a founding member of the parish and has served as chair of the Pastoral Council, a catechist, former director of Faith Formation and as an extraordinary minister of holy Communion for the parish and the sick. She is the liaison for the nursing home Mass, coordinator of the annual parish mission and a member of the Teresian Society.
Holy Trinity Parish, Llano
As the director of religious edcuation, Carole leads from the words of Jesus, “Let the children come to me” (Mk 10:14). She is an evangelizer of youth collaborating with fellow teachers under the motto, “When a spiritual team works together it builds faith together.” She volunteers in parish activities such as the annual Fish Fry and the Christmas Angel Tree. In the Llano community she has served as a caring hand with the local animal shelter, the Llano Public Library and local charitable events. Carole is happily married to Monty, her husband of 40 years.
San José Parish, Austin
Ofelia is a member of the board of Austin Interfaith. She is the primary contact for social ministry at the parish. She has conducted many small meetings in the parish and in her own neighborhood to develop leadership in social ministry issues. Her efforts have yielded more neighborhood watch, better health care and higher voter turnout in her ZIP code.