Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Bishop Bestows Lorica Awards on Twelve Individuals for Distinguished Service

Recognizing their integrity and generosity in service to the local Church and the community, Bishop Ronald Gainer presented twelve individuals with the annual Lorica Award, in gratitude for the God-given gifts they have shared.

The 2022 Lorica Awards were conferred upon the following women and men, at the conclusion of the Mass to close the Diocesan Synodal Process on June 29:

  • Sister Rosanne Karmazin, SJ, Director of Religious Education and Faith Formation at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Abbottstown
  • Toni Weaver of Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in McSherrystown, for her leadership of the Women of Mercy and Joy outreach, which coordinates visit to the sick and social activities in the parish
  • Stella Kulp of St. Katharine Drexel Parish in Mechanicsburg, for her work with the parish’s Caring Community, the Council of Catholic Women and the Serra Club of Harrisburg
  • Barbara McCarthy of St. Joan of Arc Parish in Hershey, for her work with the Council of Catholic Women and volunteer efforts in the parish as an Extraordinary Ministry of Holy Communion and in assisting in the planning of parish events
  • Barbara Zogby, a former Diocesan employee of more than 35 years, and as an Extraordinary Ministry of Holy Communion and Adoration Chapel coordinator at St. Margaret Mary Parish in Harrisburg
  • Becky Sites, secretary of Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Fairfield and St. Rita Parish in Blue Ridge Summit for the past 25 years
  • Lisa Hreniuk, a member of St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Annville, who has served with the Legion of Mary for 37 years
  • Patricia Minick of St. Peter Parish in Elizabethtown, for her service in the parish as a catechist, member of the Council of Catholic Women, Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, leader in the respect life ministry, and member of the funeral luncheon and Lenten dinner committees
  • Peter Taylor of St. Joseph Parish in Danville, for his service as Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus, parish catechist and choir member, leader in parish fundraising events and Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion
  • Mary Rudisill, for her dedication to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Mount Carmel as a member of the finance committee, poinsettia drive for shut-ins, parish festival committee and funeral choir, among other activities
  • Frances Sescilla, who served as pastoral assistant at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Lancaster for 28 years
  • Joyce Bankowski of St. Rose of Lima Parish in York, coordinator of the Charismatic Prayer Group and member of the parish pastoral council

The Lorica Award is given annually by the Bishop of the Diocese of Harrisburg to lay persons who have contributed significantly to the life of the local Church and exemplified the Catholic Christian way of life. Named after the renowned prayer attributed to St. Patrick, the recipients demonstrate that they have “bound to their heart” the strength of the Triune God through integrity of faith and generosity in service, so that it might truly be said of them, “Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of every one who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.”

Any practicing Catholic who is registered at one of the parishes or missions within the Diocese of Harrisburg, or is serving in one of the apostolates of a community of consecrated men or women in the Diocese, may be nominated for the award by their pastor or superior.

Blessing the Lorica awards in front of a congregation of recipients and their family members and friends at Holy Name of Jesus Church in Harrisburg, Bishop Gainer prayed that the example of the recipients would “inspire the members of the Church to continue fervently in the ministry of Jesus Christ, through apostolic works of mercy and compassion to those most in need.”

Lorica recipient Stella Kulp said it was “a total surprise” and honor to be recognized with the Diocesan award.

Kulp, a member of St. Katharine Drexel Parish in Mechanicsburg, coordinates the parish’s Caring Community, which delivers Easter and Christmas cards and flowers to shut-in, elderly and ill parishioners; provides funeral luncheons; assists with short-term meals for people coping with illness or bereavement; and sends expressions of sympathy to those who are ill or bereaved.

She is the president of her parish’s Council of Catholic Women and serves as chair of the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women’s Hispanic Apostolate.

Kulp is also the program chair for the Serra Club of Harrisburg, an organization that works to promote and celebrate vocations to the priesthood and religious life, notably through monthly gatherings at the Diocesan Center in Harrisburg that include a Mass, luncheon and guest speaker.

Expressing gratitude for the Lorica Award, she said she received the honor because of “the generosity of parishioners saying yes when asked to volunteer, and having a supportive husband.”

A 37-year member of the Legion of Mary, Lorica recipient Lisa Hreniuk of St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Annville said she considers the honor as a recognition for the Legion. “We always do our work together. Without the Legion of Mary and its members, I wouldn’t have received the Lorica Award,” she said.

Hreniuk currently serves in the apostolate as the secretary of the Lebanon Curia and the praesidium at Holy Spirit Parish in Palmyra. She’s also a member of her parish’s choir and bereavement ministry.

“What I love about the Legion of Mary is that we befriend all people,” she said. “Being a member of the Legion of Mary is a way of life. I do this work for the Church because I want to be a saint, which we’re all called to be through our baptism.”

Gathered with her husband, son and fellow Legion of Mary members for the Mass on June 29, Hreniuk said “It was a joy to see the award recipients gathered together with their family members – spouses, children, grandchildren – and seeing a representation of their service to the Church.”

“Sometimes, when you do a lot of volunteer work, you can wonder if you’re taking away from your family, but no – your heart grows and you see the greater family of God,” she said.

(Photos by Chris Heisey, The Catholic Witness.)

By Jen Reed, The Catholic Witness

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