Two Dedicated Servants to the Poor from Vassar and Bay City will Receive Bishop Murphy Award at Bishop’s Ball
WHAT: Presentation of Bishop Murphy Award
WHERE: Bishop’s Ball, Horizons Conference Center at 6200 State St., Saginaw
WHEN: 7 p.m., Friday, April 25
SAGINAW- The Most Rev. Joseph R. Cistone, Bishop of Saginaw, announced two recipients of this year’s Bishop Murphy Award. The award will be presented to Katherine Maurer of St. Francis Xavier Cabrini Parish in Vassar and Mark Morand of Our Lady of the Visitation Parish in Bay City. The awards will be given during the eighth annual Bishop’s Ball on Friday, April 25 at Horizons Conference Center in Saginaw.
The Bishop Murphy Award recognizes the life-long commitment of individuals who share and live their Catholic faith in a way that continues the evangelizing mission of Jesus Christ. The award is given to individuals who have given witness throughout their lives, through word and deed, to the "Good News" of the Gospel.
“Kindness, compassion and a generous spirit are descriptors of both Katherine and Mark in their tireless efforts to bring the love of Jesus Christ to all they encounter,” Bishop Cistone said. “The goodness of their dedicated service shines throughout our faith community. Their examples of outreach are truly inspiring.”
Katherine Maurer’s commitment to living as an ambassador for Christ is evident in her daily words and actions. Maurer founded the St. Frances Mission Store in 2007, which has raised more than $70,000 for agencies and churches serving the needy in Tuscola County. In addition to serving others where they live, she regularly helps drive the needy to buy supplies and visit their doctors. Maurer also visits the ill and homebound on a regular basis and makes meals for them. For over 35 years, she has served her parish and community with love and compassion through parish ministry, outreach, and prayer.
Sister Ellen C. Rinke, IHM, pastoral administrator for St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Catholic Church, describes Maurer as a “striking witness to a life of discipleship” whose compassionate love, mercy and humility is a blessing to the community.
Mark Morand will also receive the Bishop Murphy Award. His deep faith and love of God is quickly apparent to anyone he encounters. His many years of dedicated service to his parish, the community of Bay City and beyond has touched the lives of countless people. In addition to parish service, Morand has supported outreach ministries for more than 40 years. Perhaps his greatest witness has been through his tireless service to the poor through the Saint Vincent de Paul Society. Not only does the society provide food and emergency assistance, it is committed to home visits to encourage and lift up those in need.
Fellow volunteers from St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry noted in a letter that, “Mark’s impact on our community has not only been felt by the poor and marginalized, but he has touched our lives as well. His encouragement, his strength of faith, nonjudgmental attitude and unwavering service to those in need have shown us how to truly live the gospel. He believes that satisfying the physical needs of the poor through our ministry provides us the opportunity to reach out to someone with the respect, dignity and value we all crave as human beings.”
The 2014 Bishop Murphy Award Nomination Committee received an overwhelming number of outstanding examples of discipleship for the award this year. The award was first given in 2007.
“The Diocese of Saginaw is blessed by many extraordinary people who have committed their lives to continuing the evangelizing mission of Jesus Christ,” said Terri Grierson, committee chair and director of the Office of Christian Service for the Diocese of Saginaw. The following is a list of past award recipients along with their parish or organization and the year in which they were given the award : Kenn Bueche, Chesaning Area Emergency Relief Organization, Chesaning (2013) and Sister Marietta Fritz, S.N.D. de N, Emmaus House, Saginaw (2013); Edna Kujawski, St. Agatha Parish, Gagetown (2012); Sister Maureen Donovan S.C., Sisters of Charity, Bay City (2011); Dr. Donald Campbell, St. John the Evangelist, Essexville (2010); Bishop Robert J. Carlson, Diocese of Saginaw (2009); Sister Corinne Weiss, SJ, Diocese of Saginaw (2008); Stanley Krajkowski, St. Casmir Parish, Saginaw (2007).
All are invited to attend the Bishop’s Ball. The Bishop’s Ball gathers together the local faith community to celebrate all that is done to continue the evangelizing mission of Jesus Christ. The event includes the Bishop Murphy Award presentation, a silent auction, formal dinner, drawing of the Catholic Community Foundation of Mid-Michigan’s BIG Raffle winners and live band and entertainment. Ticket information may be found on the diocesan website, Saginaw.org.