Diocese honors parish members

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Bishop Leonard Blair of the Catholic Diocese of Toledo will honor 139 representatives from across the
19-county diocese with the Centenary Award for Outstanding Service at a "Vesper Service" this
Sunday, which is also Pentecost Sunday for the church.
During this Centenary year of the diocese, parish pastors, major superiors of religious communities, and
diocesan agencies nominated an individual or couple who exemplify outstanding service to their parish.

Charles and Joanne Kessen are the recipients named by St. Aloysius Parish and School in Bowling Green.

Father Mark Davis, who nominated the couple, calls "Charlie" through his chairmanship the
"Godfather of School Development." He has also been involved as the parish has expanded the
school development into a long-term plan for parish development.
His wife, Joanne, retired after 20 years as a teacher at the school. She has also served on school
development, communications and public relations as well.
The couple volunteer for numerous committees including serving as the chairs for the money counters and
the Christ’s Crib program which provides for needy families at Christmas. They also are both eucharistic
ministers. The parish priest also noted how they "exemplified" good parenting and are very
involved with their grandchildren.
Ann and Fred Eberly are the couple being honored by Blessed John XXIII, Perrysburg. The couple are
founding members of the parish, and they host the parish picnic each year at their rural home. In
addition, he serves in the parish’s hospitality ministry and both served on the building team for the
Parish Life Center, among their many volunteer efforts.
John Crawford of St. Wendelin Parish, Fostoria, will be one of the few to be honored with the award
posthumously. His son, Don Crawford, also a St. Wendelin parishioner, will accept the award on behalf of
his father.
The other area parish recipients include:
¥ Tom and Kathy Wojciechowski, St. Thomas More, Bowling Green
¥ Frank Brahier, St. Rose, Perrysburg
¥ Jerry and Joyce Walker, St. Louis, Custar
¥ Chuck and Brenda Krukowski, St. Patrick (Providence), Grand Rapids
¥ James and Patricia Gerdeman, Holy Family, North Baltimore
¥ Vycki Witham, All Saints, Rossford
¥ Paul and Ardis Schwind, St. Jerome, Walbridge
¥ Helen Rita Neiling, Immaculate Conception, Deshler
¥ Mary Densic, Our Lady of Lourdes, Genoa
¥ Kathryn Kohler, St. Michael, Gibsonburg
The special service will be held at Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral, 2535 Collingwood
Blvd., Toledo, at 5 p.m. Sunday A reception for those being honored and their guests will follow.
Representatives of the laity, religious, and permanent deacons of the diocese comprise this group,
satisfying the criteria for the awards that was developed by the diocesan Secretariat for Evangelization
and Parish Life for the diocese’s 100th anniversary celebration.
In addition to being Catholic, all nominees were required to be "a person of character and moral
integrity." The demonstration of leadership and creativity in upholding, practicing, and inspiring
others to live the Catholic faith and dedication in advancing the mission of the parish or religious
community were also requisites for this nomination.
According to Blair, the words "representatives" and "exemplify" are key to these
awards.
"Honorees are meant to be ‘representatives’ of the many other people like themselves who are
generous with their time, talent and treasure in each parish. And by their particular contribution each
honoree ‘exemplifies’ some aspect of parish service. No one person can do everything," Blair said.

In addition at Blair’s request, Pope Benedict XVI has conferred the papal "Benemerenti Medal on 11
individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the wider Catholic community at the diocesan
level.
Those 11 will also be honored on Sunday. They are Jack Altenburger and Catherine Kruse, both of Toledo;
Deacon Alfred Diaz, Fremont; Deacon Floyd Hohman, New Riegel; Ruth Ann Bishop, Mansfield; Frank Link,
Sandusky; Rosalyn Liston, Lima; Ursuline Sister Nancy Mathias and Patricia Oedy-Murray, both of Oregon;
Sylvania Franciscan Sister Mary Thill and Michael Wasserman, both of Sylvania.

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