Light of Learning luncheons pay tribute to teachers, administrators
Forty-one educators from across the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend received the Light of Learning Award last week at luncheons in Fort Wayne and South Bend. Quality Dining, Inc., of Mishawaka, hosts the annual events to demonstrate its continued commitment to area Catholic schools and Catholic education.
Catholic Schools Superintendent Dr. Mark Myers spoke of the School Choice Scholarships that may offer opportunities for Catholic schools. He encouraged the Catholic community to write to legislators in the Indiana Statehouse to pass the bill.
Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades served as the keynote speaker at both events and purchased the You Can Lend A Hand coupon book, a fundraiser of Quality Dining, Inc., that has raised over $8.2 million for Catholic schools in the diocese and Western Michigan through the years. For $3, each booklet, sold by Catholic school students, offers $95 worth of coupons and discounts for restaurants such as Burger King, Chili’s and Papa Vino’s Italian Kitchen and sporting activities, depending on location.
Bishop Rhoades, in his keynote address, spoke of the Catholic education as a noble task.
“Through our schools, we form new generations in the knowledge of the faith and we teach what it means to live as mature and responsible citizens in today’s world. Catholic education is about forming the human person, imparting not only knowledge, but wisdom,” Bishop Rhoades said. “And true wisdom is inseparable from knowledge of our Creator. There is a transcendent dimension of study and teaching that is integral to the Catholic educational enterprise. The Catholic faith informs every aspect of the life of the Catholic school and should be the driving force behind every aspect of the school.
“In our schools, children and young people learn not only the teachings of the Church; they learn also by experiencing the faith in a community that is living the Gospel and practicing the works of mercy,” Bishop Rhoades added. “They learn, for example, through service of the least of our brothers and sisters. Every Catholic school is called to be a community of faith, hope, and charity. The prevailing atmosphere is to be truly ‘Christian,’ an atmosphere in which children and young people are able to experience the joy of knowing Jesus Christ and the joy of belonging to His Church.”
“The excellence of our Catholic schools in every aspect (human, intellectual, and spiritual) depends upon the quality of our teachers, their competence and their dedication,” the bishop said. “Today we honor with the Light of Learning award select teachers who are models of this excellence. We thank them for their witness to the Gospel and for their hard work. Our teachers participate in a very special way in the mission that Christ has entrusted to the Church. We also thank our principals and our priests for their dedication to the noble task of Catholic education.”
New this year was the implementation of the Msgr. J. William Lester Award. Msgr. Lester spent 65 years in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend as a priest and educator. The recipients of the Msgr. Lester Award compliment his life-long work with passion, tenacity and unselfish enthusiasm to our Catholic schools.
In Fort Wayne, James and Margaret Shields were presented the Msgr. J. William Lester Award by Bishop Rhoades. In South Bend, Peter and Nancy Baranay were the recipients.
Light of Learning Award recipients:
Twenty-one educators from the Fort Wayne are received the Light of Learning award in recognition of their positive impact on Catholic education. Those teachers were:
Patricia Bond, St. Jude School, Fort Wayne
Stephanie Brite, St. Joseph School, Decatur
Eileen Brodmerkel, Bishop Luers High School, Fort Wayne
Heidi Busch, St. John the Baptist School, New Haven
Chad Chenowith, Bishop Dwenger High School, Fort Wayne
Vanessa Diller, St. Louis Academy, Besancon, New Haven
Amy Edelman, St. Joseph School, Garrett
Jennifer Finney, St. Bernard School, Wabash
Chad Helmkamp, St. Mary of the Assumption School, Avilla
Susan Henry, St. John the Baptist School, Fort Wayn
Kallie Kirkendall, Sacred Heart School, Warsaw
Pamela Marx, Most Precious Blood School, Fort Wayne
Stephanie Nees, St. Vincent de Paul School, Fort Wayne
Elizabeth Pelner, St. Charles Borromeo School, Fort Wayne
Julia Ramp, Huntington Catholic School, Huntingto
Carol Sarasien, St. Joseph School, Hessen Cassel, Fort Wayne
Christine Schuhler, St. Joseph-St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School, Fort Wayne
Rebecca Smith, St. Therese School, Fort Wayne
Nicole Suvar, Queen of Angels School, Fort Wayne
Nichole Thompson, St. Aloysius School, Yoder
Robert Sordelet, St. Charles Borromeo School, Fort Wayne was this year’s Light of Learning Administrative recipient.
Twenty educators from the South Bend area will receive the Light of Learning award in recognition of their positive impact on Catholic education:
Julie Carlin, Corpus Christi School, South Bend
Caroline Urbanski, Christ the King School, South Bend
Carolyn Snyder, Holy Family School, South Bend
Jeanette Schena, Our Lady of Hungary School, South Bend
Jennifer Crain, St. Adalbert School, South Bend
Bridget Sullivan, St. Anthony de Padua School, South Bend
Joany Zielinski, St. John the Baptist School, South Bend
Merryl Sherwood, St. Joseph School, South Bend
Caela Dominello, St. Jude School, South Bend
Sarah Pellico, St. Matthew Cathedral School, South Bend;
Thomas duToit, Queen of Peace School, Mishawaka
Marti Merrick, St. Bavo School, Mishawaka
Lizabeth Konwinski, St. Thomas the Apostle School, Elkhart
Melissa Roberts, St. Vincent de Paul School, Elkhart
Sister Colleen Bauer, SSND, St. John the Evangelist School, Goshen
Anne Bostwick, St. Pius X School, Granger
Marlene Dolan, St. Michael School, Plymouth
Ryan Dainty, Marian High School, Mishawaka
Kathleen Kershner, Saint Joseph’s High School, South Bend.
Light of Learning Administrative Recipient was Mary Anne Retseck of St. Matthew Cathedral School, South Bend.
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