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Awards honor youth, young adult leaders

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Hundreds gathered to honor and support awardees at the 15th Annual Youth, Campus, and Young Adult Ministries Appreciation Mass and Dinner at St. Joseph Church in Herndon Dec. 11. Father Thomas P. Ferguson, vicar general and pastor of Good Shepherd in Alexandria, was the celebrant and homilist. 

“We rejoice and give thanks to God for the witness of those among us who are leaders in youth ministry and especially we rejoice as we honor and celebrate in a special way those who have been outstanding over the past year or, in some cases, over many years, decades even, as leaders among us who share our faith with young people in our parishes and youth ministries,” he said.

Following Mass, Kevin Bohli, executive director of diocesan Office of Youth, Campus, and Young Adult Ministries, served as the master of ceremonies with Father Ferguson handing out the awards. The first to be honored were 34 volunteers of the year, while the final person honored was Beverly Anderson, who received the More Award, honoring a lifetime commitment to young people. Anderson has been a parishioner of St. Joseph Church in Alexandria since 1990.

Bohli gave a litany of more than three decades of her accomplishments pertaining to youth ministry, which included her work as director of religious education at St. Joseph; community service, such as her active membership in the pro-life movement, she attended the March for Life for the past 26 years; and her organization of World Youth Day pilgrimages along with accompanying the youths. Bohli also quoted Anderson’s husband, Deacon Al Anderson, to provide insight into her unwavering dedication to young people. 

“The reason for Bev’s commitment is that she feels young people have too often been underserved. She feels that the youth bring a faith-filled vitality and exuberance that is often mistaken for impatience,” Bohli said, quoting Deacon Anderson, who served at the Mass earlier. 

Visibly moved by the appreciation given by Bohli, Anderson received a sustained standing ovation. 

Other awardees were quick to show gratitude for their honors. 

“It’s a really big accomplishment for me because I never thought that I would be able to do something like this or to receive an award for the work that I have done,” said Jocelyn Hernandez, the winner of the Excellence in Young Adult Ministry for her work with the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.

Chris Maimone, another awardee, posthumously was given an Excellence in Youth Ministry Award for his work at St. Leo the Great Church in Fairfax and the Youth Apostles Institute. His family was in attendance, and after the awards ceremony, his son, Max, expressed his gratitude for his father.

“My dad’s been a youth ministry leader for that past 30 years or so, and it was beautiful to see people standing up for that. It is just a beautiful thing,” said Maimone. His father passed away in October.

Immaculate Heart of Mary Sister Patricia Helene Earl, director of the Catholic School Leadership Program at Marymount University in Arlington, described the importance of the event.

“I think this is a tremendous evening to recognize the volunteerism, the dedication of people to meet the needs of our youth and a beautiful expression of gratitude to all those who help in the formation of our young people. I am also delighted that Father Tom Yehl was a recipient of the Ex Corde award. He is just a beautiful example of priesthood and commitment to young people,” said Sister Earl.

Full listing of awardees:

Volunteer of the Year

Mike and Theresa Zahorchak, All Saints Catholic Church, Manassas

Julia Fabian, Basilica of St. Mary, Alexandria

Ed Fitzpatrick, Bishop O’Connell High School, Arlington

Kathleen Obert, Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, Alexandria

Andrew D’Abbraccio, Cathedral of St. Thomas More, Arlington

Enid Acosta, Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church, Sterling 

Henry Love, Christendom College, Front Royal 

Mary Chris Beardsley, Corpus Christi Catholic Church, South Riding 

Peter and Melanie Lynch, Good Shepherd Catholic Church, Alexandria 

Matthew Drabik, Holy Family Catholic Church, Dale City 

Ruthie Thorne, Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Gainesville 

Stephanie Juan-Andres, Marymount University, Arlington 

Bill and Kathy Belden, Church of the Nativity, Burke 

Dan and Laura Glass, Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church, Vienna 

Robert Stulac, St. Paul VI Catholic High School, Fairfax 

Sue Straka, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Manassas 

Andy Stoss, St. Ambrose Church, Annandale 

Susannah O'Donnell, St. Ann Catholic Church, Arlington 

Kevin Sofa, St. Anthony of Padua Mission, King George 

George  Schafer, St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, Falls Church 

Linda Milligan, St. Bernadette Catholic Church, Springfield 

Maggie May, St. Bridget of Ireland Catholic Church, Berryville 

Mark Cerny, St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, Arlington 

Tina Lovingood, St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, Purcellville 

Mark Voorheis, St. John the Apostle Catholic Church, Leesburg 

Phyllis Johnson, St. Joseph Catholic Church, Alexandria 

Tom Reilly, St. Joseph Catholic Church, Herndon 

Sandi Sale, St. Leo the Great Catholic Church, Fairfax 

Becky Byrne, St. Luke Catholic Church, McLean 

Walter Gawlek, St. Mark Catholic Church, Vienna 

Kathryn Stinard, St. Mary of Sorrows Catholic Church, Fairfax 

DongChul Kang, St. Paul Chung Catholic Church, Fairfax 

Jocelyn  Halisky, St. Thomas à Becket Catholic Church, Reston 

Michelle Hill, St. Veronica Catholic Church, Chantilly 

Excellence in Youth Ministry        

Chris Maimone, St. Leo the Great and Youth Apostles Institute 

Erin Johnson, St. Veronica 

Christopher Miller, Northern Virginia Junior Catholic Youth Organization 

Bl. Chiara Badano              

Zia Sampson, Holy Trinity  

St. Jose Sanchez del Rio 

Benedict Ham, Holy Family 

Ex Corde               

Father Thomas M. Yehl, Marymount University, Arlington 

Excellence in Young Adult Ministry           

Jocelyn  Hernandez, Catholic Charismatic Renewal 

Bishop Loverde  

Emily Teter, Office of Youth, Campus, and Young Adult Ministries volunteer 


Beverly Anderson, St. Joseph Catholic Church, Alexandria



© Arlington Catholic Herald 2018