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Bishop Loverde awarded top honor at Youth Ministries banquet

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It’s not often that Bishop Emeritus Paul S. Loverde is speechless, but upon being presented the More Award, he was.

Not for long.

 “Now I know why you invited me here tonight,” he joked to an assembled crowd of a few hundred at St. Joseph Church in Herndon.

“It was a plot between Kevin (Bohli) and my successor,” Bishop Loverde said. “But on a serious note, I am deeply humbled, very much humbled at this award.”

The Diocesan Office of Youth, Campus, and Young Adult Ministries hosted its 16th annual Appreciation Dinner and Mass Dec. 10, recognizing those who minister to youths in diocesan parishes, high schools and college campuses.

The evening began with Mass concelebrated by more than 20 priests. Bishop Michael F. Burbidge gave the homily, which referenced the Gospel reading of the shepherd leaving 99 sheep to find one that went astray. He said that task of guiding people from going astray is akin to the work diocesan youth ministers do every day.

“Young people, like all of us at times, may feel alone, neglected, as if no one cares — and that’s why your ministries are so important,” Bishop Burbidge said. “Through your kindness and the attention you give them, through your presence in their lives, you help them to remember that they’re never alone. That God accompanies them at every moment.”

At a banquet after Mass, the office awarded many different honors for outstanding service in 2019.

The More Award, presented to Bishop Loverde, recognizes a lifetime of commitment to the young people of the diocese. It is the highest honor the diocesan youth ministry office awards.

In a speech after receiving the award, Bishop Loverde spoke of his “great love for the diocese.”

“As I listened tonight to the wonderful stories we heard of how our young leaders are praying and giving witness, I said to myself as I heard all this, ‘You’d better start becoming more holy yourself,’” he said. “It just convinces me that we have saints in the making in this diocese.”

Six other diocesan-wide awards were presented at the banquet, and one volunteer from each parish or school was recognized as a Volunteer of the Year.

Excellence in Youth Ministry Awards went to Sarah Ginther, director of youth ministry at St. John the Apostle Church, in Leesburg, and Patrick Reilly of the diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting and founder of the Cardinal Newman Society.

The Excellence in Young Adult Ministry Award went to Arragon Perrone, director of youth and young adults at the Basilica of St. Mary in Alexandria.

The Bl. Chiara Badano Award, recognizing an outstanding teenage girl in her youth ministry program, went to Marcie Van de Voorde of All Saints Catholic Church in Manassas.

The St. Jose Sanchez del Rio Award, recognizing an outstanding teenage boy in his youth ministry program, went to Joseph Ciola of Holy Spirit Church in Annandale.

The Ex Corde Award, recognizing exemplary service in college campus ministry, went to Tim Cook of Christendom College in Front Royal.

And the Bishop Loverde Award, which recognizes exceptional volunteer service to diocesan youth ministry, was awarded to Steven Young of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Church in Fredericksburg.

Here is a full list of award winners from 2019:

The More Award, “For a Lifetime of Commitment to Young People”

Bishop Emeritus Paul S. Loverde, Catholic Diocese of Arlington

The Bishop Loverde Award, “For Exceptional Volunteer Service to Diocesan Youth Ministry”

Steven Young, St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church

The Excellence in Young Adult Ministry Award, “Traveling Companion of Young Adults”

Arragon Perrone, Basilica of Saint Mary

The Excellence in Youth Ministry Award, “Traveling Companion of Young People”

Sarah Ginther, St. John the Apostle Catholic Church

Patrick Reilly, Catholic Committee on Scouting

The Ex Corde Award, “Sharing the Heart of Christ with University Students”

Tim Cook, Christendom College

The St. Jose Sanchez del Rio Award

Joseph Ciola, Holy Spirit Catholic Church

The Blessed Chiara Badano Award

Marcie Van de Voorde, All Saints Catholic Church

The Volunteer of the Year Award, “For Giving without Counting the Cost”

Fran Van de Voorde, All Saints Catholic Church

Mary Fran Delaune, Basilica of Saint Mary

Margaret Carroll, Bishop O’Connell High School

Rosemarie Olszewski, Christendom College

Patricia Gonzalez, Good Shepherd Catholic Church

Marcela Charchill, Holy Family Catholic Church

Connor Lilly, Holy Spirit Catholic Church

Geraldine Erikson, Holy Trinity Catholic Church

Dennis Hayo, Holy Trinity Catholic Church

Josh Messmer, Holy Trinity Catholic Church

Joanna Paniagua, Marymount University

Mark Guthrie, Nativity Catholic Church

Christopher Summers, Paul VI Catholic High School

Andi Boyles, Sacred Heart Catholic Church

Pam Plasberg, Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church

Jose & Donna Olivero, St. Ambrose Catholic Church

Javier & Rossnat Rodriguez, St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church

Shawn Rush, St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church

George Litman, St. John Neumann Catholic Church

Amanda McClernand, St. John Neumann Catholic Church

Dr. Tom Aquilina, St. John the Apostle Catholic Church

Michael Power, St. Joseph Catholic Church

Drick Coutinho, St. Leo the Great Catholic Church

Brian Higgins, St. Luke Catholic Church

Sarah Kirk, St. Mark Catholic Church

David Bernero, St. Mary of Sorrows Catholic Church

Catie LeBouton, St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church

Stephania Cho, St. Paul Chung Catholic Church

Rose Anna Robinson, St. Thomas a Becket Catholic Church

Michael Freix, St. Veronica Catholic Church




© Arlington Catholic Herald 2019