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Service award honors ministry to Black Catholics

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The diocesan Office of Multicultural Ministries awarded the Fr. Augustus Tolton and Mother Lange Black Catholic Service Award to Jerry Cousin at Christ the Redeemer Church in Sterling Nov. 24. The award, given annually to a person who has worked tirelessly to support the Black Catholic population in the diocese, was presented at the end of the Mass for Black Catholic History Month. 

Cousin, a parishioner of Holy Trinity Church in Gainesville, was nominated by his peers and selected by a nomination committee. He stood out to the committee as a witness of Christ-like humility and a servant to others. He is an active member of the Knights and Ladies of Peter Claver, the largest lay organization of Black Catholics, and serves as a mentor to Junior Knights and Ladies. 

Most recently, he created detailed and beautiful traveling displays of African American men and women with causes for canonization that have been featured at numerous parishes throughout Black Catholic History Month. He organized to have fellow Knights and Ladies assist with sharing the stories from each display. Among the displays, Venerable Father Augustus Tolton and Servant of God Mother Mary Lange, for whom this prestigious award is named, are prominently featured. 

Wilson is director of diocesan Office of Multicultural Ministries. 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2019