By Liz Sullivan
It is an event that is older than the Diocese of San Jose.
On May 9, the Diocese held the 47th Annual Saint Pius X Awards Banquet at Villa Ragusa restaurant in Campbell. The event began in 1970 when the parishes in Santa Clara County were a part of the Archdiocese of San Francisco. In 1981, the Diocese of San Jose was created.
The evening honored 85 catechists for 10-to-50 years of service of religious education ministry. Overall, the honorees combined for 1,365 years of service to the Diocese. Three honorees have served for 50 years: Beth Palladino, Holy Family; Giulia Gallego, Saint Catherine of Alexandria and Harvey Chaffin, Saint Maria Goretti.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for me to meet so many people,” said Father John Hurley, CSP, the Diocese’s newly appointed Vicar for Evangelization and the evening’s keynote speaker. “I am grateful and blessed that we continue to celebrate faith formation in our diocese. So, why are we here tonight? To evangelize the fruits of our labor. Go and make disciples. Go is the last word we hear at the end of Mass.”
The event is the collaboration of the Diocese’s departments of Catechetical Ministry and Hispanic Apostolate, which now fall under the Office for Evangelization, headed by Father Hurley.
Of all of the catechists who were honored, only one was a surprise.
Bishop McGrath announced that Wendy Scherbart, the retiring Director for Catechetical Ministry, was the fifth recipient of the Sister Maria De La Cruz Aymes, SH, Award for Excellence in Catechetical Ministry.
“I thank all of you,” said Scherbart, who is retiring on June 8 after 14 years as director. “You have shown me courage; courage to do the hard work and the good work; to do the work of Jesus Christ.”
Sister De La Cruz was an acclaimed leader in modern catechetics and the author of the “On Our Way” series, which provided the foundation of religious education for a generation of Catholic youth. The Bishop met her when he was a seminarian in Ireland in 1969 and they became friends when he moved to San Francisco after his ordination a year later. He established this award in her honor.
“Wendy, you are very deserving of this award,” said the Bishop. “You have taught countless teens to others about the Word of God. You have led by the example of your life.”
The Saint Pius X awards are named in honor of Pope Saint Pius X, 1835-1914, who as Pope encouraged daily reading of the Bible, directed liturgical renewal and encouraged Catholics, especially in Italy, to become involved in political issues to achieve peace and order. He was most noted for lowering the age of First Communion to the age of reason.
Harvey Chaffin, Saint Maria Goretti
Giulia Gallego, Saint Catherine of Alexandria
Beth Palladino, Holy Family
Richard Kohl, Holy Spirit
Blessie LaScola, Holy Family
Ernie LaScola, Holy Family
Lucy Rocha, Saint Maria Goretti
Jeanne Smith, Saint Catherine of Alexandria
Josephine Bartolome, Our Lady of Peace
Ana Leticia Garcia, Saint Cyprian
Karen Patel, Church of the Ascension
Mary Morris, Saint Victor
Rosa Zaldivar, Saint Mary (Gilroy)
Veronica Arimboanga, Saint John the Baptist
Karen Barone, Saint Catherine of Alexandria
Katherine Bulanon, Saint Lucy
Linda Fedalizo-Hughes, Saint Catherine of Alexandria
Evelia Franco, Saint Mary (Gilroy)
Patrick Godar, Church of the Transfiguration
Truc Hoang, Our Lady of La Vang
Kimberly Lynch, Saint Catherine of Alexandria
Christ the King
Jose Antonio Don Lucas
Martha Larios Rios
Church of the Ascension
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Maria Luisa Sanchez
Our Lady of La Vang
Chi Nhan Bui
Luyen Thuong Le
Our Lady of Peace
Our Lady of Refuge
Patricia Garcia Saavedra
Sacred Heart of Jesus
Sacred Heart, Saratoga
Saint Catherine of Alexandria
Cecily Thanh Nguyen
Saint John the Baptist
Saint Joseph, Mountain View
Maria Luisa Romero
Luz Maria Tobar
Saint Joseph of Cupertino
Saint Julie Billiart
Saint Lawrence the Martyr
Alicia Arreola Martin
Saint Leo the Great
María Lorena Torres
Saint Maria Goretti
Saint Mary, Gilroy
Kathy Dockendor F.
Saint Thomas of Canterbury