Gratitude Ceremony Celebrates Honorees
Terms End in June
by Eileen Dushek-Manthe
A virtual Gratitude Ceremony was held June 19 for those who have served the Congregation as appointees or in other roles and completed their terms on June 30. Those honored include Diane Kennedy, OP, as Promoter of the Cause of Father Samuel Mazzuchelli, OP; Mary Ellen O’Grady, OP, as a member of the Relationships for Mission Team; Joan McCann, OP, as Ministry Grant Board secretary; and Associate Mary Schneider as a member of the Sponsors Council.
Mary Paynter, OP, read the words of Betsy Pawlicki, OP, thanking Diane. Father Samuel would certainly recognize and name Diane as a congregation treasure. She served from 2014 to 2020. Her work was, as we daily pray, “to make Fr. Samuel’s fervent love and labors for God more widely known.” Diane achieved this by writing and publishing a newsletter; working with his parishes and the Dominican Postulator; investigating possible miracles that could advance the Cause; and promoting awareness of his life through television shows and the translation of the book From Milan to the Mississippi, and so much more. Thank you for your dedication and loving friendship as a witness of Fr. Samuel.
Priscilla Wood, OP, read more from Betsy, recognizing Joan. In the past nine years, Joan has compiled, reviewed, maintained, and archived over 300 multi-paged grant applications for accuracy and completeness. This process also included reports, letters to applicants, and distribution of the checks. Joan has done this to support our Sisters in volunteer ministries. When Joan began in 2011, all of this was done by postal mail and paper. As the process became electronic and online, she had to upgrade her own skills and help those applying for grants do the same. Grant applicants expressed appreciation for her knowledge, supportive approach, and kindness. Your work made a difference, and you made a difference.
Janet Welsh, OP, represented Colleen Settles, OP, in acknowledging Mary S. I’m sure it is difficult to remember a day when Mary Schneider was without the influence of the Sinsinawa Dominicans. . . . Not only is the Dominican charism embedded in her heart, but also in her love of the ministry of teaching. She served as the liaison with Trinity High School, focusing on mission and attending board and executive committee meetings as well as helping with the transition to new leadership and celebrating Trinity’s 100th anniversary. Her love for all things Dominican shines through all her interactions. We all say thank you to the blessing you have meant to us.
Toni Harris, OP, thanked Mary Ellen. Our Constitution mentions “heart” three times . . . “one heart and one soul,” an “understanding heart,” and “at the heart of ministry is relationship.” Mission is the center of all our relationships. . . . Mary Ellen has always understood this. She has been part of building this approach together in this team from the very beginning. She has demonstrated creativity, enormous energy, and the capacity to move things from an idea to a concrete reality. Mary Ellen has a big and generous heart. She has put her whole heart into this ministry. We thank you for your commitment to this central area of congregation service.