Ceremony Recognizes Catechists for Generous Years of Service

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The archdiocesan Catechetical Office recently honored catechists and directors/coordinators of religious education who have achieved milestones in the certification process. The annual Certification and Recognition Ceremony was held Nov. 4 at Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers in Ossining.

The gathering also honored outstanding individuals for their contributions to the ministry. Auxiliary Bishop Gerald T. Walsh, vicar for clergy, presided. Sister Joan Curtin, C.N.D., director of the Catechetical Office, offered remarks of warm welcome.

The Terence Cardinal Cooke Award was presented to Tom and the late Lyn Scheuring, co-founders of LAMP Catholic Ministries, and Janis Batewell, former administrative assistant at the Orange County Regional Catechetical Offices. Mrs. Scheuring received the award posthumously; she died in September.

LAMP (Lay Apostolic Ministries with the Poor) evangelizes those who are largely overlooked, namely the poor, the homeless and the hungry. The Scheurings began providing such outreach to those in need nearly 40 years ago.

Ms. Batewell, coordinator of religious education at Sacred Heart parish in Suffern, was the mainstay of the Orange offices for more than 25 years until recently stepping down from that post.

The Good Shepherd Award was presented to Robert Fitkin, catechist at St. John the Evangelist and Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish in White Plains. Fitkin is a longtime volunteer at Catechetical Office-sponsored events throughout the archdiocese. The award is given to those who serve the catechetical ministry in the spirit of Jesus the Good Shepherd.

The Catechetical Medal of Honor for catechists who have offered 25 years or more of service was presented to 14 individuals. An additional seven catechists, who have already received the award but have served additional years, received letters of appreciation from Cardinal Dolan.

The award ceremony also included the conferral of certificates to coordinators of religious education who completed advanced catechetical leadership training, and Catechetical Office pins to those who completed basic leadership training. Ten Catechists of the Good Shepherd received level one or level two certification from the Catechetical Office and from the National Association of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.

Certification at levels one, two, three or four was awarded to some 120 parish catechists. Additionally, 38 students from Msgr. Farrell High School on Staten Island received level one certification. From Moore Catholic High School, also on Staten Island, 15 students earned level one certification and 11 more earned level two certification.

The recipients of the Catechetical Medal of Honor were Janet Brathwaite of St. Raymond, the Bronx; Joan Sharkey, St. Paul the Apostle, Central Westchester; Diane DiNoia, St. John the Evangelist, Putnam; Patricia Dresch, Our Lady Help of Christians, Staten Island; and Mia Hubbert, St. Joseph, Sullivan. From Holy Family, Blessed Sacrament and St. John Vianney parish, the Bronx: Carol Carpenter, Betsy Davila, Fay Jacques, Natalie Lee Soy, Carmen Morales, Laura Munoz, Carmen Santiago, Alexandra Valle, and Mayra Vierra.

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