The Vatican II Awards were established in 1991 to honor men, women and young adults who exemplify the Catholic Church’s vision set forth in the Second Vatican Council. These individuals have been selected by Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki to be recognized for their service to the Body of Christ in southeastern Wisconsin. While an awards ceremony is typically held annually in October, this year’s festivities are postponed until such a time as it is safe to gather such a large group.
John Paul II Youth Award — Michaela Baudry
Michaela Baudry’s father, Dave, has always worked for the Church — so involvement in parish ministries and service programs has been a big part of her life growing up.
“My dad has dedicated his life to service, and I look up to him in many ways,” said Baudry, 17. “He always puts others before himself.”
But that doesn’t mean that Baudry hasn’t developed a strong Catholic faith all on her own, and a passion for service that rivals even her dad’s.
“Religion has always been a key component of my life,” said Baudry.
At her parish, St. Jude the Apostle in Wauwatosa, Baudry is a familiar face — a former altar server, a small group leader for Vacation Bible School and Confirmation retreats, a youth representative for parish council, a volunteer at parish fundraisers and a worker in the parish thrift shop. Baudry has also worked on several mission trips, with Matthew 25 Ministries as well as working on four out-of-state mission trips through YouthWorks and Catholic HEART Workcamp.
Baudry is equally involved with service at Pius XI Catholic High School, where she is a senior and was recently voted homecoming queen by her classmates. As the head of publicity and team development for the Pius XI Relay for Life, she is in charge of getting the word out for upcoming events and fundraisers to benefit cancer research, making posters, crafting social media posts, and writing verbal announcements and news items for the school newsletters. In addition to her PR duties for the Relay for Life, she also heads up a team of 30 student participants.
A student-athlete who plays volleyball and was a state qualifier in track her sophomore year, Baudry is also the head of service for CALO (Christian Athletic Leadership Organization) at Pius. “In this role, I plan service projects and service opportunities for the students at Pius XI Catholic High School,” she said. “Last year, I helped organize a hat and glove drive at Pius XI for Mr. Bob’s Under the Bridge. We had an awesome turnout and collected over 500 hats and gloves for the homeless.” Other CALO projects have included teaching at a tennis camp for children with disabilities, supporting Milwaukee Marathon runners by handing out water and snacks, and making Mercy Mats for the homeless.
While she is still exploring her options for higher education, wherever she ends up studying, Baudry hopes to pursue a degree in the medical field.
“Right now, I would love to be a nurse,” she said. “I want to be able to use my occupation as a way to help people and better their lives. I find great interest in medicine; so I would love to benefit people’s lives through that.”
Wherever life takes her, she plans on staying involved at her parish. “I would love to be a youth leader and to continue serving on mission trips,” she said. “I would enjoy helping other teens experience the power of serving others through mission work.”