MILWAUKEE –– Fourteen people will be honored with the Archbishop’s Vatican II awards for distinguished service for outstanding contributions to the church and society on Tuesday, Nov. 9. A prayer service and award ceremony will be held at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, 812 N. Jackson St., at 7 p.m. The recipients of the 2010 Vatican II awards are:
Service in Administration: Edward J. and Diane Zore, Lumen Christi Parish, Mequon. The Zores were co-chairs of the historic Faith In Our Future campaign that raised $94.6 million to support Catholic education and faith formation initiatives within the 10-county archdiocese. Additionally, whether serving as president and CEO of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, board chair of the Medical College of Wisconsin or board chair of the United Way of Greater Milwaukee, Ed’s work always reflects his Christian values. While Ed was president and CEO of NML, the company offered some of the best benefits in the industry, as well as generous compensation. During the severe financial meltdown and economic recession of 2008 and 2009, his company refused to lay off employees, preferring instead to reduce the size of the workforce through natural attrition. This gave employees an enormous sense of security in difficult times. Diane volunteers with various charities including the Boys & Girls Club, the Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Advisory Board and the Wisconsin Breast Cancer Showhouse Inc. She has served on the Board of Trustees at the Boys & Girls Club and on the Cancer Center Advisory Board at the Medical College of Wisconsin.
Service to the Church: Capuchin Franciscan Fr. Alan Veik, St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Milwaukee. Fr. Veik has devoted himself to a life of priestly ministry. He was ordained a priest in 1967, and completed his first priestly assignment as a seminary teacher and director of formation for the Capuchins. Since 1975, he has worked with the incarcerated and street poor, and has educated Catholics of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee on issues of criminal justice. He helped form the Benedict Institute for Urban Ministry in 1985. Fr. Veik has served as the vicar for religious and director of chaplain services for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. He serves parishes as a temporary administrator when needed, and assists as a weekend associate at St. Francis Borgia Parish, Cedarburg.
Service in Communication: Bruno John, St. Joseph Parish, Waukesha. John has served as president of Santa Fe Communications, a lay Catholic organization that produces and distributes quality Catholic television programming to viewers across the country, since 1993. John and SFC have aired a weekly Catholic Sunday Mass for homebound Catholics in dioceses across the United States for many years. Beginning with the first Sunday of Advent 2010, John and SFC will televise the Heart of the Nation TV Mass from the Christ King Chapel of Saint Francis de Sales Seminary, St. Francis, for broadcast on WCGV TV Channel 24 and WITI Fox 6 in southeastern Wisconsin, as well as other major cities across the country including Los Angeles, Houston, San Diego, Dallas/Ft. Worth and Sacramento. In 2005, John and SFC also produced a 13-episode DVD, “Bugtime Adventures,” an animated Bible-story series for children.
Service in Ecumenism: Jesuit Fr. Wayne Jenkins, St. Martin of Tours Parish, Franklin. Fr. Jenkins has spent the majority of his life simultaneously educating people about the Catholic faith and promoting understanding of other religions. He held Bible study groups for Indonesian University students of Catholic, Muslim and other Christian faiths at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Newman Center, and has been a member of the rabbi/priest dialogue. In 1995, he became a member of the Milwaukee Archdiocesan Ecumenical and Interfaith Commission, and served as vice-chair of the commission for two years and chairperson for two years. Fr. Jenkins has served as sacramental minister for Villa St. Francis, Milwaukee, and St. Monica’s Senior Citizen Home, Racine. He has also been on the boards of the Benedict Center, TYME-OUT Youth Center and St. Monica’s Senior Citizen Home.
Service in Education: Sister of the Divine Savior Virginia Honish, St. Pius X Parish, Wauwatosa. Sr. Virginia has made significant contributions to educational ministries within the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. She began her career, in 1962, as a teacher at St. Pius X Elementary School, Wauwatosa, and later became the school’s principal. Sr. Virginia went on to become one of the founders of the Milwaukee Area Elementary Principals’ Association for Catholic schools in the 1960s, and served as principal of Divine Savior Holy Angels High School, Milwaukee, for 18 years. She was also an active member of the Catholic Secondary Principals’ Association.
Service to Families: Jennifer Christ, Basilica of St. Josaphat Parish, Milwaukee. Christ served families in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee as a FOCCUS trainer, teaching married couples how to minister to engaged couples; presented at engaged conferences sponsored by the Nazareth Project of the John Paul II Center; and teaches two courses in the Permanent Diaconate Formation program which forms diaconate candidates for ministry to families. Christ has self-published seven catechetical publications for parishes, including family centered first Eucharist and reconciliation programs, and family packets on the saints, Advent, Lent and other Church feasts. She has authored three books and is the writes the regualr “Faith and Family” column in Catholic Herald Parenting.
Service in Liturgy: School Sister of St. Francis Mary Hueller, St. Joseph Center Chapel, Milwaukee. Sr. Mary taught many of the archdiocese’s organists in the when she was a professor of organ and church music at Alverno College, Milwaukee. Prior to the Second Vatican Council, she developed a music education and church music major at Alverno. Immediately following Vatican II, she initiated church music workshops throughout Milwaukee. In the 1980s and 90s, she worked on developing the Church Music Symposia with Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland.
Service to the Missions: Yvonne N. Ssempijja, All Saints Parish, Milwaukee. Ssempijja has dedicated her time to serving as co-director of Grandmothers Beyond Borders, a non-profit community organization based in Milwaukee that collaborates with grandmothers in Uganda who are raising their grandchildren because their own children died of AIDS. A Ugandan native, Ssempijja fundraises for Grandmothers Beyond Borders and works to raise awareness of the impact AIDS has on families and individuals all over the world, primarily in Uganda. Because of her efforts, more than 500 grandmothers in Uganda have been assisted by people more than 9000 miles away.
Service to the Priesthood: Fr. Karl J. Schneider, pastor, Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, West Allis. During Fr. Schneider’s more than 50 years as a parish priest in the archdiocese, he served the following parishes: assistant pastor, St. Margaret Mary, Milwaukee, 1959-1969; assistant pastor, St. Monica, Whitefish Bay, 1969-1976; pastor, SS. Peter and Paul, Milwaukee, 1976-1980; pastor, St. Gregory the Great, Milwaukee, 1980-1994; and pastor, Immaculate Heart of Mary, West Allis, 1994-present.
Fr. Schneider was a member of the Priest Senate during the 1970s, spent 10 years on the Priests’ Personnel Board in the 80s and is currently a member of the Archdiocesan Building Commission.
Service to the Priesthood: Fr. Curt Frederick, pastor, St. William Parish, Waukesha. Fr. Frederick has been a priest in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee since 1975, and served the following parishes: St. Margaret Mary, Milwaukee; St. Joseph, Wauwatosa; St. Dominic, Brookfield; and St. William, Waukesha. Fr. Frederick also served on the Metropolitan Tribunal as judge and adjutant judicial vicar. He was spiritual director of the college department of Saint Francis de Sales Seminary, Milwaukee, and the vicar general and vicar for clergy of the archdiocese.
Service in Society: Arvilla C. Rank, St. Matthias Parish, Milwaukee. Rank has worked tirelessly to ensure the deaf and hard of hearing receive the best Catholic education, services and care available. Rank has been an active member of the International Catholic Deaf Association of the United States since 1965, serving as president at the international level, and as a board member for an additional 13 years. She previously served as a Milwaukee Chapter 7 officer and Midwest Region officer in the same organization. Rank is a member of the Milwaukee Archdiocesan Deaf Council, and the Ephpheta Sodality of St. John the Baptist Catholic Deaf Community, Milwaukee. She has also worked with the National Deaf Cursillo and is working part time as a project coordinator for the National Catholic Office for the Deaf. She also teaches religious education to the Catholic students at the Wisconsin School for the Deaf at St. Andrew Parish, Delavan.
Youth Service to the Church: Sarah Csiacsek, St. Katharine Drexel Parish, Beaver Dam. Csiacsek has been working with Catholic children in many capacities in order to teach them to appreciate and embrace God and their faith. She fundraised for, and participated in, two mission trips and attended the National Catholic Youth Conference, Kansas City. She also assisted at Vacation Bible School and participated in Catholic Youth Expeditions. Csiacsek has filmed and produced videos for various parish youth activities, and completed numerous projects for the director of Lifelong Faith Formation.
Youth Service in Education: Tyler Richardson, St. Francis Borgia Parish, Cedarburg. Richardson has participated in mission trips to South Dakota, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan and El Salvador. He also participated in and led Vacation Bible School. Richardson taught K4 Christian formation, worked at a Port Washington food pantry and attended a National Catholic Youth Conference. He has been a server, extraordinary minister of the holy Communion and usher at his parish, where he also started a youth group.
Youth Service to Society: Matthew Wisniewski, St. Roman Parish, Milwaukee. Wisniewski has been volunteering at St. Hyacinth’s Food Pantry on Wednesdays for seven years. When he began, he carried bags of food up the stairs. Now, he is in charge of the table where the canned goods are handed out, but he still takes time to run packages up and down the stairs when needed. Matthew also recruits students from the Pius XI High School community. He participates in as many other service opportunities as time allows.
The awards, established in 1991, honor men, women and young adults who exemplify the Catholic Church’s vision set forth in the Second Vatican Council.