MILWAUKEE — On Tuesday, Oct. 23, Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki distributed 15 Vatican II awards for distinguished service for outstanding contributions to church and society. A prayer service and awards ceremony was held at 7 p.m., followed by a dessert reception, at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, 812 N. Jackson St. The recipients of the 2012 Vatican II awards are:
Mark G. Doll, Service in Administration, of St. Eugene Parish, Fox Point, retired from his position as chief investment officer after a 40-year career with Northwestern Mutual, and serves as chair of the archdiocese’s Finance Council, providing financial and governance advice to Archbishop Listecki in the management of the archdiocese.
Daughter of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul Sr. Mary Elizabeth Cullen, Service to the Church, has been instrumental in helping minister to the poor and vulnerable in southeastern Wisconsin, and in establishing the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Dental Clinic, a program sponsored by Columbia St. Mary’s that provides dental care to impoverished people.
Matthew Beardsley, Service in Communication, of St. Mary Parish, Port Washington, for his nearly 20 years of work as a radio technician and producer for the Milwaukee branch of Relevant Radio. He helps produce and air programs including Archbishop Listecki’s “Living Our Faith,” and the weekly Mass broadcast for homebound Catholics.
Dr. Steven Shippee, Service in Ecumenism, of St. Augustine of Hippo Parish, Milwaukee, an associate professor of Systematic Studies at Sacred Heart School of Theology in Franklin teaching courses in ecumenism and world religions. Dr. Shippee is also co-founder and chairperson of the school’s Ecumenical Interreligious Task Force.
Sister of St. Francis of Assisi Coletta Dunn, Service in Education, has taught at the elementary, high school and college levels, and will retire this year after 48 years as professor of theology at her alma mater, Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, where she initiated and taught Religious Ethical Principles for the Health Sciences. She also worked at Sacred Heart School of Theology, Franklin, and has co-authored special education programs to assist pastors, catechists, parents and families in the Christian formation of people with disabilities.
Miguel and Susana Crespo Jr., Service to Families, of St. Anthony Parish, Milwaukee, as leaders in the Engaged Enrichment Retreats for Spanish-speaking couples, Susana teaches Natural Family Planning, and Miguel presents Blessed Pope John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body.”
Michael Novak, Service in Liturgy, of Ascension Parish, Oak Park, Ill., presents talks and workshops on liturgy, music and the sacraments in parish and school settings around the archdiocese.
After moving to Wisconsin more than 20 years ago, Novak spent three years with Marquette University’s Campus Ministry and eight years in the Office for Prayer and Worship of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, four of which he was director. Novak has also served in liturgical and music ministry at various parishes within the archdiocese.
Dr. Peter L. Emer, Service to the Missions, of St. Anne Parish, Pleasant Prairie, joined 25 volunteers from the archdiocese, including fellow Vatican II award recipient Dr. Victor Stephen Slana, in setting up a makeshift eye clinic at La Sagrada Familia, the archdiocese’s sister parish in the Dominican Republic, in January. During a three-day period, more than 850 locals were recommended for glasses, underwent cataract surgery or received various medications for eye infections.
Dr. Victor Stephen Slana, Service to the Missions, of St. Mary Parish in Kenosha, traveled to the Dominican Republic in January with 25 volunteers, including fellow Vatican II award recipient Dr. Peter L. Emer, to serve the people of La Sagrada Familia, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s sister parish. Dr. Slana, an ophthalmologist, performed 45 cataract eye surgeries.
Fr. Melvin Michalski, Service to the Priesthood, is a professor emeritus of Systematic Studies at Sacred Heart School of Theology, Franklin. He served at Saint Francis de Sales Seminary as an assistant professor of Systematic Studies, 1981-2006; vice-rector, 2003-2006; and interim academic dean, 2005-2006.
A founding member of the Committee on Christian Muslim Dialogue of the Ecumenical and Interfaith Concerns Office, Fr. Michalski was a member of the Ecumenical and Interfaith Commission, 1997-2000.
Fr. James Schuerman, Service to the Priesthood, ordained in May 1986, has served in the archdiocese for 26 years. Fr. Schuerman has served as pastor, associate pastor, spiritual director and administrator in Milwaukee, Lake Geneva, Delavan and the Dominican Republic.
Franciscan Sister of Mary Mary Jo Kahl, Service in Society, of St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Milwaukee, is a nurse care manager for SET Ministry, a Milwaukee community-based health and human services agency that serves children, families, adults and seniors who are experiencing the effects of systemic poverty. In her nearly 60 years as a religious sister, she has managed to work in nearly every societal ministry available.
Kimberly VanBeek, John Paul II Youth Award, of St. Patrick Parish in Whitewater and St. Mary Parish in Mayville, is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. VanBeek spent two years in college on the leadership team for the Catholic Student Coalition (CSC), a nationwide organization that strives to empower students to further the mission of the Catholic Church through spiritual, educational and leadership opportunities.
Freddie Pettigrew Jr., John Paul II Youth Award, of St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Milwaukee, serves as youth representative on the parish council, responsible for informing members about upcoming youth events and issues concerning youth in the parish. The Riverside University High School, Milwaukee, senior helps plan youth group events and retreats, and helps with the religious education program for grade school children. He has been the leader of the children’s Christmas Play and Passion Pageant, and volunteers at the House of Peace in Milwaukee, a Capuchin Franciscan Ministry.
The Vatican II awards were established in 1991 to honor men, women and youth who exemplify the Catholic Church’s vision set forth in the Second Vatican Council. The Archdiocese invited all previous Vatican award recipients to the awards ceremony this year in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council.