MILWAUKEE — The Archdiocese of Milwaukee will recognize 15 people for their contributions to the archdiocese with the Archbishop’s Annual Vatican II Awards for Distinguished Service, Tuesday, Sept. 23 at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, 812 N. Jackson St.

A prayer service and awards ceremony, open to the public, will begin at 7 p.m., followed by a dessert reception in the Cathedral atrium.

The recipients are:
Libby and Jon Baranko, members of Lumen Christi Parish, Mequon, and co-chairs of the archdiocesan Catholic Stewardship Appeal for two years, will be recognized for Service in Administration. Jon, Chief Equity Officer at Wells Capital Management in Menomonee Falls, serves on the board of trustees for Saint Francis de Sales Seminary, St. Francis, Catholic Community Foundation, Milwaukee, and Camp Manito-wish YMCA, Boulder Junction. Libby, a convert to Catholicism from Episcopalian roots in 2010 and former first-grade teacher, served on the board of directors for First Stage Children’s Theater, volunteers at their sons’ school and teaches religious education at their parish.

Sister of the Divine Savior Jenada Fanetti, pastoral care minister at St. Isidore the Farmer Parish in Mt. Calvary for four years, will be recognized for Service to the Church. She has served at St. Isidore for more than 15 years.
Colleen Smith, founder of Emerald Isle Marketing and PR, a member of St. John Vianney Parish, Brookfield, who died April 24 after an eight-year battle with cancer will be recognized for Service in Communication. She began her marketing agency in her home nearly 22 years ago as an extension of her Catholic faith and Irish roots, serving many Catholic organizations throughout, and including, the archdiocese.

Fr. Stephen Lampe, assisting pastor at St. Joseph Parish, Grafton, will be recognized for Service in Ecumenism. He pursued a vocation as a Trappist monk in 2000, only to return to archdiocesan ministry where he has been an active member of the Catholic-Jewish Conference since 2002, worked with the archdiocesan Office for Ecumenical and Interfaith Concerns while serving as acting dean at Saint Francis de Sales Seminary, St. Francis, establishing a rotating course for the study of Judaism, Islam and Chrisitan Orthodoxy. He also serves as an advisory board member of the Lux Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies at Sacred Heart School of Theology, Franklin.

Patrick Carey, who plans to retire after the fall semester as professor and William J. Kelly, S.J. Chair in Catholic Theology at Marquette University, Milwaukee, and member of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, Newton in the Green Bay Diocese, will receive an award for Service in Education. Carey, an internationally recognized theologian, has published more than 20 articles in professional journals and authored more than 20 books on various theological subjects. He is a member of the original Archdiocesan Theology Implementation Committee, founded in the late 90s, that helped develop the archdiocesan high school theology curriculum.

Dr. Michael White, a physician with a private practice in Germantown for 25 years, and active member of St. Boniface Parish, Germantown, will be recognized for Service to Families. Dr. White, who has eight children with his wife, Debra, has helped increase awareness of Natural Family Planning in the archdiocese, and is a longtime member of the Milwaukee Guild of the Catholic Medical Association, serving in many capacities, including president. He has served as in an advisory capacity to the archbishop on the Archdiocesan Healthcare and Bioethics Committee since 2008. He volunteers presenting talks for the Engaged Enrichment Ministry of the Nazareth Project, high school students and Christian formation programs, and in activities related to Catholic education, including physicals for student athletes at Marquette University, Milwaukee, and medical support for the “Soles for Catholic Education” Walk.

Jesús Villanueva, director of music and liturgy at St. Adalbert and St. Rafael the Archangel parishes, Milwaukee, will be recognized for Service in Liturgy. He has participated in archdiocesan events, including the 2014 synod, Hispanic Eucharistic Congress, Good Friday Via Crucis outdoor procession, Mass at Mexican Fiesta and the Hispanic Pilgrimage to Holy Hill.

Michael and Mary Cesarz, members of Lumen Christi Parish, Mequon, will receive an award for their Service to the Missions. In 1991, the couple helped create a twinning relationship between their parish, formerly St. James, and priests of the Missionary Fraternity of Mary, Guatemala, supporting overseas priests by coordinating room and board with parish families and recruiting parish members to help the priests improve their English. They also schedule mission co-op visits within the archdiocese and throughout the U.S. and Canada to help gain financial support for the order.

Fr. Thomas Suriano, a senior priest of the archdiocese who leads Bible studies every other week at Waukesha County Jail and serves as a weekend assisting priest at Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, St. Francis, will be recognized for Service to the Priesthood. He has devoted his life to studying and sharing Scriptures with the most in need, and has served as a faculty member at Saint Francis de Sales Major Seminary, St. Francis, pastoral team member and administrator at St Leo Parish, Milwaukee, pastoral team member and pastor at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Milwaukee, and pastor at St. Patrick Parish, Whitewater.

Fr. Jerome Herda, shared pastor of St. Eugene Parish, Fox Point, and St. Monica Parish, Whitefish Bay, will be recognized for Service to the Priesthood. Fr. Herda, a diocesan priest for nearly 25 years, has served as team member, St. Alphonsus Parish, Greendale; pastoral minister, Divine Savior Holy Angels High School, Milwaukee; team member, St. Adalbert Parish, South Milwaukee; priest-secretary for then-Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan. He has also served on the Archdiocesan Priest Pension board and board of directors for St. Thomas More High School, Milwaukee.

Deacon Richard Niggemann, member of St. Mary Visitation Parish, Elm Grove, and chaplain at the Waukesha County Jail for 18 years, will be recognized for Service in Society. At the jail, he has assisted with religious visitations and Bible study, and has spent more than 10 years as a minister at the Milwaukee County Children’s Detention Center. He also serves as a member on the Deacon Personnel Board and Dismas Ministry. He and his wife, Andrea, deliver clothes on behalf of their parish to the Guest House of Milwaukee.

Annika Wallander, 17, a senior at Waukesha North High School and member of St. William Parish in Waukesha will receive the John Paul II Youth Award. Since being diagnosed with Motor Tic Disorder at age 8 and later Tourette’s syndrome, she has made helping young girls affected by the same neurological disorder a priority. In addition to participating in youth ministry missions in middle and high school, she serves as a counselor for the Tourette Syndrome Camp Organization at Camp Duncan, Chicago, during the summer.

Kyle Kaczmarek, a student at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and catechist at his home parish St. Clare Parish, Wind Lake, since high school will receive the John Paul II Youth Award. He is involved in the parish council, helps with the living Stations of the Cross performed by the junior high school religious education students at his parish each year, and has been involved with the Boy Scouts of America for 17 years, earning the highest rank attainable, Eagle Scout.