Sun, Jun

Diocesan Awards highlight contributions of the faithful to church and community

Diocesan News
Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Cross Award Recipients

SAN BERNARDINO—The Annual Diocesan Awards made room for a new category on May 19 as Bishop Gerald Barnes added his Episcopal Amar Es Entregarse Award to the proceedings.

 Outgoing Serra House Rector, Father Jose Sanz, DLP, Restauranteur Henry Gonzalez, Deacon H.K. Han, Lay Missionary Ana Gmeiner and the Hermanas Evangelizadoras Eucaristicas de los Pobres religious community all received the Bishop’s honor for reflecting his motto, “Love is the total giving of one’s self.”

 “This award just assures me that I need to keep to growing in my faith, I need to keep serving the Church and I need to keep building the Church within myself and with others,” said Gonzalez, whose restaurant provides monthly meals to the poor and homeless at San Bernardino area parishes. 

 For the second year in a row, after a lengthy break, the Diocese also gave the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Cross Award, the highest honor bestowed upon a layperson in the Church by the Vatican. Longtime catechist and religious education minister Mary Ann Andel and Interpretation and Translation Specialist Estela Sanchez were the recipients of the Papal Award. Sanchez was humble in her acceptance, saying she was only fulfilling her duty to the local Church. She dedicated her award to friend and mentor, Maricela Sandoval. Andel expressed gratitude for her own Catholic education and the many formation opportunities she took advantage in her efforts to become a teacher of the faith, herself.

 “It’s so important that what we have, what we’ve learned, we share with each other,” said Andel, whose son, David, is a priest in the Diocese, currently serving as Judicial Vicar.

 In all 89 individuals were honored at the 2017 Diocesan Awards. An afternoon reception at the Diocesan Pastoral Center was held followed by a formal presentation at Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral.

 In addition to the Amar Es Entregarse Award and Papal Award, the St. Bernardine Award, Our Lady of Guadalupe Award and St. John Paul II Youth Award were also given.

The St. Bernardine Award

 The St. Bernardine Award is given to church employees with at least 10 consecutive years of employment, who have significantly impacted the local church through leadership or service. This year’s recipients were:

 Caroline Beatty, Diocesan Office of Parish Assistance; Miryam Cachú, Diocesan Office of the Vice Chancellor/Dept. Apostolic and Ethnic Affairs; Victor Chouinard; Sacred Heart, Palm Desert; Mary Dias, Sacred Heart, Rancho Cucamonga; Yolanda Fabela, Our Lady of the Valley, Hemet.

 Angelica Gallardo, Diocesan Office of Accounting Services; Ursula Hinkson, Diocesan Office of Financial Affairs; Peter Horton, St. George School, Ontario; Susan Janowicz, Our Lady of the Desert, Apple Valley; Herminia (Emmy) Lontoc, St. Catherine of Alexandria, Temecula.

 Ana Loper,  Our Lady of Soledad, Coachella; Ornella McDermott, St. Paul the Apostle, Chino Hills; Eillien Mendez, St. Bernardine, San Bernardino; Victor Mendez, Office of Archives; Liliana Mendez-Chavez, Office of the Bishop; Cynthia (Cindy) A. Minarik, Blessed Sacrament, Twentynine Palms.

 Ryan Rhodes, Sr., St. Kateri Tekakwitha, Banning; David Robles, St. Thomas the Apostle, Riverside; Maria Sell, Corpus Christi, Corona; Elizabeth Sharr, San Secondo D’Asti, San Bernardino.


The Our Lady of Guadulupe Award

 The Our Lady of Guadalupe Award is presented to individuals from the parish or larger community who have demonstrated exemplary generosity, leadership or service for the common good of the Diocese or local community. This year’s recipients were:

 Felipe and Audelia Ambriz, St. Joan of Arc, Victorville; Roy and Nena Ashton, St. Frances of Rome, Wildomar; Dennis Balich, St. Paul the Apostle, Chino Hills; Don Burgett, St. Joseph, Barstow; Peggy Burke, Blessed Sacrament, Twentynine Palms; Anthony Caballero, Our Lady of the Assumption, San Bernardino.

 Carol Carroll, Our Lady of Solitude, Palm Springs; Johnny Cervantes, St. Edward, Corona; Frank Coe Jr., The Holy Name of Jesus, Redlands; Judith Dmello, Christ the Good Shepherd, Adelanto; Gilberto Esquivel, Hispanic Affairs Ministry, San Bernardino; Mary Finch, St. Patrick, Moreno Valley.

 Enrique Gonzales, St. Joseph Mission, Soboba; Josefina Gutierrez, Our Lady of Hope, San Bernardino; Margaret “Miss Peggy” Hayes, St. Anthony, Upland; Apolonio and Magdalena Irigoyen, Holy Innocents, Victorville; Michael Karpman, St. Kateri Tekakwitha, Banning; Anthony (Tony) and Nancy LaCivita, Our Lady of the Desert, Apple Valley.

 Linda Miers, Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral, San Bernardino; Rodrigo Muñoz, Our Lady of Soledad, Coachella; Chau Nguyen, Asian Pacific Ministry, Riverside; SK Andrew Obih, Catholics of African Descent Ministry, San Bernardino; Marcos and Jeannette Quesada, St. Thomas the Apostle, Riverside.

 Blanca Margarita Ramos, Restorative Justice Ministry - Holy Family, Hesperia; Lillie Ristich, Sacred Heart, Palm Desert; Estela Rocha, Our Lady of the Valley, Hemet; Stanley Serbin, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, Yucaipa; Connie Smith, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Rancho Cucamonga; Mary R. Tenorio, St. Catherine of Alexandria, Temecula.

 Matthew Toilolo, St. Bernardine, San Bernardino; Gerry Turgeon, St. Theresa, Palm Springs; John Valdez, Christ the Redeemer, Grand Terrace; Gerry and Ann Walsh, Holy Spirit, Hemet.


The St. John Paul II

 The St. John Paul II Youth Award is given to Catholics from 16 to 20 years old, who carry on the spirit of St. John Paul II of building bridges among people and inspiring others to create peace and harmony. This year’s recipients were:

 Marcos Gregory Mateo Benitez, Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral, San Bernardino; Francesca Chia, Our Lady of Solitude, Palm Springs; Khaeryst Lael Estrella, Our Lady of the Assumption, San Bernardino, Monserat Gonzalez, St. Bernardine, San Bernardino; Jennifer Marquez, Our Lady of Soledad, Coachella.

 Erick Marquez, The Holy Name of Jesus, Redlands; Izabella Martinez, St. Francis de Sales, Riverside; Robert Emiliano Moreno, Blessed Sacrament, Twentynine Palms; Ashley Ciana Papa, St. Paul the Apostle, Chino Hills; Gerald Portea, Aquinas High School-St. Adelaide, Highland;  Christopher Ramirez, Sacred Heart, Rancho Cucamonga

 Michaela (Mica) Reyes, St. Anthony, Upland; Kaylee Nicole Robles, Christ the Redeemer, Grand Terrace; Amari Ruiz, St. Patrick, Moreno Valley; Rebecca E. Salas, Sacred Heart, Palm Desert; Scott (Scotty) Van Horn, Holy Innocents, Victorville; Luis S. Villaneda, Our Lady of the Desert, Apple Valley; Jake Wandro, St. Thomas the Apostle, Riverside.