Four Southern Tier parishioners were recognized with Works of Love awards at the annual Catholic Charities Parish Social Ministry Dinner. The banquet took place June 13 at the Hill Top Inn in Elmira.
Honorees were noted for their commitment to social ministry. They are:
- Patty Coughlin, Christ the Redeemer Parish, Elmira: Patty, a nurse by profession, willingly takes part in such activities as organizing Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets for neighbors in need, promoting Operation Rice Bowl, gathering signatures on Diocesan Public Policy advocacy weekend and championing the rights of the unborn. She always brings fresh, new ideas to the discussion at social-ministry committee meetings. Patty is a member of the local Norton family, well-known in Catholic social-ministry circles for their service to their parish and community.
- Sue Kick, St. Mary Our Mother Parish, Horseheads: Sue has served as the president/chair of her parish’s social-ministry committee for the past two years. An employee of Corning Inc, she brings solid planning and decision-making skills to the committee’s work. Sue networks with Catholic Charities to stay informed on diocesan, state and national bishops’ conference priorities. She also initiated the practice of meeting with the pastor, Father Christopher Linsler, to brief him on social-ministry plans and to gain his insight and input.
- Mary Jo Semler, St. Mary Southside Parish, Elmira: A parish social minister for more than 30 years, she first became involved in her parish’s efforts to resettle Amerasians as part of the diocesan refugee-resettlement program, also promoting resettlement among other area faith communities. The parish and its partners sponsored 25 families over several years. Mary Jo currently serves as secretary for the parish social-ministry committee and helps coordinate the diocesan Public Policy Committee’s educational and advocacy efforts. She has traveled to Albany to participate in the annual New York State Catholic Conference Public Policy Forum.
- Betty Walker, St. Mary Our Mother Parish, Horseheads: Betty has served the parish as a social minister for more than 20 years and is keeper of the history of the social-ministry committee’s work and development. Her particular social-ministry focus is on food and hunger, and she serves on behalf of the parish at the Horseheads Food Pantry.</