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  • Oct
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Ministry of laity to be recognized at banquet

Posted By October 10, 2013 | 12:44 pm | Lead Story #1

By Patricia O’Connell
CFP Correspondent

WORCESTER – A number of people and groups throughout the diocese will be honored tonight at the Lay Ministry Banquet, an event being held at the DCU Convention Center.
This is taking place as part of the Year of Faith, called by Pope Benedict XVI. Those being honored were selected by 25 parishes in the Diocese and by the Catholic Schools Board.
One of the individuals singled out for this award is Stanley Skamarycz, a parishioner at St. Edward the Confessor in Westminster.
He is very active in his parish, and he’s been a driving force behind the annual fall festival. Each year he makes trays of kaputsa to sell at the festival.
“I claim the title of Kapusta King,” he said, just before describing how he prepares the traditional Polish dish for a crowd.
He uses 60 pounds of cabbage, 25 pounds of sauerkraut, 18 pounds of smoked kielbasa and 10 pounds of braised pork. A local pizza parlor pitches in to help shred the cabbage, which Mr. Skamarycz said would take many hours if he tried to do this by hand.
The night before the Saturday festival, he and his son cook the kapusta, let it cool and refrigerate it for the next day.
This year, as it always does, the kapusta sold out. Mr. Skamarycz said many people of Polish descent come from neighboring Gardner to get some.
It’s a secret recipe, handed down from his mother. His son is the only other person alive right now who knows how to make this dish, in the same way with the exact  ingredients Mr. Skamarycz uses.
“I’m proud of my Polish heritage,” he said.
Father William E. Champlin, pastor of St. Edward, said he selected 85-year-old Mr. Skamarycz for the award because of his involvement in a number of different ministries.
“He’s very reliable and he’ll do whatever he can to help St. Edward’s out,” noted Father Champlin. “He’s a faith-filled man and he comes across as much younger than his years.”
St. Anna Parish in Leominster is honoring the St. Anna Society, a group of women who regularly help with various parish functions and fundraisers.
Father Frederick D. Fraini III, said the women recently raised a few thousand dollars to cover the costs of a new religious education program, which included books and other materials.
They are also sponsoring a missionary trip for parishioner Jessica Valera, a college student who attends Franciscan University of Steubenville in Steubenville, Ohio.
Father Fraini recently had an installation Mass, celebrated by Bishop McManus, as he assumed his new role of leading St. Anna’s. He said the society hosted the reception afterward.
“These ladies generously came together,” he noted. “They basically catered the whole meal out of their pockets.”
“They’re just magnificent women and they deserve to be recognized for what they do,” he added.
This is the fourth time awards have been given to parishioners from around the diocese. Previous banquets have been held in 2000, 2004 and, most recently, in 2009.
“While the overall year (Year of Faith) has been an opportunity to reflect upon the impact of the Second Vatican Council on the life of the Church, one reality of the Church’s mission that the Council vigorously promoted was the role of our lay people,” said Bishop McManus. “As noted in the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Chapter IV: ‘the laity can be called in different ways to more immediate cooperation in the apostolate of the hierarchy, like those men and women who helped the apostle Paul in the Gospel, working hard in the Lord.’”
Guest speaker at the banquet will be diocesan priest, Msgr. James P. Moroney, rector of St. John’s Seminary in Brighton.
Other honorees include: Mary Lou Anderson, Diocesan Catholic Schools Board; Iris Jennings, St. Joseph, Charlton; Cynthia Murphy, St. Denis, Douglas; Holy Family of Nazareth Founding Members, Leominster; Christine Baldiga and David Baldiga (posthumously), St. Gabriel, the Archangel, Mendon/Upton; Aline Bourdeau, Our Lady of the Assumption, Millbury; Stephen and Jill Palmisano, St. Brigid, Millbury; Darlene M. Lavin, St. Joseph, North Brookfield; Eleanor Friend and Dan Carbonneau, St. Roch, Oxford; John and Susan Stone, St. Columba, Paxton.
Also, Sharon Bushway, Carolyn Oberhelman, and Diane Trachimowicz, Religious Education at Prince of Peace, Princeton; Nick Todisco, Director and Catechist, along with Andy Cesnickas, Jaime Cesnickas-Doane, Tracy Flynn, Helena Gagne, Sarah Swift, and Ellie Smith, all catechists of the St. Anne Parish Confirmation Team, Shrewsbury; “Christ Renews His Parish” group, Blessed John Paul II, Southbridge; Sheila Grady, Mary Rice and Una Rice, St. Mary, Uxbridge; Ray and Jean Guerin, Sacred Heart of Jesus, Webster; Samuel and Mary Belluardo, Our Lady of Good Counsel, West Boylston; Curt Fitzmaurice and Monique Connor, Immaculate Heart of Mary, Winchendon.
Worcester Parish honorees include Deacon Francisco Escobar and Fanny Escobar, Cathedral of St. Paul; Lee Morin, Immaculate Conception; Antoinette (Ginger) Rinaldi, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel-Saint Ann; Mark and Lynn Lorusso, Sacred Heart-St. Catherine of Sweden; Michael Pandolfo, Sheila Slik and Therese Murphy, St. Christopher; Michele Belisle, Gerald Collette, Ann Collette, Michelle Deignan, Barbara DelGreco, Betsy Drake, Dolores Ginga, Pat Horgan, and John Horgan, St. Joan of Arc.
“It is fitting that on this 50th anniversary of the Council, and in this Year of Faith, that we reflect on how well lay ministry is helping us all fulfill our call to serve one another by virtue of our baptism,” Bishop McManus noted.