June 20, 2016, St. Louis, Missouri – Through the collaborative efforts of the Development, Communications, and Technology Departments, the Adrian Dominican Sisters received two awards from the Catholic Press Association (CPA): second place for best freestanding videos depicting religious life for a Christmas greeting to benefactors and a tie for third place for best annual reports by Catholic non-profit organizations.
The awards were announced June 3 at the conclusion of the CPA’s Annual Catholic Media Conference, “Tweet Me in St. Louis,” held May 31-June 3 in St. Louis, Missouri.
The award-winning video, Christmas Wishes from the Adrian Dominican Sisters, placed between first-place winner Nuns Rock by Catholic Extension and third-place winner Nuns Usher Dying into Heaven by Catholic News Service. Amy Palmer, Director of Development, commissioned the video as part of her donor-centered approach to Development. She and Technology AV Specialist Scott Miller did the voice-over narration of the script; Scott also filmed and edited the video. Also collaborating in the project were Communications Department members Sister Elise D. García, OP, Communications Director, and Ashley LaVigne, Sheila Wathen, and Melinda P. Ziegler.
The Congregation’s 2014-2015 Annual Report, Your Generosity, Our Service, tied with ONE Magazine, the 2015 annual report of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA). Taking first place were the Jesuits for their annual report, Jesuits Transforming Lives. The second-place award recipient was Catholic University of America for Then and Now, their 2014-2015 annual report.
Amy Palmer, Development Director, worked with the Communications Department to ensure that the annual report took on a new focus: the donors. Also involved with the Congregation’s annual report were Sister Elise D. García, OP, editor; Sister Barbara Kelley, OP, copy writer; Melinda D. Ziegler, graphic designer and photographer; and Sister Kathleen M. Schanz, OP, General Council liaison.
By Sister Mary Lou Putrow, OP
June 20, 2016, Port Huron, Michigan – When Mayor Pauline M. Repp of Port Huron, Michigan, declared that so many people had never before been in attendance at the Annual Spirit of Port Huron Awards Ceremony, little did she know that 90 percent of the attendees were from Holy Trinity Parish. They came in support and tribute to Sister Gloria Korhonen, one of two recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Spirit of Port Huron Awards Program was established to recognize citizens who had made a significant contribution to the city. Sister Gloria was among 11 award recipients at the 2016 event, held in the late afternoon of June 13 after a reception at McMorran Lounge.
The Lifetime Achievement Award “bestows special recognition on the rare individual who has consistently and unselfishly given an extraordinary amount of time and personal effort over the course of many years toward the betterment of their community.”
City Council member Rico Ruiz, in presenting the award to Sister Gloria, noted her 53 years of service as music and religious formation teacher at St. Joseph Church in Port Huron – which has since merged with others to become Holy Trinity Parish. Mr. Ruiz – himself a former student of Sister Gloria’s – described her work in collaborating with Grace Episcopal Church to present major vocal works to the community, as well as her key role in United We Sing events. She holds a bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in special education from Wayne State University, Detroit.
“Sister Gloria has inspired many to choose a career path in music or pursue a devotion to music,” Mr. Ruiz noted. “Over the years, she has spent countless hours patiently directing and teaching the Chorale Choir and Celebration Singers. Most importantly, this has been done with a smile on her face.”
Mr. Ruiz concluded his tribute with commentary on Sister Gloria’s character. “She does not judge or carry prejudice,” he noted. “Sister Gloria is one of those rare, dedicated individuals who unselfishly gives of herself to others. We are all beneficiaries of her teaching and her contributions to the community.”
The love and admiration of Sister Gloria’s parishioners was unmistakable as the crowd gave her a standing ovation at her acceptance of the Lifetime Achievement Award.
The parish celebration of Sister Gloria did not end with the ceremony. The parishioners had arranged for a special dinner in an exquisite setting at the Port Huron Township Elks Club. At the conclusion of the evening, the choir members serenated her in gentle harmony with a beautiful blessing. She was chauffeured home in the same style in which she had arrived at the ceremony – in an elegant, vintage car which appeared to be right of the Great Gatsby era.
Adrian Dominican Sisters Sue Schreiber, Janet Fulgenzi, and Mary Lou Putrow were privileged to be part of the celebration and to witness the deep appreciation and affection of the many parishioners for Sister Gloria and her ministry with them.