TOLEDO Bishop Leonard Blair is to present papal and diocesan honors to representatives from parishes and institutions throughout the Diocese of Toledo at a closing centenary vesper service on Pentecost Sunday, which is Sunday, at Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral, 2535 Collingwood Blvd., Toledo, at 5 p.m.
A reception for all awardees and their guests is to follow.
In a statement, Blair said, "As a community of faith it is important that we find ways of saying thank you to one another. After a hundred years as a diocese, it is impossible to thank everyone, but it is possible to identify representative lay individuals and couples, religious and deacons from each parish and institution who exemplify Christian service, and to express our gratitude."
At Blair's request, Pope Benedict XVI has conferred the papal Benemerenti ("well deserved") Medal on 11 individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the wider Catholic community on the diocesan level. The first Benemerenti Medals were bestowed by Pope Pius VI in 1791.
Three of the 11 awardees have ties to Seneca County, including Deacon Floyd Hohman, New Riegel; Deacon Alfredo Diaz, Fremont; and Jack Altenburger, Toledo, former principal at Calvert High School.
At the vespers service, diocesan Centenary Awards also are to be conferred on 139 individuals and couples nominated by parishes and institutions throughout the diocese for outstanding local service.
Local Centenary Award honorees are Evelyn E. Daniel, St. Joseph Catholic Church; Wanda Mills, St. Mary Catholic Church; Sister Mary Charles Scherley, Sisters of St. Francis; Dale Thornton, Mercy Tiffin Hospital; Theodore Rombach, Calvert Catholic Schools; Rita Brickner, St. Andrew Catholic Church; Donald Kromer, St. Patrick Catholic Church; John and Kristin Wood, All Saints Parish; Deacon John Daniel, Sycamore St. Pius X; Kathy Stephenson, Our Lady of Hope; Mary Alice Harbour, Upper Sandusky Transfiguration of the Lord; John Crawford (posthumous), St. Wendelin Catholic Church; Donna Johnson, Our Lady of Consolation; Jane Miller, Bellevue St. Gaspar del Bufalo; Albert and Anna Valko, Bellevue Immaculate Conception; and Margaret Karr, Clyde St. Mary.