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Demetrius Gallitzin

"Apostle of the Alleghenies"




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Prince Gallitzin Cross Award recipients honored

by Kelly Urban

Johnstown Tribune Democrat - 7 June 2008

CRESSON, PA — It was an evening to celebrate.

Twelve people received the Prince Gallitzin Cross Award Saturday at a dinner ceremony held at Cosgrave Center on the Mount Aloysius College campus.

The awards were presented by Bishop Joseph Adamec, bishop of the Altoona-Johnstown Catholic Diocese, and are bestowed on individuals for their continuous service to the church and the Lord.

“I look forward to this annual event of recognizing those who carry on the spirit of the servant of God, Demetrius Gallitzin, within our diocesan church,” Adamec said. “It is a way of encouraging each other on our way into the reign of God.”

The award was established in 1990 to mark the 150th anniversary of the death of prince and priest Gallitzin.

Recipients are nominated by pastors, campus ministers and the bishop after receiving recommendations from individuals and parish councils.

Mary Pettenati, a member of St. Joseph Church in Coupon, said at first she didn’t believe she had been selected.

“I thought they had made a mistake,” she said. “It’s been my goal in life to make my family and friends happy and proud of me and what a better way than this.”

Pettenati is involved at her church as a lector and Eucharistic minister and has served as president of the church council.

“Whatever needs done, I do because that is what Christians should do,” she said.

She added that the award represents another milestone in her life.

“It’s a stepping stone to heaven,” Pettenati said.

Clare Furnary, a member of Our Mother of Sorrows Church, said she is deeply honored to be among the 2008 recipients.

“Prince Gallitzin was a pioneer in establishing his church, and I feel like that because I founded Birthright,” she said. “When I started Birthright, I had many fears and relied on prayer and people for guidance, and I guess that’s how Gallitzin must have felt.”

Furnary is active with Birthright’s board and serves as a lector and fundraising organizer at her church.

After devoting 26 years to Birthright, Furnary said she’s ready to slow down a bit and enjoy her loved ones.

“I want to spend time with my husband, kids and grandkids,” she said.

Other recipients include: Eileen Bohensky, SS. Casimir & Emerich Church, Johnstown; the Very Rev. Neil Dadey, pastor, St. John the Evangelist Church, Bellefonte, and the Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha Church, Penns Valley; Cynthia Dirsmith, Good Shepherd Church, State College; Mary Gebhardt, St. Catherine of Siena Church, Duncansville; Mary Marlett, St. Aloysius Church, Cresson; William McKinney Sr., St. Columba Church, Johnstown; Cynthia McMullen, Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel Church, Loretto; George Shevenock, St. Therese of the Child Jesus Church, Altoona; the Rev. Monsignor Timothy Swope, pastor, Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel Church, Loretto; and the Very Rev. Paul Turnbull, pastor, Our Mother of Sorrows Church, Johnstown.