Gallitzin Cross Award recipients honored
by Kelly Urban
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
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
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.