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Demetrius Gallitzin

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‘One Of The Best Things We Do. . .’

On Behalf Of Diocesan Church, Bishop Honors Fifteen Who Share Spirit Of Reverend Prince Gallitzin

The Catholic Register - 30 May 2005

Photos And Text By Monsignor Timothy Stein

HONOREES: Bishop Joseph V. Adamec is pictured with the 16th annual class of Prince Gallitzin Cross Award honorees. Shown are (left to right) First row: Father Silvan Rouse C.P., Sister Agnes Scott C.S.A., Sister Catherine Paff O.S.F., Ernest and Marcella Salvi; Janet and Francis (Bud) Bloom. Second row: Monsignor Paul D. Panza, Father Leonard E. Voytek, Barbara P. Mayernick, Joseph B. Eckels, Bishop Joseph, Craig J. Rolish, James R. Eckert, Aileen C. Ropp and Father Walter J. Moll Jr.

    Mount Aloysius College in Cresson has a history tied closely to the story of the Reverend Prince Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin.

    The Sisters of Mercy who sponsor the college first came to the Allegheny Mountains of Cambria County to fulfill the dying priest’s wish for women religious to minister to his flock in Loretto. Their first convent was established there in 1848; they moved to the Cresson campus some 50 years later.

    With a history that links it to the earliest history of the Altoona - Johnstown Diocese, Mount Aloysius College was a fitting setting for the 16th annual Prince Gallitzin Cross Awards Dinner held Saturday, May 21 in the newly - renovated Cosgrave Student Center. Bishop Joseph V. Adamec and the over 200 dinner guests were welcomed to “our beautiful and growing campus” by John H. Anderson, the college’s dean of institutional advancement, on behalf of Sister Mary Ann Dillon, college president.

    And as Anderson spoke, the Cresson campus seemed to put on a particularly beautiful welcome as two rainbows wrapped themselves around the scene, prompting expressions of delight from guests who were drawn to the large windows in the Cosgrave dining room to take in the sight.

    As he made his remarks prior to the presentation of the 15 awards, Bishop Joseph noted that the double rainbow was a particularly apt symbol for the event which he characterized as “one of the best things we do in this diocesan Church. We’ve been doing it since 1990, and we’ve been doing it ever since.”

    Bishop Joseph rehearsed the well - known story of the Russian aristocrat who in 1795 became the second priest ordained in the United States, and came to Loretto in 1799, remaining there until his death in 1840. “When we were thinking of creating a diocesan award, where else could we turn but to the Reverend Prince,” the Bishop reflected. “He was someone who gave up an earthly kingdom, wealth, power, authority, distinction, family, to work for the heavenly kingdom in these Allegheny Mountains.”
    It was “his spirit of dedication, his service of the Lord, overcoming obstacles, being there for others, that we wanted to recognize,” said Bishop Joseph. “We are fortunate in this local Church to have many people who are like him - - many people who share his spirit.”
    The Bishop noted that many recipients of the cross are people who are well known throughout the diocesan community, while others are known only within their local parishes. No matter who the recipients of the cross are, or what they have done to merit the cross, “I consider the award an important distinction,” the Bishop said, “and I ask the recipients to wear them - - to show them off, so that - - perhaps - - other people might be energized to want to have one, and so we can show others that we have such people among us.”


COUPLES: Among the 15 persons honored with the Prince Gallitzin Cross Award this year were two married couples. Shown with Bishop Joseph V. Adamec in the photo at left are Francis (Bud) and Janet Bloom of Basilica of Saint Michael the Archangel Parish in Loretto. At right are Ernest and Marcella Salvi of Saint Rose of Lima Parish in Altoona. 

    According to the Bishop “We have been complemented by representatives of the Holy See for doing this. Many Dioceses do not have awards of their own.” The Prince Gallitzin Cross Award, he said gives him the chance “to express my gratitude for what the recipients do for this diocesan Church in the spirit of the Reverend Prince.”

    As he concluded his remarks, Bishop Joseph thanked the dinner guests - - family members and friends of the new honorees, and past recipients of the award “for being here to support them.”

    Monsignor George B. Flinn, vicar general for pastoral life and ministry, rector of the Cathedral of Saint John Gualbert in Johnstown, and a 2003 recipient of the award, presented the 16th annual class of honorees to Bishop Joseph.

    This year’s awardees included:

bulletFrancis (Bud) and Janet Bloom of the Basilica of Saint Michael the Archangel Parish in Loretto, honored for living the life-style of Prince Gallitzin by helping others and by being faithful and welcoming to visitors to Loretto;
bulletJoseph B. Eckels of Saint Mary Parish in Altoona, receiving the award for his generous attitude of service in a variety of parish ministries including the Christian Initiation Team;
bulletJames R. Eckert of Saint John the Evangelist Parish in Bellefonte, recognized for a love for the Eucharist, Christian Initiation Ministry, and steady service contributing to the growth of his parish and the Diocese;
bulletBarbara P. Mayernick of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus Parish in Altoona, noted for over 50 years of parish ministry and a desire to continually be of service to others;
bulletFather Walter J. Moll Jr., pastor of Saint Joseph Parish in Portage, honored for his integrity, intelligence, compassion and holiness in his pastoral ministry;
bulletFranciscan Sister Catherine Paff, director of religious education at Saint Therese of the Child Jesus Parish in Johnstown, for 62 years a member of the Franciscan Sisters of Millvale;
bulletMonsignor Paul D. Panza, ordained in 1954 and dedicating himself to over 50 years of administrative and parish ministry in the Altoona - Johnstown Diocese;
bulletCraig J. Rolish, a member of Saint Benedict Parish in Johnstown, chairman of the Diocese’s Mutual Aid Plan, a member of the diocesan and parish Finance Councils, dedicated to good stewardship;
bulletAileen C. Ropp, a member of Queen of Peace Parish in Patton, director of religious education at Saint Bernard Parish in Hastings, noted for her spiritual, prayerful, considerate and humble presence;
bulletPassionist Father Silvan Rouse, superior of Saint Mary’s House of Greater Solitude in Bedford, recognized for his ministry as priest, confessor, spiritual director, counselor and contemplative;
bulletErnest and Marcella Salvi, members of Saint Rose of Lima Parish in Altoona, who have assumed leadership roles in the parish with humility and dedication, energetic supporters of Saint Rose School;
bulletSister Agnes Scott of Saint Mary Parish in Nanty Glo, a Sister of Saint Agnes honored for her patience and kindness in her ministry to the temporal and spiritual needs of the sick and homebound; and 
bullet Father Leonard E. Voytek, pastor of Saint Elizabeth Anne Seton Parish in Windber, Vicar Forane of the Cambria Deanery, noted for being fair and impartial in merging two Windber parish communities.

    Delivering the opening invocation at the dinner was Sister of Charity Donna Marie Leiden, principal of Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown, who received the Prince Gallitzin Cross Award in 2004. The closing Benediction was offered by Monsignor Timothy P. Stein, pastor of Saint Mary Parish in Altoona and editor of The Catholic Register, a 1995 honoree.