Catholic Charities’ annual celebration recognizes impact in communities

Press Release
Contact: Rowena Daly, Media Relations Manager, 667-600-2007

(Nov. 1, 2018 – Baltimore, MD) – Three outstanding members of the Catholic Charities’ community received the organization’s highest honors at The Meaning of the Movement: An Evening with Catholic Charities Tuesday night. These individuals stand out as extraordinary examples of selfless commitment to Catholic Charities’ mission to provide care and services that improve the lives of Marylanders in need.

Msgr. Arthur F. Valenzano Joyful Servant Award
Most Rev. Denis J. Madden, Auxiliary Bishop, Archdiocese of Baltimore

Named in memory of the late rector of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and a member of our Board of Trustees, this award recognizes an individual who touches the lives of thousands of Marylanders with especially selfless joy.

Bishop Madden is a clinical psychologist who, over the years, has served on the faculty at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, as director of the Semester Abroad program for the University of Notre Dame, and as a family counselor for Catholic Charities. Beyond the borders of Baltimore, he traveled to Israel and served on the Ecumenical Institute of Tantur in Jerusalem. He was also chief negotiator between the three ecclesiastical authorities responsible for the repair of the dome of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. He and others established the Accord Foundation, to support joint humanitarian projects between Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. He served as vice president of the Pontifical Mission for Palestine and as associate secretary general of the Catholic Near-East Welfare Association, responding to urgent humanitarian need and fostering inter-religious relationships. Bishop Madden is particularly dedicated to finding interfaith solutions for, and prevention of, violence, leading community walks and other on-the-ground initiatives to reduce conflict.

Distinguished Service Award
Carl Markowitz, Gallagher Services volunteer

The Distinguished Service Award is given to an individual or group that exemplifies or significantly supports compassionate caregiving and service, has personal commitment to our work, and cherishes the Divine within those we serve.

Carl Markowitz first got involved with Catholic Charities’ Gallagher Services 25 years ago, when he sought support for his son, Mason, who has intellectual disabilities. Since then, he has served on no fewer than six committees and groups dedicated to improving and enhancing the support Gallagher Services officers to adults with intellectual disabilities, some of them for many years. He helped found a Christmas concert that eventually became the annual Catholic Charities Christmas Festival, benefitting a Catholic Charities division or program each year, and has co-chaired the event with his wife. Carl is part of the fabric of Gallagher Services.

Anne Lindsey Otenasek Youth Service Award
Severna Park High School Thespian Society

The Anne Lindsey Otenasek Youth Service Award goes each year to a high school or college student or group, in recognition of outstanding volunteer service with Catholic Charities. It is given in memory of Anne Lindsey Otenasek, an especially dedicated, teenaged Catholic Charities volunteer who was lost in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988.

Last year, The Severna Park High School Thespian Society adopted Sarah’s House, a Catholic Charities program for women and children experiencing homelessness in Anne Arundel County, as its charity of choice. Led by Society President Alena Carhart, the student performers invited the children of Sarah’s House to be exclusive audience members at their dress rehearsals and volunteered after school to help the Sarah’s House kids with their homework. Through the sale of tee shirts and other items, and through some of the proceeds for their own ticket sales, they raised $14,000 for Sarah’s House.

Mission In Action

Catholic Charities also recognized five employees with its 2018 Mission in Action award. This honor is presented to select employees, nominated by their colleagues for their consistent and exemplary demonstration of Catholic Charities’ commitments to dignity, compassion, humility, collaboration, excellence, and integrity.

These five recipients include Carmel Deckelman, M.D., Psychiatrist, Villa Maria Community Resources; Susan Madder, R.N., Nurse, St. Vincent’s Villa Residential Treatment Center; John Matthews-Bey, Lead Teacher, Catholic Charities Head Start of Baltimore City; Paula Sawka-Ferris, House Counselor, Gallagher Services; and Regan Vaughan, Director of Advocacy.

“All of these individuals live our values to love, serve, teach and work for justice,” said Catholic Charities Executive Director Bill McCarthy. “We thank each and every one of our supporters for all the ways you have helped to create a smoother path for Marylanders in need.”

Catholic Charities’ impact

The annual celebration provides an opportunity for Catholic Charities to thank its volunteers, staff, and supporter for their dedication to improving the lives of others in Baltimore City and the nine counties of Central Maryland. In FY 2018, Catholic Charities assisted the following individuals and communities:

  • 404 people found permanent housing
  • 335 found jobs (about half with benefits)
  • 534,126 meals were served to those in need
  • Safe Streets of Sandtown-Winchester intervened in 515 conflicts, preventing them from becoming violent
  • 56,422 people received emergency services and/or case management
  • 571 unaccompanied minors were reunited with families or sponsors
  • 9,680 people, including children, received behavioral health care

Catholic Charities of Baltimore is Maryland’s largest private provider of human services, with more than 80 programs in 200 locations throughout Maryland. We offer assistance to children and families, people experiencing poverty or homelessness, individuals with intellectual disabilities, immigrants and seniors without regard to religion, race or other circumstances.