Unity-Service-Joy (APM Banquet)

Unity - Service - Joy

By Jamie MoloneyPhotos by Sr. Mary Anne Schaenzer APM Annual Banquet, May 22, 2018


Keynote Speaker: Fran Donnelly, BVM Amazing and passion.  These two words showed up within the first sentence that Fran Donnelly, BVM, said as the keynote speaker for the APM Annual Banquet.  She greeted us as “amazing men and women” who have passion in sharing our beliefs with those whom we serve.  Her talk, “Happiness in the Midst of Reality,” reflected a very deep understanding and recognition of our roles in ministry.  She reminded us that “we are about God’s work and not our own,” and that is why we are able to get through the tough times, while still ministering in joy and faith.

Fran acknowledges the difficulties our world faces, and how we, as pastoral ministers, fit into this world.  To quote her exact words, “the world is so messed up and we are called to articulate and model lives of service, joy, and right now, more than ever, UNITY.”  Each of us is able to do this, as long as we depend on God for “strength and fortitude.”  Happiness, then, depends on ourselves and God, “if I am in right relationship with my God, my family, my friends, my co-workers; then my happiness will be deep and solid.”


Experiences and blessings, both the good and bad, have all contributed to making Fran happy, including the Cubs winning the World Series, as do each of our own experiences and blessings.

Fran shared with us Fr. James Martin’s “Five Things for a Happier New Year,” which reminds us of “how simple it is to work on being happy:” be a little kinder, relax a bit more, enjoy nature more, be a little more grateful, and pray just a tiny bit more.


Mary Mulheron Award Winners:

Kay Demarais, the winner for St. Catherine University, presented by Deb Organ

Lisa Amos, St Peter’s in Mendota, is the winner for APM, presented by Sue Vento.


Lisa Amos, selected from APM’s current membership, received this year’s Mary Mulheron Award.  In her thank you to us, she spoke about our vocation as ministers.  “Our work is really the work of building relationships.”  In fact, she took this one step further, calling us pastoral ministers “superheroes” and “relationship building is our superpower.”  She beautifully described our roles in pastoral care by how “we facilitate and witness the deepening of the relationship between Christ and those with whom we walk.”  Spoken like a true pastoral care minister!  Congratulations, Lisa!


As the banquet came to a close, Archbishop Hebda gave us a very special blessing.  His support of the pastoral ministry we each do in our day-to-day lives, and the support we give to each other, continues to strengthen us and be food for our journey in ministry.  Let us go forth in unity, service, and joy.





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