Christifideles Award

| November 3, 2012

In an increasingly secular society like ours, the concept of religion itself seems to come under attack more and more.  Religion is sometimes characterized as being responsible for nothing but wars, divisions and hatred (although in this regard I always like to point out that the bloodiest century in history was the 20th century, thanks to Nazism and Communism, both of which wanted to expel God from society).  Yet I believe that most people are wise enough to know that, while every religion is comprised of sinners, religion itself is a supremely good thing…and one of the main reasons it is good is because of the great service that religious people do in God’s name.

You don’t have to look very far to see all the good works that are done in the name of religion: Catholic Charities is the largest private network of social service organizations in the country, serving millions of people every year; the Salvation Army helps those in need not only at Christmastime, but year-round, serving tens of millions of people.  And countless churches, temples and mosques offer food pantries, homeless shelters, counseling services, etc. to those in need.

In the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, one of the ways that we honor service is by the Christifideles (“Christian faithful”) Award, which is given annually to lay people who, by participating in parish life, have demonstrated exemplary service to God and their neighbor.  Every pastor is asked to nominate someone from their parish each year.  I am pleased to say that the 2012 Christifideles Award winner for St. Beatrice Parish is Barbara Piltaver (who, of course, is the publisher/editor of People & Places).

Barb has truly shown outstanding service to our parish, as well as to the Schiller Park Community.  Some (though not all) of her contributions include: Parish Council and Finance Council member, Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, Lector, Co-Chair for our Parish Transformation Committee, fundraising, producing liturgical booklets for the parish, developing our Prayer Garden, and always being willing to help with whatever is needed.

Cardinal Francis George will present the Christifideles Awards to recipients from around the Archdiocese on November 4th at Holy Name Cathedral.  Unfortunately, neither Barbara nor I will be able to attend on that date, so her family will accept the award in her place.  I will then have the honor of personally presenting the award to Barb at the 12:15pm Mass on Nov. 11th at St. Beatrice.

Please join me in congratulating Barbara for this well-deserved award.  For those who want to see what good effect religion can have in this world, I would point you to people like Barbara Piltaver, someone whose faith in Jesus Christ inspires and guides her in serving her fellow brothers and sisters.  God bless you, Barbara!

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Category: Articles, Local Church News

About the Author ()

Fr. Rob Schultz is a lifelong resident of the Chicago Archdiocese and has been the pastor of St. Beatrice Catholic Church in Schiller Park since July, 2009.

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