The Archdiocese of Louisville’s Office of Multicultural Ministry honored 10 young people eight adults and a parish at its 36th annual African American Catholic Leadership Awards dinner the evening of Feb. 3.
The event took place at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Louisville and drew more than 300 individuals, including lay people, religious and members of the clergy.
In the evening’s closing remarks, Archbishop Shelton J. Fabre thanked African Americans for their “enduring faith.”
He also spoke to the young honorees, thanking them, too, for their faith. Because of them, the archbishop said he has great hope in the future of the church.
During the awards presentation, the young people expressed their gratitude to God and to their families, schools and faith communities for forming them to be leaders.
Archbishop Fabre told them he was moved by the “depth of your understanding of who we are as a church,” an imperfect institution on a mission from Jesus Christ.
Each of the 10 young people received a Rodriq McCravy Scholarship Award, which grants scholarship money for high school and college. The late Rodriq McCravy was a leader in Trinity High School’s class of 1986, according to the Office of Multicultural Ministry. He died the following year. Newton McCravy III, Rodriq’s brother, served as the master of ceremonies at the event and told the students that the award in his brother’s honor meant a lot to his family.
In addition to the youth, the office presented the Acacia Award — its highest honor — to Dr. Paul Sherman and his wife Susan Sherman of St. Margaret Mary Church. St. Bernadette Church’s Moving Towards Oneness ministry was also recognized with the Acacia Award. Moving Towards Oneness is an initiative of the Office of Multicultural Ministry meant to improve race relations by helping parishes build relationships across cultures.
The Acacia Award is named for the tree, known for its life-giving qualities in many African societies “because of its deep-root system, stability and resilience,” said an announcement from the office. Like the Acacia tree, the award recipients “give life to our community and provide hope.”
The Genevieve Boone Award was presented to Jocqueline Frierson-Stamps, a member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church. The award recognizes “trailblazers in the areas of cultural enrichment, education and formation from an Africentric perspective,” according to the office.
In accepting the award, Frierson-Stamps said, “We can all be trailblazers. … As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., said, ‘Not everybody can be famous, but everybody can be great because greatness is determined by service.’ ”
Five people received the Deacon James and M. Annette Mandley-Turner African American Leadership Award, which recognizes individuals who have “demonstrated leadership in serving the African American community.”
They are: Dr. Michael Brooks and Dorothy Ernest of St. Martin de Porres Church; Maria Arlene Spalding-Pasley of Holy Rosary Church in Springfield, Ky.; and Margaret Reed and Mary Tyler of St. Augustine Church.