Priest, deacon honored by local group

Record Staff Report
RecordLogo-FMAN UP Louisville, an organization that mentors young men and aims to strengthen marriage and families, honored two members of the Catholic clergy Nov. 19.

Father John Judie, pastor of Christ the King and Immaculate Heart of Mary churches, and Deacon John Churchill received awards at the third annual “MAN UP Awards Banquet” at St. Stephen Church, a Baptist church in West Louisville. In addition, the organization also honored Ben Ruiz, who serves on Catholic Charities’ board, and Dr. Timir Banerjee, whose peacemaking program has been used in local Catholic schools.

MAN UP Louisville is a project of Service for Peace Louisville, an organization that aims to promote peace in the community, according to to its website. An announcement about the awards indicates MAN UP aims to “strengthen men and their extended families through mentoring, peacemaking, justice, reconciliation and shared prosperity.”

The awards event featured a keynote presentation by Gospel recording artist Phillip Carter, who is the director of the Gospel choir at the Jesuit-sponsored Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

During the program, awards were presented to those who demonstrate the group’s five principles for men: to “man up” as an individual, provider, husband, father and community leader.

Father Judie, who serves at two parishes in West Louisville, was honored as a father. The priest serves as a mentor to 20 young men — half of whom are in the United States and the other half of whom are in Africa.

Among the young men are two priests, a religious brother, two seminarians and men with a variety of other vocations, including a social worker, a lawyer, a youth coordinator and a Pentecostal minister. The award citation notes that Father Judie encourages the young men in their education and serves as a father to them.

Deacon Churchill, a retired senior deacon who served for 20 years at St. Augustine Church, was honored as a husband. He has been married to Genevieve Moss since 1955 and together they have three children, seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild. He is a member of the Knights of Peter Claver and several other organizations.

He is a veteran of the U.S. Army and served in Korea. Deacon Churchill, who plays trumpet, graduated from Central High School, the University of Louisville and Spalding College (now university).

Ruiz, CEO of Adhawks Advertising and Public Relations and a member of St. Edward Church, was honored as a community leader. He serves on several boards in addition to Catholic Charities of Louisville, and is working to raise money to help Hispanic and Latino students attend college. The initiative, called 100 Dreamers Kentucky Latino Scholarship Fund, aims to give out 100 scholarships of $1,000 each.

Banerjee, a professor of neurology at the  , was honored as an individual. He created SPAVA (the Society for the Prevention of Aggressiveness and Violence) in 1997 and has taken it to area schools, including Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Louisville.

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