St. Joseph Parish to receive honors for social service Carroll Co. church lauded by cardinal, charity group

January 15, 1996|By Ernest F. Imhoff | Ernest F. Imhoff,SUN STAFF

A Carroll County parish reaches out to the needy in Maryland, as well as among the Incas of Peru. Along the way, it tries to help people with AIDS, empty stomachs and jail time, and those facing racism, health hazards or spiritual pain.

For those and other efforts, St. Joseph Parish -- considered to have one of the strongest social action programs in the Archdiocese of Baltimore -- will be honored by Cardinal William H. Keeler and Catholic Charities with a distinguished-service award at a Jan. 23 ceremony.

Charles L. Benton, former city and state budget director, and three others also will be honored during the dinner at the Stouffer Renaissance Harborplace Hotel.

Under its pastor, the Rev. Theodore K. Cassidy, S.M., and Joseph Markovic, parish council president, St. Joseph has organized its 2,000 families into 30 small "communities" that try to focus on acts of charity and justice. The parish conducts services at the church on Liberty Road in Eldersburg and at another sanctuary on Main Street in Sykesville.

"God's spirit works through people examining their experiences," said Father Cassidy, who has been pastor for nine years and is a member of the Society of Mary of Paris, or Marianists, and a former theology teacher at Cardinal Gibbons High School in Baltimore. "It's been shown that people worship well who do outreach the best, who give more to their community."

Mary Pulick, a mother of nine, is a pastoral associate encouraging the theology of Christian service in parish's Christian Service Commission. She oversees a number of parish ministries, including:

* A group working closely with St. Edward's parish of Poplar Grove Street in Baltimore. The group will meet this month to discuss racism, the church's commitment to ending racism, inner-city education and related matters.

* A group that supports the efforts of Mother of Redeemer Parish in Callao, Peru, to teach electronics and sewing, and to improve social justice among the Incas.

* A social action committee that takes 10 percent of the parishioners' regular donations and decides how the money will be distributed among local, national and international groups.

In addition to those efforts, parishioners cook and serve meals and deliver desserts to Our Daily Bread, a kitchen for the homeless in Baltimore; study environmental hazards; help coordinate the Carroll County food fund; offer pregnancy counseling; and conduct services for female prisoners at Jessup and prisoners at the laundry facilities prison in Sykesville.

Also to be honored are:

* Mr. Benton, who through 50 years of public service as Baltimore and state budget director "shared his Christian values with colleagues, supporters and the public, encouraging them to care for people in need." He served for years on the Catholic Charities' leadership breakfast committee.

* Gloria Jerry, for more than 30 years "a foundation of loving concern and care for residents of St. Elizabeth Rehabilitation and Nursing Center," part of the Jenkins community for the care of the elderly in Catonsville. Director of medical records at St. Elizabeth, she has been a nursing assistant, an assistant in the business office and coordinator of volunteers.

* Dr. Byunk Kuk Cho of Seoul, South Korea, who is credited with helping thousands of Korean children since her medical career began in 1963. A member of the staff at Holt Children's Services of South Korea who has had offices in Oregon since 1976, she "has helped ensure the health and well-being of children who are placed in loving homes through Catholic Charities' international adoption program."

* Hilary Rath, a Notre Dame Preparatory School student who will be honored for "a commitment to others that should inspire us all."

She has performed hours of volunteer work at Camp Umoja, a summer day camp at Notre Dame for inner-city children; at St. Vincent's Center for abused children; and at homebuilding projects -- similar to those of Habitat for Humanity -- in Tennessee, New Hampshire and Ohio.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.