Volunteer Appreciation Mass and Luncheon

May 1, 2014 Mass was held at St. John Kanty Parish in Buffalo

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Sister Johnice and Bishop Malone Distributing the Third Millennium Pins to volunteers

Thursday May 1, 2014 (Feast of St Joseph the Worker.)

A Mass of Thanksgiving took place at Saint John Kanty Church in Buffalo New York to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Response to Love Center and Volunteer Appreciation Day.

Rev. Richard J. Malone Bishop of Buffalo was the main celebrant for the special occasion with celebrants Rev. Msgr. Paul Litwin Chancellor, Rev. Steven Jekielek, Rev. James Fugle, Rev. Fredrick Betti S.J. and Deacons Marc Leadersforf and David Velasquez.

Sister Johnice welcomed all with recognition of the founding of the Response to Love Center some 30 years ago with the help and approval of the late Msgr. Joe Bialek Pastor of St. Adalbert’s at the time.

The music was prepared by Mr. Kevin Durkin and enhanced by the voices of 35 Canisius High School students.

After communion Bishop Malone blessed each volunteer and presented them with a “Third Millennium Pin.” The pin is significant as it is a challenge from Pope Francis to live a spirit of faith, hope and love in their ministry to the poor. After the Mass a buffet was hosted at the Millennium Hotel in Cheektowaga, NY for the Clergy, Sisters, Staff and volunteers. Kathleen Majchrzak, Volunteer Coordinator, prepared the afternoon with song and awards recognition for volunteers.

The awards presented for 2014 included:

“Volunteer of the Year”… respecting the dignity of all and supporting the journey of each person with compassionate presence…

“Saint Matthew Award”… recognizing volunteers who like Jesus invited a friend to “FOLLOW ME” in service to others

“Companions on the Journey”… recognizing those volunteers who count their service in terms of decades rather than days.