Good news abounds at 22nd annual Mother Lange awards

Sister Rita Michelle Proctor, superior general of the Baltimore-based Oblate Sisters of Providence, speaks at the Feb. 8 Mother Mary Lange Awards ceremony at Martin’s West in Woodlawn. (Courtesy Office of Black Catholic Ministries)

WOODLAWN – Given that Sister Rita Michelle Proctor would apply enthusiasm to a reading of the nutritional label on a can of soup, imagine the energy the superior general of the Oblate Sisters of Providence brought to all of the good news she shared in her remarks at the 22nd annual Mother Lange awards banquet Feb. 8 at Martin’s West.

Sponsored by the Office of Black Catholic Ministries, the event honors not just contributors to parish life in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, but Mother Lange, who helped found the Oblate Sisters in 1829.

Sister Rita Michelle shared that her order’s week began with a 7:30 a.m. liturgy Feb. 3, during which they welcomed their newest postulant, Delphine Okoro. She has a master’s degree in marriage and family counseling, and dual citizenship in Cameroon and Nigeria.

“God is still calling women to religious life,” said Sister Rita Michelle, who noted that the Oblate Sisters welcomed Okoro on the anniversary of the day Mother Lange died in 1882.

The Mother Lange awards are given for leadership, service and youth ministry, and Sister Rita Michelle also grew effusive when discussing the honorees from the latter category.

“These young people have chosen to be active participants, and not just spectators,” Sister Rita Michelle said.

The Adams twins, Korey and Keon, high school freshmen at the Academy for College and Career Preparation in Hampden, certainly fit that description.

Parishioners of St. Gregory the Great who will receive the sacrament of confirmation March 27, both serve as ushers and in a program that offers meals to those in need. Keon, who previously attended Cardinal Shehan School, hopes to study one of the hard sciences at the University of Maryland in College Park. Korey aims to major in engineering at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania.

David Anoma, one of the youth recipients from St. Bernardine, happens to be headed to Lincoln University in the fall. His service was highlighted by the Review last March.

His parish’s other youth recipient was Symphony Carter, a senior at The Catholic High School of Baltimore, where she’s on the honor roll.

The evening included prayer led by Bishop Denis J. Madden and a selection of Gospel hymns from the St. Francis Xavier Praise Ensemble Choir.

Thirty-eight men, women and children were recognized with Mother Mary Lange Awards this year. (Courtesy Office of Black Catholic Ministries)

Thirty-eight men, women and children received awards for Leadership (L), Service (S) and Youth (Y). They are listed below, by parish.

St. Ambrose: Reva Stephens, S; Brandon Fields, Y.

St. Ann: Dorothy Horton-Brown, L; Rachel Carrenad, S.

St. Bernardine: Dolores and Alexander Dixon, L; Denise Carol Francis, S; David Anoma and Symphony Carter, Y.

Blessed Sacrament: Wanda Ford, L; Jacqueline Ashun Dadzie, S; Danielle Amaya Nelson, Y.

St. Cecilia: Francis Woodus, L; Lori D. Stone, S; Colin Christopher Scott, Y.

St. Edward: Bessie Butcher, L; Wayne R. Bridges and Patricia Fitzgerald, S; Mylai Harris, Y.

St. Francis Xavier: Sharon Butler, L; Jacquelyn MacArthur Hart, S; Terence DeMello Hare, Y.

St. Gregory the Great: Walter Edward Stokes Jr., L; Tanya Leonard, S; Korey Dominic Adams and Keon Stacey Adams, Y.

Immaculate Conception: Natalie Dugger Fleming, L; Flo Wilkinson Valentine, S.

St. Mary of the Assumption: Janelle Baum, L; Wayne R. Bridges, S.

New All Saints: Josef Miller-Henley, L; Carla Jones, S; Niles Hall, Y.

St. Peter Claver/St. Pius V: Daphne Hicks, L; Patricia Ames, S.

St. Wenceslaus: Doris Campbell, L; Patricia Brown, S; Fred Shoats, S.


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Paul McMullen

Paul McMullen

Paul McMullen has served as the managing editor of the Catholic Review since 2008.

The author of two books, Paul has been involved in local media since age 12, when he began delivering The News American to 80 homes in his neighborhood. He began his journalism career with the Capital-Gazette Newspapers in Anne Arundel County, and spent more than 25 years as a sports writer for The Sun in Baltimore. His favorite writing assignments have included the Summer Olympics in Australia and Greece, the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and “Feet for Francis,” a 2015 walking pilgrimage from the Baltimore Basilica to Philadelphia to see Pope Francis.