Holiday Names and Numbers features fundraising success, outreach and Christmas cheer

By Erik Zygmont

$1.5 million

Fundraising goal reached by Loyola University Maryland, two years ahead of deadline. Raised from 60 donors, including two whose gifts accounted for more than half the amount, the funds will be added to a $500,000 challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to form a new $2 million endowed fund. The endowment will serve Messina, the living-learning program for first-year students at Loyola.

“Messina is something that is innovative in helping to engage students and connect them with the Jesuit spirit,” said Mark Baiada, founder of BAYADA Home Health Care, who with his wife, Ann, provided one of the key gifts.

The other major donor, Nick Kollman of the Loyola class of 1962, called the liberal arts component of Messina “a tremendous asset to any individual.”

“Most problems you face when running a business are outside of the box, and liberal arts courses teach you to think outside of the box,” said Kollman, who ran the Baltimore-based John D. Lucas Printing Company from 1991 until his 2005 retirement.


Year the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols was first celebrated at King’s College in Cambridge, England. St. Joseph Parish in Sykesville held its own second annual Festival of Lessons and Carols Dec. 16. The Advent and Christmas concert included caroling, Scripture readings, short reflections from the early church fathers and special musical offerings. Participants, pictured, included the Adult Choir, Children’s and Middle School Choir, Hand Bell Choir, Schola Cantorum and the Contemporary Ensemble, with vocal, piano and organ soloists, directed by Lyle Peters, pastoral associate for liturgy and music.


Years Sister Patricia Eck has been with the Marriottsville-based Congregation of the Sisters of Bon Secours of Paris, which she has led as congregation leader since 2009. Previously, Sister Patricia served as chair of the board of Bon Secours Health System, also headquartered in Marriottsville. In 2006, she was one of the primary leaders in creating and structuring Bon Secours Ministries as the ministerial sponsor for Bon Secours Health System and serves as chairperson of its member board. Under Sister Patricia’s leadership, this sponsoring organization for Bon Secours Health System included, for the first time, laypeople working side by side with the Sisters of Bon Secours as sponsors.

Sister Patricia has been recognized nationally for her leadership in creating alignment between sponsorship and governance. She served as chairperson of the Catholic Health Association, and in 2007, received the Sister Mary Concilia Moran Award from the association. In 2011, she received the papal award, Cross Pro Ecclesia et Ponifice medal.


Countries with chapters of International Brain Bee, a neuroscience competition for teenagers created and led by Norbert Myslinski, 2016 recipient of the Science Educator of the Year Award by the Society for Neuroscience, and a parishioner of the Church of the Resurrection in Ellicott City.

A member of the Department of Neural and Pain Sciences at the University of Maryland, Myslinski works to show that neuroscience can be applied to all of our daily lives. Through his many writings and teachings, summer research programs, programs in brain art and literature and his International Youth Neuroscience Association, he inspires students worldwide.

His distinguished award includes a $5,000 honorarium funded by the Dana Alliance, the founder of Brain Awareness Week. Myslinski says his ultimate goal is to train scientists to help treat and find cures for brain disorders.

December day that will be brighter thanks to the generosity of the parishioners of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Long Green Valley, who filled the narthex with gifts for the less fortunate through the parish’s annual Advent Giving Tree program.

Years of Christmas joy brought to downtown Baltimore thanks to Mercy Medical Center’s holiday lights display at Preston Gardens. Religious Sister of Mercy Helen Amos, then president of Mercy Medical Center, first threw the switch in the company of then-Mayor Kurt Schmoke, with Christmas caroling by the Mercy High School student choir setting the mood for the evening.
Mercy’s original lighting design featured a Nutcracker theme that was replaced several years ago with a Victorian theme powered by energy efficient LED lights. It is one of the largest and longest running holiday displays in all of downtown.


Years served at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore by Religious Sister of Mercy Joan Donahue, a Philadelphia native who began ministering at the hospital in 2007.
In addition to her service at Mercy, Sister Joan ministered as a teacher and principal for more than 40 years; after that she served as a pastoral associate throughout the U.S., including in Baltimore, at the Shrine of the Sacred Heart in Mount Washington and St. Ambrose Parish in Park Heights. She also ministered in Europe and Mexico.
At Mercy, Sister Joan served as concierge for the Weinberg Center of Women’s Health and Medicine.

“Each day I encounter many women who beautifully embrace the serious illnesses afflicting them,” she said. “Here at Mercy, I have come full circle. The journey has been most exciting, extremely challenging, spiritually challenging and all too brief.”

Sister Joan will return to her native Philadelphia to pursue her long-held desire of ministering to veterans.


Saints celebrated by second graders at Trinity School in Ellicott City Dec. 16. Girls dressed up as St. Lucy, a martyr under the Roman emperor Diocletian, and boys dressed up as St. Juan Diego, who received the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico in 1531. St. Lucy’s and St. Juan Diego’s feast days were Dec. 13 and Dec. 9, respectively, and Dec. 12 was the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Girls wore candle wreaths and boys tilmas covered with roses, and each child spoke to the assembly of second-grade parents and friends about St. Lucy and St. Juan Diego.


Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.