‘Service to others is the rent you pay on earth’ says Mother Lange Award recipient

By Elizabeth Lowe
elowe@CatholicReview.org
Gwendolyn A. Lindsay has volunteered on more committees at New All Saints than she can remember in the four decades she has worshiped at the Liberty Heights church.
“You name it, I served on it,” said Lindsay, 66.
Lindsay was one of 49 adults and youths from 16 parishes in the Archdiocese of Baltimore who received a leadership, service or youth award at the Mother Mary Lange Awards Banquet Feb. 21 at Martin’s West in Woodlawn.
The banquet, first held in 1997, is named for Mother Mary Lange, a Haitian immigrant who came to Baltimore. In 1829 she founded the Oblate Sisters of Providence, the first U.S. religious congregation for African-American women.
At New All Saints, Lindsay volunteers with Seniors on the Move, the welcome committee and communications committee. Past service includes being a lector and member of the parish council and centennial committee.
In addition, Lindsay served as a trustee, board member and chairwoman of the governance committee for the Cathedral Foundation and Catholic Review Media.
“It (the award) is really exciting because you’re being honored by your peers and your church for the service you’ve done,” she said. “I get enjoyment out of helping others and doing the things that I do.”
As a child, Lindsay’s parents impressed upon her that she was on the earth to help others.
“As my mother and father would say, service to others is the rent that you pay on earth and when you get to heaven you will be greatly rewarded for what you have done for others,” she said.
Gerald Brown, a parishioner of St. Ambrose in Park Heights, received a youth award.
“It’s really important for me to be involved with my church because the best way to experience the Gospel is to live it,” said Brown, 13, an eighth-grader at Sudbrook Magnet Middle School in Lochearn.
At St. Ambrose, Brown is an altar server, usher and involved with youth ministry and the children’s choir. He was surprised by the recognition.
“I try to be a positive example at school,” he said. “If somebody is upset I try to comfort them, try to make something a little bit more bearable than what it seems. I don’t know all the impacts I make on people. To know parishioners chose me to receive it (a youth award) is an honor and I take it with grace.”
Barry Simms, a parishioner of St. Cecilia in Baltimore, was a recipient of a leadership award.
“The people who win those awards,” said Simms, a reporter and member of the WBAL-TV 11 News I-Team, “have done a lot and their service has been phenomenal to our church and the Catholic Church in general. I thought the stuff that I was doing were things that we needed to have done.”
Simms, 51, is president of the parish’s Mass choir and a member of the board of directors for the Monsignor O’Dwyer Retreat House in Sparks. He has been an altar server, lector and member of the parish council.
“I guess I’ve always been involved,” Simms said. “Usually you see that there’s a need and that somebody needs to fill that position or void. My parents were very involved at St. Cecilia’s and they made sure that their children, all five of us, were involved with the church.”
Here is a complete list of the award winners:
New All Saints, Liberty Heights
Dr. Thelma T. Daley, leadership; Gwendolyn Lindsay, service; and Alyssa Baker, youth

St. Ambrose, Park Heights
Carlton C. Gordon, leadership; Deborah Marguerite Ball, service; and Gerald Elias Brown, youth

St. Ann, Baltimore
Sharon Marie Bernadette Thornton, service; and Estelle Badolo, youth

St. Bernardine, Baltimore
Mary Byrd, leadership; Kathleen Mason, service; and Ashley Brock, youth

Church of the Blessed Sacrament, Baltimore
Albert Annan, leadership; Tierra Walford, service; and Matthew Hamilton, youth

St. Cecilia, Baltimore
Barry Simms, leadership; Deborah Beckham, service; and Justin R. Smith, youth

St. Edward, Baltimore
Edith Thomas, leadership; Joseph B. Gorman, service; and Jordan Manns, youth

St. Francis Xavier, Baltimore
Irma Bevans, leadership; Stacy Brown, leadership; Kim Grays, service; and Sienna Regina Hare, youth

St. Gregory the Great, Baltimore
Ulanda Bernadette Jones, leadership; Peter O. Odeh, service; and Tyjon Coleman, youth

Immaculate Conception, Baltimore
Karen Whittington, leadership; Tiffany D. Carter, service; and Donovan Pendleton, youth

St. Joseph’s Passionist Monastery, Irvington
Patricia Lee Epps, service; and Warren J. Howze, service

St. Mary of the Assumption, Govans
Darlene Fields, leadership; Adaku Iwudike, youth; Ikenna Iwudike, youth; and Obinna Iwudike, youth

St. Peter Claver, Baltimore
Greer A. Dorsey, leadership; James Irvin Gates, service; Stephanie Gates, service; and Marquis Ragin, youth

St. Pius V, Baltimore
Catherine Case, leadership; Don K. Gardner, service; and Hunter Smith, youth

St. Veronica, Baltimore
Thomas Pinkney, leadership; Geneva Lloyd, service; and Timothy M. Taylor, youth

St. Wenceslaus, Baltimore
Marie Paniagua, leadership; Sherlyn Pitts, service; and Autumn Lambert, youth
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