Youths, adults honored for service at Mother Lange Awards Banquet

By Elizabeth Lowe

Twitter: @ReviewLowe
What Leonard Jacques learned in a religion class his freshman year at Archbishop Curley High School in Baltimore still impacts him today.
“Since my freshman religion class … I’ve tried to live the Gospel,” said Jacques, a parishioner of St. John the Evangelist in Columbia and a senior at Archbishop Curley. “My faith is important to me because it makes me who I am.”
Jacques was one of 52 youths and adults from 16 parishes in the Archdiocese of Baltimore who received a leadership, service or youth award at the Mother Mary Lange Awards Banquet Feb. 8 at Martin’s West in Woodlawn.
The first banquet was held in 1997 and named for Mother Mary Lange, a Haitian immigrant who came to Baltimore and in 1829 founded the Oblate Sisters of Providence, the first U.S. religious congregation for African-American women.
At church, Jacques is a peer minister, confirmation sponsor and lector. He has performed manual labor through the Appalachia Service Project – twice – and plans to volunteer for another five days this summer. At school, he is involved in youth ministry.
Receiving a youth award named for Mother Lange “makes me feel special, that I could do something like Mother Lange has,” Jacques said. “I have had struggles with my faith, but I’m just glad that I’ve had the strength to persevere.”
Paula Langford, a parishioner of St. Ambrose in Park Heights, called the leadership award she received an honor “because of what Mother Lange stood for and the fact that I enjoy doing work in the archdiocese. I’m very humbled by it.”
Her parish ministry includes serving as a lector, extraordinary minister of holy Communion, parish corporator, director of sign language ministry, member of the liturgy committee and dance ministry.  
She attributes her church involvement to her upbringing.
“That’s what we were taught – to use our gifts and talents in the church and it would extend to the community,” Langford said. “A lot what I do in the church I just love to do. I have a lot of gifts that have been given to me that I want to share.”
Michael Smith, a parishioner of St. Veronica in Cherry Hill, received a service award, which means “a great deal to me,” he said.
“God takes us through so many things and if it wasn’t for him, I couldn’t make it,” Smith said. “I don’t think I would have the strength to make it without him. Service to the church is service to God and that’s why it’s so important.”
At St. Veronica, Smith is a lector, extraordinary minister of holy Communion, member of the parish council and evangelization committee. He is a member of the Holy Name Society and third vice president of the Holy Name Union for the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
“A lot of the older parishioners just don’t have the stamina that they used to have,” Smith said. “I got involved to show the youth and set an example for the youth that we need the work to continue.”
Here is a complete list of the award winners:
Church of the Blessed Sacrament, Baltimore
Sonia Burns, leadership award
Malia Covington, youth award
Willie Giggers, Jr., service award
Immaculate Conception, Baltimore
Maya Brown, youth award
Walter Burriss, service award
Bernadine Douglas, leadership award
Gaye Ramsey-Weems, service award
New All Saints, Liberty Heights
Rernard Baker, leadership award
Charisse Walker, service award
Imani Woods, youth award
St. Ambrose, Park Heights
Paula Langford, leadership award
Gloria Smith-Dorsey, service award
Sih Zeh, youth award
St. Ann, Baltimore
Ade Braswell, youth award
Mary Middleton, leadership award
Geraldine Wilson Valentine, service award
St. Bernardine, Baltimore
Lawrence Alston, youth award
Vincent Griffin, service award
Sabrina Warren-Bush, leadership award
St. Cecilia, Baltimore
Darleen Norton, service award
Jael Smith, youth award
Vevette Smith, leadership award
St. Edward, Baltimore
Anna Maria Adams, leadership award
Charles Banks, service award
Jay Coble, youth award
Sean Coble, youth award
Paula Cullings, leadership award
Janet May Thompson, service award
St. Francis Xavier, Baltimore
Vivian Price-Butler, leadership award
Christopher Pasley, service award
Denzel Williams, youth award
St. Gregory the Great, Baltimore
Lee Ondra Epps, youth award
Leon Epps, leadership award
Wiley “Tony” Fair, service award
Paula Davetta Lumpkins, service award
St. John the Evangelist, Columbia
Aleana Cofield, youth award
Leonard Jacques, youth award
Michel Jameson, leadership award
Diedre Gilmer, service award
St. Joseph’s Passionist Monastery, Irvington
Letisha Butler, service award
Brandon Gaskins, youth award
St. Peter Claver, Baltimore
Mary Griffin, service award
Quinten Truesdale, youth award
Kathy Woodland Outlaw, leadership award
St. Pius V, Harlem Park
Deborah Grady, leadership award
Garry Sappington, service award
St. Veronica, Cherry Hill
Brianna Jackson, youth award
Michael Smith, service award
Monica Wooden, leadership award
St. Wenceslaus, Baltimore
Mary Carr, leadership award
Isaiah Clark, youth award
Mary Howard, service award
Copyright (c) Feb. 15, 2013

Catholic Review

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