Sisters of St. Joseph Host 11th Annual Gala

 

 ogormanabbott  otiiweinzapfel  armstrongslepitza
Pictured (l-r): Angie O'Gorman with Sister Jean Abbott, Marcellina Otii with Sister Marion Weinzapfel, CSJ; and David Armstrong, CSJA with Ron Slepitza, CSJA

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The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet hosted their 11th Annual Generosity of Joseph Honors Gala on April 28. More than 125 sisters, patrons, family and friends filled the historic motherhouse to celebrate honorees Angie O’Gorman, Marcellina Otii and David Armstrong, CSJA for their service and generosity to the dear neighbor without distinction.

“It was an enjoyable evening,” says Patricia Cassens, executive director of Mission Advancement.

Each year, the Sisters of St. Joseph acknowledge individuals, couples, and/or organizations whose life and service positively influences and contributes to the betterment of society, encouraging others by example to practice life-altering generosity, just as our patron, Joseph, did. In their own ways, each of our honorees imitate Joseph for their care given to others.

Sister Jean Abbott, a long-time friend of Angie O’Gorman’s, summed up the night, not only for Angie, but all the honorees when it comes to recognizing their accomplishments:

“How do you summarize a life that has so consistently worked to change systems to make them more just and more compassionate, and, at the same time, worked with people who are affected by those systems?”

Angie, who is from St. Louis, has dedicated her life to serving the dear neighbor and has made the plight of immigrants and of the poor her personal mission, assisting them in legal matters, and providing them with the equal and fair services they often require. Most recently, she co-founded The Kitchen Table, a restaurant that hires women outside the labor market.

Marcellina Otii, of Denver, Colorado, works tirelessly for her native people in Gulu, Uganda, through her organization, Team Africa Ties That Bind (TATTB). She continues to build the capacity of the lay and rural catechists in northern Uganda by providing educational essentials to children, workshops for victims of trauma, leadership development and more for the people of Gulu.

David Armstrong, CSJA, of Kansas City, Missouri, has served CSJ-sponsored Avila University as director of mission effectiveness and campus ministry for over 15 years. He serves his community and God through many week-long service-immersion trips where students travel, serve and live out the charism of the CSJs. And, to share the CSJ heritage, ministry and charism with Avila undergraduates, he founded Jerusalem Farm and the 1650 Society.

The event featured two fund-a-need auctions. More than $17,000 was raised for our ministry in Gulu, Uganda, providing more families with water filtration systems. And, $400 in donations was raised for Blessing Bags for our ministry at the border, offering basic items for immigrants who have nothing and are allowed to keep nothing when they enter the United States. (Learn how you can continue to help us serve the people of Gulu and immigrants at the border through our fund-a-needs.) 

Attendees also enjoyed a special performance by Ben Griffiths, performing arts specialist at New City School in St. Louis. He performed variety of songs including a few of his own works. The evening ended with dinner and a blessing in song from the CSJ sisters, associates and former members as they sang Sancte Joseph.

“The highlight of the Gala [for me] is honoring those who reflect our patron by their lives,” says Sister Donna Gunn, mission advisor of Mission Advancement. “The Gala is a wonderful opportunity to remember all St. Joseph has done in and through us.  When I hear the virtues of the modern day ‘Josephs,’ I am filled with gratitude for the ways Joseph makes his presence known to us through them.”   

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