MODESTO -- Modestans Bob and Marie Gallo and Paul Schaefer will be honored at the annual Bishop's Awards dinner and ceremony Saturday at St. Bernard Parish in Tracy. The awards, given this year to commemorate the Stockton Catholic Diocese's 50th anniversary, were announced in February.
"We wanted to give the special awards to people who have significantly contributed to the diocese over the years," said Bishop Stephen Blaire.
He said it was difficult narrowing down the awards to just 10 because "many, many people could be honored."
But he tapped the Gallos for their contributions to the St. Stanislaus parish, including donating land for the parish school, Central Catholic High School and the new church on Maze Boulevard. In addition, he noted, Marie Gallo started the Catholic Social Service Guild to help seniors in the 1970s and also was instrumental in bringing the Sisters of the Cross, a cloistered order of nuns, to Modesto.
Schaefer, a longtime member of St. Joseph's parish in Modesto, served on Central Catholic High's school board and foundation board for many years, as well as on the board for Catholic Charities. Blaire said Schaefer, a retired Tri Valley Growers administrator, also "played a significant part in developing the diocesan financial council since I've been here." The council gives candid advice to the bishop about diocesan money matters.
Other award winners are Sister Gloria DeJesus, diocesan director of religious education and diocesan ministries for 25 years; Digna and Jose Lopez, directors of Hispanic Ministry, Hispanic Youth Ministry and Migrant Ministry; Deacon Jack Ryan and his wife, Jennie, first diocesan director of deacons and wives; Monsignor Richard Ryan, diocesan vicar general; and Tom Shepherd, diocesan attorney since 1985.
The event begins at 6:30 p.m. with a hosted cocktail hour, followed by dinner at 7:30 p.m. and the awards ceremony. Tickets are $150 each and available through Thursday from (209) 546-7646. Proceeds benefit Catholic Charities and the SEEDS (student scholarship) programs.
Bee staff writer Sue Nowicki can be reached at email@example.com or (209) 578-2012.