April 27, 2009

Nearly 650 celebrate Catholic education at annual Bishop’s Charity Ball

SAGINAW – About 650 people packed the Horizons Conference Center in Saginaw Township on April 24 to celebrate Catholic education and say goodbye to the fifth Bishop of Saginaw.

The annual Bishop’s Charity Ball was established by Bishop Robert J. Carlson in 2007 to benefit Catholic schools and parish education and formation.

Bishop Carlson, who became the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw’s fifth ordinary in December 2004, was appointed as the 10th ordinary and ninth Archbishop of Saint Louis by Pope Benedict XVI on April 21.

Diocesan Chancellor Nancy J. Werner presented Bishop Carlson with the 2009 Bishop Murphy Award during the event, following a video tribute to the diocese’s chief teacher.

“I thought we were giving this to a Catholic school teacher,” said Carlson, who was surprised by the award presentation. “I am very honored by the award. I promise you that this plaque will have a prominent place on a wall in Saint Louis.”

The surprise award presentation was first planned by the Charity Ball committee to honor the 25th anniversary of Bishop Carlson’s Episcopal ordination, which took place January 11. The presentation took on a different tone following his transfer to the Archdiocese of Saint Louis on the Tuesday previous to Friday’s Charity Ball.

Previous Bishop Murphy Award honorees include Sister Corinne Weiss, SJ in 2008 and Stanley Krajkowski in 2007. The award is named for the diocese first ordinary, Bishop William F. Murphy, and presented annually to a person who is a generous and bold example of faith-based leadership within the diocesan community.

The Bishop’s Charity Ball raised more than $840,000 for Catholic schools and parish religious education and formation programs in 2007 and 2008.

Earnings for the 2009 event will be announced after the Bishop’s Charity Ball Winner’s Circle Celebration on May 14 at the Center for Ministry. Raffle prizes and participating school and parish event earnings will be presented during that event.

The Diocese of Saginaw includes in 105 parish communities and 26 Catholic schools located throughout 11 mid-Michigan counties: Arenac, Bay, Clare, Gladwin, Gratiot, Huron, Isabella, Midland, Saginaw, Sanilac, and Tuscola.

PICTURED ABOVE: 2009 Bishop's Charity Ball Emcee Father William Rutkowski, pastor atSt. Stanislaus Kostka, Bay City, and vicar for Bay Area Catholic Schools, honors Catholic school teachers seen surrounding him prior to the presentation of the annual Bishop Murphy Award on April 24.

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