Archbishop Henry J. Mansell stands with Beatrice Deloge; her husband Donald P. Deloge, recipient of the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award; and Father Daniel McLearen. (For Photo Gallery, click here.)
SOUTHINGTON – Archbishop Henry J. Mansell joined educational leaders from across the Archdiocese of Hartford on Sept. 25 to honor extraordinary volunteers whose exceptional contributions help Catholic elementary schools thrive.
Speaking at the 34th annual HOPES (Help Our Parish Elementary Schools) Dinner at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville, Archbishop Mansell expressed sincere gratitude to volunteers in the schools who are "great resources, for great reasons, great future and great hope."
"We are grateful for all those being honored. It means so much, the difference made, precisely by our volunteers.
"Volunteers are said to be a great resource in our country," the archbishop said. "For the Catholic Church, the amount saved because of the work of volunteers is beyond measure."
Dale R. Hoyt, superintendent of schools; Maria Maynard and Sister Kathleen Fitz Simons, assistant superintendents; Office of Catholic Schools staff; pastors, principals and school board members were among more than 600 individuals on hand.
"We are deeply grateful to honor those individuals who volunteer their time, wealth, creativity, innovation and imagination to the advancement of Catholic schools," said Mr. Hoyt.
He announced recipients of the 2011-2012 awards for Distinguished Catholic School Administrator and Distinguished Elementary School Pastor. Patricia Devanney, principal of St. Anthony School in Winsted, and Father Mark Jette, pastor of St. Lawrence Parish in West Haven, will receive their accolades at a ceremony and conference in January.
At the dinner, 121 people from 48 elementary schools received the St. John Neumann Award for Volunteer Service. One person was honored with the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Archdiocesan Advancement Award.
"Because of the valiant efforts of these volunteers our schools can thrive, they are more vital, more inviting and more accomplished," said Anne Clubb, director of school advancement, who served as emcee. "Our schools are blessed by these volunteers."
Recipients of the St. John Neumann Award have helped to make Catholic schools stronger and more viable, said Mrs. Clubb.
Those honored volunteered their time and talent to construct and equip a new media center, obtain upgraded textbooks, and equip classrooms with new iPads. They raised funds to provide tuition assistance for deserving families, and helped promote our schools in many different ways.
Archbishop Mansell and Mr. Hoyt presented the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Archdiocesan Advancement Award to Donald P. Deloge for his service to St. Francis-St. Rose of Lima School in New Haven.
Mr. Deloge worked for more than 30 years as an educator and administrator, serving as science teacher, science department head, and assistant principal at North Haven High School. Immediately after retiring, he joined the development committee at St. Francis School and since then has been the volunteer coordinator of advancement and secretary/treasurer of the advancement committee. Following the merger of St. Francis and St. Rose of Lima schools, he has continued to serve in these important roles.
Some of his contributions include assisting with advancement-related mailings, producing semiannual alumni newsletters and coordinating alumni weekends. He integrated alumni databases following the schools’ merger to increase efficiency and potential productivity. He also maintains the donor management database.
Working with other volunteers, Mr. Deloge has helped raise an average of $100,000 each year from donations, memorials and an annual golf tournament.
"For many years, Mr. Deloge devoted efforts to enhance the financial viability of St. Francis-St. Rose of Lima School, to engage alumni support for the school and to nurture growth and strength of his alma mater," said Mrs. Clubb.
Mr. Deloge said, "It was easy to get involved. It is part of my heritage."
Mr. Deloge’s father Wilfred graduated from St. Francis in 1926. His mother was the first secretary treasurer employed by the school. Mr. Deloge graduated from St. Francis in 1955. His late wife, Shirley, taught first grade at the school until her death in 1990.
"The school has played such an important role in the lives of children in Fair Haven," said Mr. Deloge. "St. Francis-St. Rose of Lima School has fantastic traditions; the school was such a big part of my preparation."