Three families also honored with One in Faith, One in Hope, One in Charity awards
Wednesday, November 25, 2015 Ana Rodriguez Soto – Florida Catholic newspaper
MIAMI | Making the Kingdom of God present in South Florida — that’s what ABCD donors do, Archbishop Thomas Wenski told more than 500 people gathered for the annual ThanksforGiving Mass in Miami-Dade County.
“Your support makes present Christ’s kingdom through the many works of tenderness, compassion and mercy made possible through the ABCD. So, if Thursday is Thanksgiving Day in the U.S., today in the archdiocese is ‘thanks-for-giving’ day,” the archbishop said in his homily.
ABCD is the annual Archbishop’s Charities and Development appeal which funds archdiocesan ministries and programs, from education in inner city schools to evangelization and youth ministry.
Celebrated on the feast of Christ the King at St. Mary Cathedral, the Mass was the second of two celebrated annually near the Thanksgiving holiday. Auxiliary Bishop Peter Baldacchino celebrated a similar Mass a week earlier for Broward County donors at St. Pius X Church in Fort Lauderdale. Both Masses are organized by the archdiocesan Development Office.
At the Mass in the cathedral, the archbishop also inducted new members into the Archbishop Coleman Carroll Legacy Society and presented three families with the annual One in Faith, One in Hope and One in Charity award. The Legacy Society is for those who remember the archdiocese in their will.
“We’ve always just been part of the Church. It’s always just been a part of our life,” said Sergio Rodicio, who with his wife, Lenore, and their five children, accepted this year’s One in Faith award.
The Rodicios met in church in 1993: Both were members of the youth group at St. Michael in Miami. They have been married for 16 years, and he now works for St. Mary Cathedral. Their son, Pio, 15, served as an acolyte at the Mass.
“Faith has been the foundation of our relationship and our family,” said Lenore Rodicio. “It’s something we started to share with everyone we encounter.”
“When you feel something so beautiful as faith, you can’t keep it inside,” added her husband.
Vicky Oramas, recipient of the One in Hope award, shares not only her faith. Through Por Amor a Cristo(For love of Christ), a ministry she started with her husband, she motivates others in the Hispanic community to share their time, talent and treasure.
Carlos Oramas died earlier this month. Both he and Vicky’s name are on the sterling silver plate that denotes the One in Hope award.
“The Holy Spirit started it through my husband at Mother of Christ(parish) 23 years ago,” Oramas said. “We promote Christian stewardship, making people aware that everything we are, everything we have, is a gift from God.”
The ministry is now active in three other archdiocesan churches — St. John Bosco, St. Michael and Santa Barbara — as well as three parishes in the Diocese of Venice and one in the Diocese of Orlando. It reaches out primarily to Hispanics.
“You can’t speak to them in an annual campaign,” Oramas said. “We invite them, we attract them, and then we form them, but in stewardship.”
She described PAC’s ministry as lifting the lowly and casting down the haughty.
Those who are proud of their talents and accomplishments are reminded that “everything is a gift from God. And God gave you that gift for you to share,” Oramas explained. Those who feel they have nothing to give are told, “What do you mean you’re not good at anything? You have a mission.”
Cecile McAlpine, recipient of the One in Charity award, is quite aware of that.
“The idea of stewardship is that everything we have is on loan from the Lord. So we’re supposed to take good care of it,” she said. “We are our brother’s keeper.”
She and her husband, Bill, who died in 2012, have been donating to ABCD for the past 35 years.
“My husband was a big believer in stewardship always,” said McAlpine, a member of St. Andrew Parish in Coral Springs. “I think the ABCD is a wonderful way to do that because it cares for everybody. It’s a wonderful cause.”
Among those inducted into the Legacy Society were Gilbert and Wendy Linkswiler of St. Gregory Parish in Plantation.
“The Church saved my life,” he said simply when asked why he included the archdiocese in his will.
Gilbert Linkswiler was raised Lutheran but converted to Catholicism 35 years ago. He credits his wife of 40 years for attracting him to the faith, “and my life is all the better. It’s wonderful to be Catholic.”
Deborah Wong Mar received an induction rose on behalf of her uncle, Nom Wong. He was a member of St. James Parish in North Miami for close to 50 years and died in 2012 at age of 89.
“He wanted his home to go to the church,” Wong Mar said. “He would have been very pleased about today. He was a faithful servant.”