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Calumet Church Member Honored With Legacy of Faith Catholic Service Award

The Endowment Foundation of the Diocese of Marquette has been recognizing outstanding Catholics with the “Legacy of Faith Catholic Service Award” for ten years. This year, Rudy Schmitt of Sacred Heart Parish in Calumet and James Newnum of Holy Redeemer Parish in Menominee are the recipients of the Legacy of Faith Catholic Service Award. Bishop John F. Doerfler announced the recipients of the award, which annually recognizes members of the Diocese of Marquette for lifetime dedication and service to the Catholic Church.

Rudy Schmitt is a devoted, humble, faithful servant of God, as witnessed by his involvement in many ministries within the Catholic Church and beyond. He has served as the director of RCIA, religious education teacher, Eucharistic minister, lector, sacristan, altar server, and usher. He has been an active member of numerous parish committees. The scope of Schmitt’s service has reached beyond the Sacred Heart Parish to include the greater Keweenaw area. He helps out at the local food pantry, visits the sick in the hospital, brings communion to the homebound, participates in the local Council of Churches and in helps with ecumenical community worship services. Leaders of the area Methodist and Lutheran churches provided letters of support for Schmitt’s nomination for the award, giving witness to his quiet, humble and faithful service. In the words of his pastor, Rev. Abraham Mupparathara, “He is a shining example of God’s love to us, and he shares it by serving God, His church and His people.”

Rev. John Martignon, Vicar Forane of the The Most Holy Name of Jesus Vicariate, presented Schmitt with a commemorative medallion on July 1st at Sacred Heart Church in Calumet. A reception was held in his honor where friends and family gathered to celebrate him.

James Newnum is active in his home parish serving as a lector, Eucharistic minister, and altar server at funerals and daily Mass. He is the adult faith formation organizer in the three parishes in Menominee and conducts a number of faith-building programs for adults. He has worked with RCIA and adult sacramental preparation, leads bible study groups and has been involved with Catholics Coming Home, a program that invites people home to Jesus and His Church. As a retired educator, Newnum has in-depth knowledge in school management and administration, and has provided varied and consistent service to St. John Paul II Academy in Menominee. He has served as Chair of the Education Council for many years, interim principal and substitute teacher. Newnum is a member of the Knights of Columbus as a council member and assistant Grand Knight. His pastor, Rev. Michael Ocran, says, “He influences a lot of parishioners positively and many young adults look up to him for inspiration because of his exemplary life.”

Rev. Michael Ocran presented Newnum with a commemorative medallion at a Mass at Holy Redeemer Church on July 19th. Following the Mass, Newnum was honored at a reception where friends and family gathered to celebrate him.

The Catholic Service Award is a program of Legacy of Faith, which is the campaign to build the Endowment Foundation of the Diocese of Marquette. The award was created in 2006 in the spirit and intent of the endowment to preserve and foster the Catholic faith in the Upper Peninsula. Nominations for the annual award are due by May 1 of each year. For more information, contact Terri Gadzinski at 906/227-9108 or visit www.LegacyOfFaith.net.

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