Women Honored at First DeKalb Deanery Inspiration Banquet
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
September 13, 2018
MAPLE PARK—Three parishes — St. Catherine of Genoa in Genoa, St. Mary of the Assumption in Maple Park and SS. Peter and Paul in Virgil — each honored one of their own at what was called the “first annual” DeKalb Deanery Women of Inspiration awards on Sept. 9 at Sorrento’s Restaurant, here.
Just over 60 parishioners and family members enjoyed the early evening event along with Bishop David Malloy, Msgr. Thomas Dzielak, and Fathers Ariel Valencia, Francis Wawryszuk and Donald Ahles. 
After dinner, Bishop Malloy presented the awards, saying the service outlined in the event flyer for each of the honorees was likely only touching “the tip of the iceberg” of service they provide, based on what he has seen in his six years of attending such events in other deaneries.
The bishop called such celebrations “very inspiring” and said without the service provided by parish women, “We’d be shut down.” 
He called the dinner “a great reminder” of the many women who are “simply trying to live out their faith” as they serve their parishes year after year without much recognition.
In addition to the many “great and needed” activities, he said, “we need to be praying” for the Church’s parishes and the diocese itself, particularly as the worldwide Church is “going through stormy seas at least in the near future” because of the long hidden abuse present in its ranks. 
He asked specifically for prayers for Catholics who have not been as engaged in the faith and in their parishes as the honorees have been, particularly that those less connected will remain in the Church.
The DeKalb Deanery Council of Catholic Women president, Sandi Schmidt, led those gathered in prayers for diocesan priests and priests worldwide. Schmidt, Carol Foley and Deanne Smith organized this first banquet.
The 2018 DeKalb Deanery Women of Inspiration are:
Susie Adkins, St. Catherine of Genoa Parish, who is an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist and part of the ministry of care team at DeKalb County Home. She says she greatly enjoys being an altar server at daily Mass, calling it “a privilege I never take for granted.”
Ann Marie Babich of St. Mary of the Assumption Parish who is described as a “volunteer extraordinaire” who is involved in many parish activities and fundraisers, serving in whatever ways she can, from setting up to cleaning up.
Gloria Martin of SS. Peter and Paul Parish who donates her proceeds made through crafting fundraisers and helps at many events. Her motivation, she says is “because I care for the people and parish both young and old.”
Organizers also honored several 2018 nominees with framed certificates.