Two deacons named finalists for 2014 Lumen Christi Awards

Two deacons named finalists for 2014 Lumen Christi Awards April 30, 2014

Some exciting news, from Catholic Extension:

Modeling faith in action, Catholics from Alaska to the Gulf Coast are reaching out to make a difference in their communities. Since 1978, Catholic Extension has been honoring these faithful servants with the Lumen Christi Award. Accompanied by a $50,000 grant ($25,000 for the honoree and $25,000 for the nominating diocese), the Lumen Christi Award is presented to a priest, woman religious, lay person or group of people who have demonstrated how the power of faith can transform lives and society.

Two of the finalists are deacons:

Gustavo Ruiz, is a dedicated deacon who serves as director of Hispanic ministry in the Diocese of Baker, driving 25,000 to 30,000 miles a year across this vast diocese to build faith among the growing Hispanic community. A beloved and respected leader, Deacon Ruiz not only consults with Church leadership, he also visits widely scattered parishes to assist pastors, lay leaders and staff members in meeting the needs of Hispanic Catholics. He works diligently to develop leadership from within the Hispanic community, encouraging and forming catechists, lectors, eucharistic ministers and youth leaders. Whether leading a large-scale diocesan meeting to educate others or driving 250 miles to facilitate a Bible study in a Spanish-speaking parish, Deacon Ruiz is making a difference and growing the Church.

Randy Canale is a 68-year-old deacon in Lubbock, Texas, whose daily schedule of ministry to the sick and dying inspires everyone around him. A semi-retired businessman, Deacon Canale begins each day with Mass. He then spends hours visiting hospitals and nursing homes, ministering to the ailing and fearful. He is such a fixture in hospitals that he’s often asked by strangers of all denominations to pray with their loved ones. Deacon Canale brings not only his profound faith to this role, he also brings authentic experience from his own bout with cancer, which impaired the vision from one eye, and took the hearing in one ear and the top lobe of his left lung. Deacon Canale has a special gift for ministry. This, together with his deep belief in God’s presence in moments of suffering, provides comfort and hope to all he encounters.

Read more about these fine deacons who are carrying into the world lumen Christi, the light of Christ, and meet the other finalists at the Catholic Extension website.

Congratulations, brothers!

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