Thirteen Middle Georgia Roman Catholics have received awards for service to their parishes and communities.
The 13 were given the Bishop Francis X. Gartland Service Award on Nov. 20 during a special Mass at Savannah’s Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.
The Most Rev. Gregory J. Hartmayer, Bishop of the Diocese of Savannah, bestowed the awards.
Officials said recommendations for individual award recipients came from parish priests and typify the group as volunteers, leaders and faithful participants in a variety of roles and activities in service to their church. Their activities range from service on parish councils and leading church festivals to volunteering legal services and helping create an online presence for churches and ministries.
The local award recipients and their home churches are:
▪ Jack Poole of St. Joseph Catholic Church, Macon
▪ Peg Jones of St. Joseph Catholic Church, Macon
▪ Cynthia M. Pitts of St. Peter Claver Catholic Church, Macon
▪ Michelle Craddock of St. Peter Claver Catholic Church, Macon
▪ Bridgette Cooper Morehead of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Warner Robins
▪ Antonio Morales of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Warner Robins
▪ Robert Milush of St. Patrick Catholic Church, Kathleen
▪ Michele Milush of St. Patrick Catholic Church, Kathleen
▪ Elizabeth Morales of St. Juliana Catholic Church, Fort Valley
▪ Bob Plummer of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Dublin
▪ Marge Plummer of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Dublin
▪ Marc Sack of St. William Catholic Church, Sandersville
▪ Phyllis Veal of St. William Catholic Church, Sandersville
The recommendations also cited community involvements varying from serving privately to help individuals and families in need to working with larger service organizations and projects.
Gartland, for whom the award was named, was a native Irish Dubliner who came with his parents to the U.S. as a child. He began service to the church in Philadelphia in 1832 and became vicar general of the Diocese of Philadelphia in 1845.
He was the first Bishop of the Diocese of Savannah, named such by Pope Pius IX in 1850. At the time, the diocese was comprised of Georgia and part of Florida, and contained 15 churches.
Gartland died in 1854 after contracting yellow fever following visits to victims of the disease during an epidemic. He was 49.
Award recipients were given pins bearing Gartland’s coat of arms and his motto, “Vincit Veritas,” which means “Truth Prevails.”