Bronze Pelican Award Presented to Sr. Mary Elizabeth Imler, OSF

Joliet, Ill. – The University of St. Francis (USF) and the Diocese of Joliet Scouting program for several years have shared a partnership that has reflected the importance of service and community. Sister Mary Elizabeth Imler, OSF, USF Vice President of Mission Integration and University Ministry, has maintained an integral role in the connection between the two organizations. The Scouting program recently honored Imler’s efforts by presenting her with the Bronze Pelican award.

The award was presented during a private ceremony on July 1 in USF’s Tower Hall by Bill Mammosser of the Diocese of Joliet Scouting program. USF President Arvid C. Johnson, Ph.D., and USF Vice President for Administration and Finance Julee Gard were also in attendance at the ceremony.

The Bronze Pelican award is a diocesan recognition given to adults who have made a significant and outstanding contribution to the spiritual development of Catholic youth in any Scouting program. It may be presented to any adult, Scouter or non-Scouter, a member of the laity or religious, or a member of another faith in recognition of consistent support of the Scouting program.

“I was so surprised to receive this award. I was unfamiliar with it and have been really just doing ‘me’.  First, professionally, to know that Bill Mammosser was a previous recipient of the award showed me what a great honor it is for the university because he is a model of giving so generously of himself to the Scouts for many years and, in our centennial year, I think this is what USF is for the Diocese. Secondly, for me personally, the significance of the Bronze Pelican award as ‘Christ-like service’ to the next generation of Christian leaders is rich. I am deeply humbled to be recognized as someone who follows in Jesus’ footprints,” Imler said.

Imler’s connection to the Diocese of Joliet Scouting program through USF currently spans eight years. During that time, her role in the partnership has steadily increased.

“For the past eight years, USF has hosted the Scouts for their classes. I have been the liaison first just to welcome them and do the administrative tasks to arrange for them. Then, because of Bill, my involvement has grown by participating in their classes, crafting service projects for them and celebrating their achievements,” Imler said.

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Currently celebrating 100 years of higher education rooted in Franciscan values, the University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide and offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 50,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit stfrancis.edu.

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.

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Ecumenical Rally for Racial Justice

Ecumenical Rally for Racial Justice

Joliet, Ill. – The Diocese of Joliet presents a special virtual event, An Ecumenical Rally for Justice, on Saturday, June 13. The livestream will begin at 11 a.m. at dioceseofjoliet.org. The event is sponsored by the Office of the Bishop; the Office for Human Dignity, Justice & Peace Ministry; the Office for Christian Life, Ecumenical & Hispanic Ministry; the University of St. Francis; the Joliet Franciscans; and the Northern Illinois Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

The Diocese of Joliet invites you to join in prayer and reflection, and take a stance of solidarity with our Black brothers and sisters hurting from the sin of racism. A panel of speakers will call for repentance, a commitment to racial justice, and a new way forward. Speakers for the event include:

  • Bishop Richard E. Pates, Apostolic Administrator for the Diocese of Joliet;
  • Arvid C. Johnson, Ph.D., President of the University of St. Francis;
  • Bishop Craig Purchase, Sr., Pastor of Mt. Zion, and Vice President of the Central Western District of The United Holy Church of America;
  • Nancy Schramm, OSF, Director of Mission Formation, Pontifical Mission Office;
  • Vincent Cornelius, Will County Circuit Court Judge and former president of the Illinois State Bar Association;
  • Elisabeth Roman, Director of Hispanic and Ethnic Ministry for the Diocese of Joliet;
  • Bishop Jeffrey Clements, Bishop of the Northern Illinois Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America;
  • Lois Prebil, OSF, Co-founder of the Joliet Franciscan Anti-Racism Committee;
  • Pastor Kevin Comfort, Judson Church in Joliet, and;
  • Herb Brooks, Pastor of St. John M.B. Church, Will County Board Member.

Please contact Edith Avila Olea at eavilaolea@dioceseofjoliet.org for more information about this virtual event.

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Currently celebrating 100 years of higher education rooted in Franciscan values, the University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide and offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 50,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit stfrancis.edu.

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.

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College of Education Hosts Annual Breakfast with the Bishop

Joliet, Ill. – The University of St. Francis’ College of Education, in partnership with the Diocese of Joliet, hosted its annual Breakfast with the Bishop on Thursday, Jan. 16. The event, celebrated as part of Catholic Schools Week 2020, welcomed student representatives from each of the 54 Joliet Diocesan schools and included a prayer service and a special message from Diocese of Joliet Superintendent of Schools Rev. John Belmonte, S.J.

Each year, the event culminates with a presentation ceremony for the Bishop’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, awarded by the University of St. Francis to an outstanding Catholic school teacher from the Joliet Diocese who demonstrates excellence in teaching; is recognized as a Christian role model among students, faculty, and administration; and serves the educational community by sharing time and talents for the greater good. This year’s award was presented to St. Raphael Catholic School (Naperville) first grade teacher Nicole Lacy.

“Nicole has a selfless devotion to her students, staff, and families at St. Raphael School. In her classroom, each child is viewed as an individual, receiving instruction that is tailored to their needs academically, spiritually, socially as well as emotionally. Her ability to assess students and provide for their development is exemplary,” St. Raphael Catholic School Principal Mavis DeMar said of Lacy in her nomination letter.

“Nicole also devotes her time to St. Raphael Church. She serves as a Eucharistic Minister, provides food for the funeral luncheon ministry, sings in the choir, and tends to the candles in the chapel. Nicole does all of these things willingly, while touching people’s hearts with her fine work ethic and profound love for the church and her students, which is what makes her stand out,” DeMar added.

John Gambro, Ed.D., Dean of USF’s College of Education, enjoys that the event is an opportunity to celebrate the work of educators within the local Catholic school community.

“The Breakfast with the Bishop event is a wonderful opportunity for us to recognize and celebrate the outstanding work that takes place on our diocesan schools.  To gather with student and parent representatives from every school in the diocese is a unique experience and it always demonstrates the tremendous impact that our schools have on student learning and spiritual development. In addition, we appreciate the opportunity to honor some of the exemplary Catholic school teachers within the Joliet Diocese, and we are able to do that with the Bishop’s Award for Excellence in Teaching,” Gambro said.

The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide, offering undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 50,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit stfrancis.edu.

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.

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