Just a few days before Thanksgiving, close to 600 people gathered at the Loews Royal Pacific Hotel on Nov. 22 to give thanks for Catholic education and local leaders who are passionate supporters.
Picture: Father Richard Walsh & Sister Elizabeth Stoup.
The Bishop Moore Catholic Legacy Gala honored three dedicated individuals who have distinguished themselves in the community for outstanding support of Catholic education.
Father Richard Walsh, vicar general for the Diocese of Orlando and pastor of St. Margaret Mary Parish, Winter Park received special honors for being an engaged pastor who is present to students not only in his school but other schools as well.
He prays with the students each morning, celebrates school Masses and visits classrooms often.
“Because of his leadership, a close connection between the parish and school is strongly evident,” said Thomas Doyle, President of Bishop Moore Catholic High School.
During the awards presentation, Father Walsh urged all to be grateful for Catholic education.
“Catholic education is a wonderful gift to Catholicism. It’s a tremendous gift to our world. Catholic education focuses on the entire person, body, soul and spirit. We have it all. We really do. So often we take it for granted. We really need to be extremely grateful and proud of what we have,” said Father Walsh.
Sister of St. Joseph Elizabeth Marie Stoup was honored for her role as teacher and principal at Morning Star Catholic School, which serves students with special needs and for her determination to establish Bishop Grady Villas, a residential community for adults with disabilities.
“She has been a tireless advocate for children and adults who have learning challenges and she has helped them overcome those challenges, always emphasizing God’s love,” said Scott Brogan, Principal, Bishop Moore Catholic High School.
David Powers, Bishop Moore alumni of the class of 1974, was also honored for the countless ways he has contributed time, talent and treasure to Bishop Moore over the years. As a teenager, he transferred to Bishop Moore after encountering problems at the public school. Bishop Moore transformed his world on many levels and he has been a staunch supporter ever since. He recently helped to lead a capital campaign that resulted in a new athletic stadium, as well as science and technology labs.
The event also served as an opportunity to raise funds for the Maureen J. Kane Guardian Angel Fund, which helps the families of students who are experiencing a crisis.