Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

October 24, 2007, Page 9

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

St. Mary’s Catholic Church receives Mission Award


On Oct. 1st, 2007, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Neillsville, had the honor of becoming the first institution to receive the Monsignor Anthony P. Wagener Mission Award from the Diocese of La Crosse.  In answering the call to “Go, and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19), St. Mary’s was recognized for missionary outreach and ongoing support to Uganda, Honduras, and the home missions.  Twenty parishioners, including Reverend Woodrow Pace, traveled to Blessed Sacrament Parish in La Crosse to represent St. Mary’s for the honor received. 

In support of their award, St. Mary’s missionary outreach includes: 

St. Mary’s maintains an ongoing relationship with Uganda, the commitment to which began in 1993 when Rev. Pace spent a year of his seminary discernment there.  Pilgrims from the church traveled to Uganda to establish, and later continue, the “Clean Water Project,” which brought clear drinking water to the Diocese of Kiyinda-Mityana in south-central Uganda.  Help has also been given to the local schools and medical dispensaries. 

In 1997, Dr. Jean (Grade) Reed, a veterinarian and St. Mary’s parishioner, began work with the Karamojong, a pastoralist tribe in central western Uganda, where she continues a residence today with her husband, Dr. Tom Reed.  Their work is sponsored by Christian Veterinary Mission (CVM).  In 2005, Dr. Grade, in conjunction with her efforts in CVM, established the Karamoja Christian Ethno-veterinary Program (KACHEP), run entirely by people from the Karamojong in an effort on the part of the people to help themselves.  St. Mary’s parish continues to support these veterinary efforts and peace keeping within the tribe.

St Mary’s has also supported Casa Carolina, a residential nutrition center for children suffering from malnourishment in the city and surrounding villages of Sulaco, Honduras.  Sr. Niva Langreck, a former St. Mary’s parishioner, established the center in 1995.

In July 2003 and August 2004, students and adults traveled with pilgrims from St. John’s Parish, Marshfield to New York City to live and work with the Friars to learn about poverty in the United States.  They spent time evangelizing, assisting with daily chores and praying with the Friars.  The parish continues to support the work of the Friars with a yearly monetary donation.

In July 2006, students and adults again traveled with pilgrims from St. John’s, this time, to Louisiana.  They spent four days helping to clean up the devastation caused by Katrina.  They emptied several homes and participated with local contractors in the distribution of goods to those in greatest need.



Bishop Jerome Listecki (right) representing the Diocese of La Crosse presents the Mission Award plaque to Rev. Woodrow Pace, who accepted the award on behalf of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Neillsville. (Contributed photo)



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