By Anne Marie Amacher
BETTENDORF — More than 100 people, including 12 priests and four religious Sisters, gathered April 26 at The Lodge for dinner, business meeting and award recognition for the Holy Childhood Association.
Holy Childhood is a pontifical mission society that gets young people involved in helping those in need throughout the world.
Msgr. W. Robert Schmidt, volunteer diocesan director of the Holy Childhood Association and a former vice-president of the national Holy Childhood Board of Directors, said the program began in 1843 and was established in the United States in 1846.
Traditionally the Diocese of Davenport ranks in the top 15 percent of U.S. dioceses raising money for Holy Childhood, he said. For the 2007-08 fiscal year the diocese raised $15,020 — far more than what many larger dioceses raise, Msgr. Schmidt noted.
He said Holy Childhood is an enrichment program for schools and religious education programs that use the resources. He thanked principals, religious education coordinators and other Holy Childhood coordinators who help make the program a success.
Fifteen people were honored during the meeting for their efforts to raise money and awareness of the Holy Childhood Association or for helping children locally.
• Mary Payton has helped for years at the McAnthony Window of St. Anthony Parish in Davenport preparing sandwiches for the needy, which includes children. She is a Holy Childhood advisory council member.
• Alex Brandtner, a Quad-City pediatric dentist, serves children and is an advisory council member.
• Mary Wahlig, a teacher and coordinator of the Holy Childhood program at John F. Kennedy Catholic School in Davenport, accepted the award on behalf of the school.
• Debra Herbers, a religious education teacher at St. Anthony’s, devises creative ways to raise money for Holy Childhood and serves on its advisory council.
• Jerry Marietta has an interest in the welfare of impoverished children and is advisory council vice president.
• Catharine Halligan, advisory council secretary, also serves on the Central and South American Missionary Program board.
• Michael Hagen, an advisory council vice president is also involved in St. Anthony Parish.
• Darlene Brus, advisory council member and faithful supporter of the diocesan missionary programs.
• Michael Giudici, a Quad-City physician, for his efforts helping others.
• Sister Theresa Ann Spitz, RSM, pastoral associate and Holy Childhood coordinator for St. Joseph Parish in DeWitt. She also is an advisory council member.
• Gregory Franich, who serves on the advisory council.
• Christine Meyer, principal at St. Joseph Catholic School in DeWitt, for her work with students in raising money for Holy Childhood. Pat Erickson, Holy Childhood secretary, accepted the award on Meyer’s behalf.
• Alan Hathaway, a Quad-City area dentist, works with children locally and through the diocesan volunteer program.
• Burlington Catholic Schools. Mary Wieser, diocesan superintendent of Catholic schools, accepted the award for the schools.
• Father David Steinle, pastor of Ss. Mary & Joseph Parish in West Burlington, is an advisory council member and serves on the volunteers board.