News & Press

September 28, 2011 - Bishop Healy Award To Be Presented To Judge Antonette Leoney, Fr. Gerald Osterman To Be Honored With Ruffin Award On November 19, 2011

Contact:        
Lorna DesRoses, Director of Black Catholic Ministries,
Office of Cultural Diversity
617-746-5810
ldesroses@rcab.org 

What:             Bishop Healy Award Dinner
When:              Saturday, November 19 2011
Time:              (Reception, 6:00pm; Dinner, 7:00pm)
Where:           The Lantana, 43 Scanlon Drive, Randolph, MA 02368

On November 19, 2011, Cardinal Sean O’Malley will present the Bishop James Augustine Healy award to Judge Antoinette Leoney, an associate justice Of the Massachusetts District Circuit Court, who is a parishioner of St. Katharine Drexel Church in Dorchester.  Judge Leoney is an inspiring example of a strong woman of faith who is very well regarded by her colleagues and fellow parishioners because of her integrity and dedicated pursuit of fairness and justice. She is an encouraging and compassionate presence to parishioners. The Bishop James Augustine Healy Award is given in honor of the legacy of the first recognized black bishop in the United States. This award is presented to an individual who has exemplified strong, effective leadership and service within the Black Catholic community.  

That same evening, Rev. Gerald Osterman will receive the Robert L. Ruffin Award for his enduring pastoral care and leadership of the parishioners of St. Katharine Drexel in Dorchester and Immaculate Conception Parish in Everett. In addition, he has fostered educational opportunities for many young people and their families through his work with Mother Caroline Academy.  The Robert Leo Ruffin Award is presented in honor of a prominent Black Catholic who was dedicated to the education of children and the eradication of racial injustice and is given to those who foster educational opportunities and demonstrate strong personal faith and compassion. The dinner will be held on Saturday, November 19 beginning with a reception at 6pm at the Lantana in Randolph For more information and to purchase tickets, please contact Lorna DesRoses at 617.746.5810 or ldesroses@rcab.org.

Bishop James Augustine Healy was the first African American Roman Catholic Bishop in the United States, the second Bishop of Portland, Maine, and a priest of the then "Boston Diocese."  Each year the award is presented in his honor to recognize a person who has demonstrated strong personal faith and demonstrated strong and effective leadership within the Black Catholic community.  Robert Leo Ruffin was a primary supporter of the first Black Catholic Congress held in Washington D.C. in 1889.  He worked to unify delegates on issues such as Black Catholic education and discrimination.  This award is presented to an individual who fosters educational opportunities, demonstrates strong faith and compassion, and whose life reflects an active concern for the unity of the Church.