WASHINGTON, D.C., NOV. 3, 2010 (Zenit.org).- For his years of dedication and faithful service to mission work, David Suley, director of the Catholic Home Missions Appeal, a subcommittee of the United Sates Catholic Conference of Bishops (USCCB), was awarded the Father Mader Award.
The conference announced the award in a recent press release. The presentation took place Oct. 29 at the 2010 Mission Congress in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Suley, who earned two master’s degrees — one in theology and the other in divinity — from St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park, California, also earned a doctorate in ministry, with a focus on spirituality and justice from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington. He has worked as both a lay missionary in Central Africa as well as at the director level in such Catholic organizations as The Catholic Volunteer Network and Bread for the World.
For the last decade, he has worked at the USCCB, first serving as the secretary for Home Missions, and most recently as the associate director in the Office of National Collections and director of the Catholic Home Missions Appeal.
Through this annual appeal, the Catholic Home Mission is able to bring pastoral services to remote areas of the United States and its territories that would not normally receive such services on without outside assistance. Through donations made to the mission, areas such as the Rocky Mountains and Appalachian Mountains, the Deep South and along the Mexican border, as well as islands in the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean, are able to benefit from religious education, ministry training for religious and lay people, and financial support for poorer parishes in the community.
Suley received congratulations on his award from his peers within the Catholic community.
“I have had the great pleasure of working with David Suley for the past five years. It has truly been a joy to work with him,” said Bishop Michael Warfel of Great Falls-Billings, Montana, and chairman of the Subcommittee on Home Missions. “His enthusiasm for supporting the missionary efforts of the Church both within the U.S. and abroad is impressive.
“Dr. Suley is a man who has a passion for the Catholic faith and a desire to help others share that faith.”
Jim Lindsay, executive director of Catholic Volunteer Network, reflects on the legacy that Father Mader left behind and how Suley works to make Father Mader’s vision a reality. “Suley truly exemplifies what Father Mader and his sister started 47 years ago,” he said. “He has stayed true to his missionary roots both in his professional and personal life and for that, we honor him.”
Father George Mader, a priest from the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey, and his sister Patricia Mader Stalker, founded the Catholic Volunteer Network in 1963. Then in 1988, an award was named in his honor and bestowed to those individuals and organizations that “promote faith-based service in the U.S. and abroad.”
“I am truly honored,” said Suley. “From my years as a lay missionary, […] I have been blessed to serve those in need in our world.”