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Monday, January 17, 2011

Communicator of the Year

Of all the Catholic organizations in the world, surely one of the most unusual is the Salesian Guild of Cincinnati.

It has no dues, no officers, no membership in any meaningful sense and only one meeting a year. And it has been going strong since 1944.

Named for St. Francis de Sales, the patron saint of writers and a patron of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, the Guild brings together Catholic communicators of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky to pray, socialize and learn together.

Attendance is open to anyone, but participants most often are Catholics working in Catholic media, secular media, Church-related public relations, secular public relations, education, and diocesan and parish offices.

One of the highlights of the annual meeting is the presentation of the Catholic Communicator of the Year Award. (Full disclosure: I am a previous recipient.) At the meeting held Jan. 15 at the Sisters of Charity Motherhouse, the winner was the Most Rev. Daniel E. Pilarczyk, archbishop emeritus of Cincinnati and my former boss.

Archbishop Pilarczyk has written more than a dozen popular books, as well as many pamphlets and articles. He has recorded some of his books as audiobooks. In the final years of his archdiocesan leadership, he wrote a series of articles on gratitude called "Grateful Believers."

At age 76 and retired, he is now recording a daily series of Scripture reflections, "Sharing the Word," which is heard on Sirius Radio and more than a hundred Catholic radio stations, plus available in podcast form on the Internet.

In introductory comments, Fr. Greg Friedman. O.F.M., appropriately lauded the clarity and simplicity of Archbishop Pilarczyk's writings and homilies. The archbishop emeritus, after a few words of gratitude, characteristically turned the attention away from himself. He thanked the crowd of communicators present for all they do for the Church.

Ben fatto, DEP!

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