The Springfield Diocesan Council of Catholic Women (SDCCW) have announced the names of four young women from the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois who each were recognized at the recent Woman of Distinction Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and awarded a $500 scholarship.
Mary Ann Sullivan, the SDCCW scholarship chair noted that many young women were nominated for the award. “You young ladies were in competition with the best of our diocese and you, along with all the other outstanding applicants are the fruit of the earth and hope for all,” she said.
The winners are:
Lauren Blair, daughter of Tim and Tiffany Blair of Divernon, is a graduate of Sacred Heart-Griffin High School in Springfield and is a member of Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception Parish in Springfield. Lauren plans to attend the University of Louisville, majoring in biology. Lauren is an altar server, Vacation Bible School volunteer, and a tutor for the Matthew Project. She was captain of the swim team and coaches and teaches swimming at the YMCA.
Isabelle Daiber, daughter of Tim and Gena Daiber of Vandalia, is a graduate of St. Anthony High School in Effingham and is a member of Mother of Dolors Parish. She plans to attend the University of Illinois, majoring in middle school education/mathematics. At her parish she is a member of the church choir, is a cantor, and a volunteer for many parish events. She has sewed bags for Mission International, attended the March for Life for three years, attended the National Catholic Youth Conference as well as the Theology of the Body Retreat, and has been a Kairos retreat leader. She has also been a member of 4-H for nine years.
Catherine Kennedy, daughter of Victoria Kennedy of Sherman, is a graduate of Williamsville High School in Williamsville and a member of St. John Vianney Parish. She will be attending the University of Illinois in Springfield, majoring in biology with a pre-med focus. At her parish she has been a faith formation teacher, involved in youth group activities, and she undertook the organizing of 18 youth to paint the dining area of the St. John’s activity center. She was a member of National Honor Society, Student Council, the cross-country team and was class secretary. She was also involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and was a leader of Jared’s Keeper Suicide Awareness and Prevention.
Grace Mackey, daughter of Shawn and Michelle Mackey of Chatham, is a graduate of Glenwood High School in Chatham and a member of St. Joseph the Worker Parish. She will be attending Blackburn College, majoring in elementary education, and playing on the Blackburn softball team. At her parish she has been a faith formation teacher for third-graders over the past four years. She has been a volunteer with Special Olympics and for Helping Hands, preparing and serving meals to the homeless. She was also on the GHS junior and varsity softball teams.
At the Women of Distinction Mass, Sullivan said the young women obviously learned a lot from their parents and other important adults in their lives. “Tribute goes to your parents and all those in your life that have taught you your faith by word and example,” she said. “We congratulate you on taking your faith to task and living it in your family, your church, your school and your community. What a witness and inspiration you are to all of us. May the Holy Spirit go with you always!”