Lumen Gentium Service Awards Banquet Postponed Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

2020 Lumen Gentium Awardees Announced


PROVIDENCE — Due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Diocese of Providence has postponed its annual Lumen Gentium Service Awards Banquet until this fall.

The banquet, which honors those who work selflessly in support of the Church, will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020 — the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary — at the Twin River Event Center in Lincoln.

The event, which will honor 15 individuals and groups in nine categories, with an additional presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award in the category of Catholic Education, had previously been scheduled for May 13.

“Lumen Gentium is such an important event in the life of our diocesan church that it warrants a peaceful, joyful and comfortable occasion which can be more readily achieved in the fall given the current circumstances in our world,” said Louise Dussault, chairperson of the diocese’s Lumen Gentium Committee.

“Insuring that we are able to respectfully honor these great servants of the Lord and the community is what matters most.” 

Since 2013, when the Lumen Gentium Awards were first presented, the Diocese of Providence has recognized 89 individuals and groups, representing 54 parishes across the state. The awards banquets have raised more than $450,000 in support of various ministries over the last seven years.

This year, two diocesan ministries have been chosen to benefit from the proceeds of this year’s awards banquet: “Keep the Heat On,” and Emmanuel House.

“Keep the Heat On,” the diocesan heating assistance program which helps households with nowhere else to turn for help staying warm in the winter, has raised $3.1 million since 2005 and provided a much-needed lifeline to more than 14,000 households, individuals and families over the last 14 years.

Emmanuel House opened three days before Christmas in 2010, in a former diocese-owned and operated child day care center on Public Street, on the city’s South Side. In the last decade there has been rarely a night when the 50-bed men’s shelter for those with nowhere else to turn for help has not been at or above capacity.

In times of inclement weather, or adverse conditions, such as the coronavirus outbreak, the shelter has remained open around the clock to provide a safe, warm place for guests to rest. The shelter through the years has also offered job placement assistance to the guests and has operated a community garden which has generated some of the food provided there.

2020 Lumen Gentium Awardees

Administration & Stewardship:

Trustees of the Thomas Beckett Foundation Brown University


Catholic Education:

Linda LaPlume
St. Joseph Church, West Warwick

Sister Mary Bernice Pikul, C.S.S.F.
St. Adalbert Church, Providence


Lifetime Achievement Award in Catholic Education:

Lillian McIntyre
St. Philip Church, Greenville


 Evangelization & Communications:

Serra Club Providence Chapter


Community Service & Charitable Outreach:

The Elmhurst Boys
St. Pius V Church, Providence


Distinguished Catholic Youth:

Julia Ferreira
St. Francis Xavier Church, East Providence


Parish Service:

John Boni
St. Joseph Church, Woonsocket

Jack Costa
Our Lady of Fatima Church, Cumberland

Mary Donnelly
St. Andrew Church, Block Island

Sally Gauch
St. Lucy Church, Middletown

Robert Orabone
St. Ann Church, Providence


Public Service:

Donald Carcieri and the late Suzanne Carcieri
Our Lady of Mercy Church, East Greenwich


Respect Life:

Margherite Garrahy
St. Thomas More Church, Narragansett


Friend of the Diocese:

Alan Shawn Feinstein


Rhode Island Catholic, which is currently publishing online only until its chancery building office reopens for normal business, will feature biographies of and accept advertising in support of each of the winners in upcoming print editions as the event approaches.


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