Two local residents recently received 2011 Bishop Gartland Awards for outstanding service to the Catholic Church in South Georgia.
Savannah Bishop Gregory J. Hartmayer conferred the awards on Madeline Von Waldner Cetti of Midway and Patricia Sippel of Hinesville, along with 82 other South Georgia recipients, at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Savannah on Nov. 20.
Cetti and Sippel are members of St. Stephen, First Martyr Catholic Church in Hinesville.
Cetti and her husband originally are from Savannah. After moving to Midway in 1993, the couple became parishioners of St. Stephen Church, where Cetti has devoted much of her time and talent to the church’s various ministries. She has served as a Eucharistic minister, a member of the Right to Life committee and on the Council of Catholic Women.
It is her work with the St. Vincent de Paul Society that brings Cetti the most fulfillment.
“Madeline is a convicted woman with a gentle spirit,” said Father Thomas Murphy, pastor of St. Stephen Church. “She always has a smile and a kind word. I am blessed to have her involved here at St. Stephen.”
Meanwhile, Sippel worked as the pastoral assistant for many years at Victory Chapel at Fort Stewart. Since joining St. Stephen Church, she has served as a lector, Eucharistic minister and usher. She has participated in many potlucks and parish social events and has used her talents to make afghans and slippers.
“Pat Sippel is an all-around great server to the church and community,” Murphy said. “I was reminded how much she does when I asked her to type it up for me. She serves the church, military and community in whatever way she can.”
Named for Francis X. Gartland, the first bishop of Savannah, the award is bestowed on persons who have given distinguished service to the church.
The award was instituted in 2000 to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the Diocese of Savannah.