Sunday, June 5th was a special day at St. Francis of Assisi parish. Three parishioners, Maureen Deutermann, Lucy Cason, and Mark Trotta, received the Francis Medal, which is the highest honor that the friars can bestow. It is given to a lay person who makes an extraordinary contribution to the advancement of the values and ideals of St. Francis.
Maureen has been a longtime volunteer of the parish. She has served in several of our ministries, including the parish council, music ministry, religious education, and, most notably Francis Fest. Maureen’s commitment to the Franciscan spirit of hospitality has grown the fall festival (Francis Fest) into the most popular social function at the parish. As chair, she has created a well-oiled machine with people returning to work with her year after year. Maureen has also volunteered as a lead catechist in the Religious Education program, and she has remained committed to the physical health of the parish over the years by organizing annual blood drives.
Wherever Lucy Cason and her family have been reassigned, they have intentionally sought out a Franciscan parish. Lucy and her husband, Kemp, came to the parish from Sacred Heart in Tampa, Florida and immediately became a force of action. As a part of the leadership team, she completely reshaped and reinvigorated the RCIA journey for close to 40 candidates and catechumens over 2 years. She also volunteered her time and her talent as one of the parish photographers. The photos Lucy captured have comprised most of the imagery on our newly designed website. Some of her work included photographing the Holy Triduum in 2015 and 2016, as well as the Women’s Cornerstone Retreat. In addition to taking pictures at Cornerstone, Lucy served on the Registration and Programming Committee and facilitated a small group. Her enthusiasm in all she did was infectious at the parish, and she will be missed. She is moving to Louisiana with her husband and two daughters to be closer to family.
July of this year would have been the start of Mark Trotta’s 23rd year playing piano at St. Francis of Assisi. He has also played professionally all his life. Mark recently retired from 22 years of teaching, the last 20 years of which involved teaching band at Lake Ridge Middle School. Mark has been the church’s primary accompanist (piano and organ) for all major liturgical events, including Sunday Mass, weddings, and funerals. His unique ability to play in a variety of different styles was a perfect fit for our diverse parish community. Nikole Giraldi, Directory of Music Ministry, said “What he has contributed to the music ministry has shaped us into the group we are and while we are thrilled that he will be closer to his grandchildren, we will miss him dearly!” Mark will be moving to Charlotte, NC with his three sons and lovely wife Margaret to be near his four granddaughters.
We extend our warm congratulations to Maureen, Lucy, and Mark for their dedication, service, and commitment to St. Francis of Assisi parish. We wish all of you the very best!