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(ST. LOUS) – Aquinas Institute of Theology is pleased to announce the recipients of the second annual St. Rose of Lima Society Award to recognize women who have made significant contributions to the life of the Catholic Church and the ministry of Jesus. Five women from the St. Louis and Metro East areas have been chosen for induction into the Society. Sister Julia Huiskamp, will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Corliss Cox, Kathleen Davis, Rosario Gasquet, and Sister Carolyn Sur will be honored as Pillars of Dominican Spirituality. Their induction will take place at the St. Rose of Lima Society Luncheon on Thursday, March 29, 2012, at 11:30 am, at the Chase Park Plaza, 212 North Kingshighway, Saint Louis, Missouri.

This society is named for St. Rose of Lima, who entered the Order of Preachers (Dominicans) in 1602. St. Rose, the first person born in the Americas to be canonized a saint, is especially noteworthy for carrying her ministry into the wider community. The St. Rose of Lima Society recognizes and honors those women who exemplify the pillars central to Dominican spirituality: preaching, prayer, study and community.

Sister Julia Huiskamp, D.C., of East Saint Louis, Illinois is being honored with the St. Rose of Lima Lifetime Achievement Award. She has directly served children for 44 years and for 42 of those years the youngsters served were the poorest of the poor in the poverty stricken west side of Chicago and the devastated city of East Saint Louis. In addition to her direct service to children and their families, she is also an advocate for them on local, state, and national levels in matters concerning housing, education, health care, and social services. After beginning her professional career working as a reporter for the Keokuk Daily Gate City Newspaper, she decided she wanted her life’s work to have meaning “to be something more than a piece of newsprint that could be used to wrap someone’s garbage and thrown away.” In 1959 she entered the convent and has been a member of the Daughters of Charity for over fifty years. Since 1985, when she moved to East Saint Louis, she has taken on the task of improving the lives of children living in one of the city’s worst public housing projects. While working with the Coalition for Decent Housing, Sister Julia convinced the Department of Housing and Urban Development to give her a place for a youth program. The Griffin House took off immediately and grew to six sites helping over 750 children that were enrolled. In addition to her many activities serving children, Sr. Julia has also served on the Board of Voices for Illinois Children, The Daycare Action Council of Illinois, the Community Affairs Division of the United Way of Greater Saint Louis, the Housing Committee of the Urban League of Metropolitan Saint Louis, TANF advisory committee of the State of Illinois Department of Human Services for over twenty years, State of Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, the Legislative Advisory Committee of the Catholic Conference of Illinois, Mayor Washington’s committee to End Hunger (Chicago) and the Board of Trustees of DePaul University.

Corliss Cox of Saint Louis, Missouri, is being honored as a Pillar of Dominican Spirituality. She illumines the Gospel as the coordinator of Youth Ministry at the Saint Charles Lwanga Center. This award recognizes that a person exemplifies what it means to love God and neighbor. She has demonstrated her commitment in the planning and implementation of the KUJENGA Leadership Conference, the facilitation of 7 Habits for Effective Pre-Teens and the Fallible Human Beings Teen group for the enhancement of spirituality. As part of her continuing education in her vocation as youth minister, she has attended numerous workshops relating to pastoral care issues of special importance to teens, She has attended the Cycles of Scripture Study and in recent years has devoted a great part of her life to the formation program for profession as an Associate of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondolet. She also dedicates herself to her Parish, serving as a liturgical minister.

Kathleen Davis of Saint Louis, Missouri, will be honored as a Pillar of Dominican Spirituality. Kathleen is the leader of youth ministry and RCIA at Mary Queen of Peace, in Webster Groves, Missouri. Her interactions and spiritual guidance with teens exemplifies the Pillars of Dominican Spirituality. She was the leader of annual “survivor retreats” that allow teens to “walk with the homeless” enabling them to perform community service while gaining awareness of the struggle to survive that many in our own community face each day. In addition to that retreat, she also leads the annual Luke 18 retreats, preparing more than 150 seventh and eighth graders to help bring the Gospels to life. Kathleen serves the community as a hospital chaplain at Cardinal Glennon Hospital and is the Volunteer coordinator for Covenant House Missouri.

Rosario Gasquet of Saint Louis, Missouri, will be honored as a Pillar of Dominican Spirituality for service to people in her native Peru. Rosario has been responsible for making arrangements for birthmothers to meet adoptive parents, scheduling court proceedings and meetings with social workers, lawyers, doctor visits, living arrangements and social events for adoptive families. She served as an interpreter and managed the entire adoption process for approximately 180 adoptions. As a teacher at Gateway Academy, Rosario established an English as a Second Language program and worked with the school’s Foreign Exchange Students Program. She has also taught at St. Austin School, John Paul II High School and Meramec Community College. She is also the founder and director of EMDAP (Estudiantes Misioneros de Apoyo a Peruanos), a non -profit group that is responsible for more than five three-week-long missionary trips to Chiclayo, Peru. Rosario continues to bring people together, and she is currently working for the Legionnaires of Christ coordinating their foreign exchange student programs in Dallas and Houston.

Sister Carolyn Sur, S.S.N.D., of Saint Louis, Missouri, is honored as a Pillar of Dominican Spirituality. Sister Carolyn served her community as Campus Minister at the St. Louis University School of Law and at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in Indiana. In the latter position she preached in an annual Ecumenical Thanksgiving Program and participated weekly in an Ecumenical Book Discussion at Indiana State University. Upon receiving her Ph.D. in Historical Theology she taught courses for the Diocese of Shreveport, Louisiana. Sister Carolyn will celebrate fifty years of living in community as a vowed religious in the Congregation of the School Sisters of Notre Dame. She also serves as a member of the Metropolitan Congregations United, which seeks better living conditions for the citizens of Lemay, Missouri.

For more information regarding the St. Rose of Lima Society or the St. Rose of Lima luncheon, please contact Ann Richardson at the Aquinas Institute of Theology (314) 256-8877, or e-mail richardson@ai.edu.

Aquinas Institute of Theology is a St. Louis-based Roman Catholic graduate school of theology and ministry administered by the Order of Preachers (Dominicans). Offering both residential and on-line degree programs, Aquinas Institute of Theology is the only Catholic institution in America to offer a Doctor of Ministry degree in preaching.

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