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Diocese of Toledo to present Open Arms Awards June 3

The 19th annual Open Arms Awards will be presented during the Diocese of Toledo’s celebration honoring persons with disabilities this Saturday, June 3.

Bishop Daniel E. Thomas will be the main celebrant for Mass at 4:30 p.m. at St. Jerome Church in Walbridge. The award presentation will take place after Communion.

The Open Arms Awards recognize Catholics with disabilities and their advocates who demonstrate Christian service in their parishes and communities.

This year’s Open Arms Award recipients include:

  • Mary Jo Bosch has been a parishioner at St. Jerome Parish in Walbridge since 1968. Two of Mary Jo’s nine children were born with disabilities: son David passed away at age 2 and daughter Christy passed away at age 34. The Bosch family always attended Sunday Mass together when the children were young, witnessing their faith to their fellow parishioners, as well as the community beyond the parish boundaries. Mary Jo extended her caregiving compassion to other families raising children with disabilities when she worked for the county’s early intervention program, helping to connect families with community resources.
  • Jan Hazen from Sacred Heart Parish in Fremont lives with chronic illnesses and has experienced significant loss throughout her life. Despite her losses, or maybe in thanksgiving for her blessings, Jan attends daily Mass. She served as the Province Director and President of the Toledo Diocesan Council of Catholic Women and remains active in her parish Altar Rosary Society. Jan also serves her parish as a lector and an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion. She coordinates funeral masses and luncheons, serves on her parish welcoming committee, coordinates the church cleaning teams and volunteers in the kitchen every summer for Vacation Bible School week.
  • Rosalia Pawliski from Most Blessed Sacrament Parish in Toledo is 92 years young and spends an hour in the Adoration Chapel every week. She is an Associate of the Ursuline Sisters, and worked as a nurse at the Ursuline Center for 14 years. After retirement, she volunteered to visit and care for residents of the Ursuline Care Center, to provide respite for their caregivers. Rosie served her parish as an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, taking the Eucharist to residents in a long-term care facility; and volunteered in the parish office as a receptionist. In the community, Rosie volunteered to answer phones at a Senior Center for 20 years.
  • Jeff Rogge, from St. Richard Parish in Swanton, came into the Catholic Church in 2014. Jeff became a double amputee after a truck accident on the Ohio turnpike, just a few feet away from the parish grounds. Jeff has served his parish on the maintenance committee, working to renovate the benches in the parish prayer garden. He is married and has two children and six grandchildren. According to the St. Richard parishioners who nominated Jeff, “He is always helping others, whether parishioners, friends or family members.
  • Tim Tegge is a member of St. Aloysius Parish in Bowling Green. He is a gifted musician, playing the acoustic guitar and harmonica, composing and performing his own music for parish retreats and other special events. One of his songs, “Build It on Life,” was featured one year by the Foundation for Life. Although Tim has been legally blind since age 7, he has been known to ride a bicycle to St. Al’s for daily Mass, even in the winter. Tim has served as leader and co-leader for parish retreats, has co-chaired the Liturgy and Worship Implementation Team for the past seven years, served on the school development committee and is a member of the Knights of Columbus. He is currently development coordinator for the Sight Center of Northwest Ohio.

For more information, contact Marsha Rivas, coordinator of the Diocese of Toledo Office for Persons with Disabilities, at mrivas@toledodiocese.org or 419-214-4938.