By Fr. Eugene J. Tremblay, OMI
St. Joseph the Worker Shrine in the 60th anniversary year (2016) of its formal dedication as an inner-city spiritual oasis (the established Oblate foundation here dates back to 1868) launched what would become an annual Christian Worker Recognition Award.
Awardees are folks in the greater-Lowell area who have demonstrated the Christian values of faith, humility and outreach to the marginalized in their personal lives as well as integrity, respect and service in the workplace.
The awardees are men/women who in various ways embody the values of St. Joseph: a just, honest and self-sacrificing person but also a courageous man. Through his resolute action, he demonstrated his faith, love and acceptance of God’s will – under challenging and even dangerous circumstances. Joseph took on immense responsibility humbly and without hesitation.
The awardees are selected after a congregation-wide nominating process followed by a discernment rendered by a Selection Committee. The Director of the Shrine, Fr. Michael Amesse, OMI, presented the 2021 Award on Saturday, 11 September at the 4:00 pm Vigil Mass.
This year’s Awardee is Mrs. Nancy Humphrey – a woman who has gone above and beyond the stipulated award criteria; her complete bio is available on our Website.
Here’s an excerpt from Dr. Rebecca Duda’s Letter of nomination:
“Through her work as a guidance counselor, she advised countless students on post-high school plans and wrote numerous letters of recommendation for college applications….Upon her retirement from the Lowell Public Schools, Nancy returned to work for the school district as a part-time McKinney-Vento Family Liaison…This Federal act was passed by Congress to help protect the rights of homeless students.
…Nancy has worked tirelessly to serve the over 1,200 homeless students, and their families, in the Lowell Public Schools. In her role, she helps identify families at the time of enrollment in to the district. These families may be living in homeless shelters, motels, or doubled up with friends or relatives because they are unable to afford a place of their own. She will assist the families by helping them get all the required documentation needed for enrollment, but more importantly she services the whole family by getting them clothing from Catie’s Closet, food, school supplies, and other basic household items. (Often out of her own pocket!) …”