Two faithful members of the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw were honored on Aug. 14 for their lifelong commitment to living and sharing their Catholic faith in ways that continue the evangelizing mission of Jesus Christ.
Sister Elaine Raymond, MSSp and Charles Wargel, both parishioners at Christ the Good Shepherd Parish in Saginaw, received this year's Bishop Murphy Award for giving witness to their faith throughout their lives in word and deed.
“Both Sister Elaine and Charlie are powerful examples of what this award celebrates,” Bishop Cistone said. “They put faith into action and lead by example. They are true witnesses to the Good News of the Gospel, always serving with enthusiasm, humility and love.”
Sister Elaine Raymond, MSSp, has been engaged in an exceptional ministry for more than 40 years, bringing SPRED (Special Religious Education) to the Diocese of Saginaw. She has taught many special needs children and adults about their Catholic faith and has prepared them to receive the sacraments, while also training many other leaders who educate students in the program. Sister Elaine is a chaplain at Covenant HealthCare and a volunteer for Covenant VNA Hospice and Southern Care Hospice. In addition, she ministers at the Saginaw County Jail, assists at local food pantries, is involved with the Ezekiel Project and is very active at her parish.
Charles Wargel started volunteering for Saginaw-Shiawassee Habitat for Humanity the day after he retired from his job as an engineer at General Motors. That was 20 years ago. In his two decades as a “full-time volunteer,” he has been part of the building and/or renovation of 184 homes. Recognizing the great demand for families in need of home repairs, Charles also helped kick start the local Habitat chapter’s home repair project and has helped more than 400 families through this initiative. Charles’ more than 40,000 hours volunteering as Project Manager for Habitat, as well as his personal contributions, have saved the agency more than $1 million. In addition to his Habitat commitment, Charles is dedicated to serving his parish community and bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ to others, both locally and nationally— even giving a pocket Cross to George W. Bush when the president visited Saginaw.