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LAKE CHARLES –Tammy Welch, a parishioner of St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church in Hackberry, was named the “Distinguished Catholic of the Year” by St. Peter Claver Court and Council #168 of St. Henry Catholic Church at the recent Sapphire and Ice Gala fundraiser. Msgr. Daniel Torres, pastor of St. Henry and diocesan Vicar General, made the presentation to Mrs. Welch.

Msgr. Daniel Torres, who introduced the winner during his remarks, pointed out that Ms. Welch, a staff member of St. Peter the Apostle, has been a parishioner there for 56 years. “She is very dedicated, loving, supportive, and a hard worker in her community and church parish,” Msgr. Torres said. “Recognized by her community for her devoted love and service to her fellow man, Welch organizes each year’s Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets for the poor and needy.
  
“She takes the youth of the parish to Christmas carol to the sick and elderly, offering them hope during the Christmas season,” he continued. “ She always makes sure that children who may need help with clothes, food or school supplies are aided. Promoting the values of life, she has accompanied parish youth to the national March for Life to Washington, DC, for the past five years evangelizing the Catholic faith to the nation that “All Life Matters.”
  
(In the photo at left, Bishop Glen John Provost, left, presents the 2015 “Distinguished Catholic of the Year” award to Tammy Welch of St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church in Hackberry, middle, with St. Peter the Apostle pastor, Father Gijo Ikkaramattom, H.G.N.)

Welch worked tirelessly following the hurricanes of Rita in 2005 and Ike in 2008 by helping with cooking, doctoring, and helping firemen, medical personnel, the Office of Emergency Preparedness, and local cattlemen during the after the devastating aftermath of the storms.

“She serves an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, lectors for funerals and weddings, is director of Religious Education at St. Peter, is involved in the Cursillo movement, the parish bereavement committee, Legion of Mary, coordinator of Catholic Charities for the parish, and a Confirmation and First Communion teacher,” Msgr. Torres continued. Welch has been previously honored for her work with the Devoted Service Medal from the Diocese.

Proceeds from the event will be used to support College-level seminarians studying for the priesthood for the Diocese of Lake Charles and the St. Henry Catholic Church’s Building Bridges Capital Campaign, which is in its second year.
  
Pastors of the church parishes of the Diocese of Lake Charles were asked to nominate an individual for the award, except for St. Henry since it was serving as a host for the gala.


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