A total of 243 catechists and directors of religious education from throughout the Archdiocese of Philadelphia who were marking significant anniversaries were honored at the annual Mass and award ceremony for Parish Religious Education Programs (PREP) on Saturday, Jan. 6 at the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul. Archbishop Charles Chaput was the main celebrant and homilist for the liturgy, and Auxiliary Bishop Michael Fitzgerald presented the educators with various awards for their years of service in teaching the Catholic faith in parish communities. (Photos by Sarah Webb)
Diane Neville, right, was a St. Martin de Porres awardee for her 20 years of service at St. Patrick Parish in Malvern.
Carmelo Fontan, a religious educator for 15 years at St. Agnes Parish in West Chester, received the Our Lady of Guadalupe Award.
Archbishop Charles Chaput preaches to the congregation at the Religious Educators Mass Jan. 6 at the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul.
Educators bring up the offertory gifts during the Mass.
Linda Quirk, who received the St. Martin de Porres Award for 20 years of service, prays during Mass.
Members of Matthew H. McCloskey Jr.’s family pray during Mass.
Matthew Radico prays during the Mass for Religious Educators on Saturday, Jan. 6. Radico received the St. John Neumann Award for five years as a religious educator.
Sister Madre Stella prays during Mass.
Pete Postiglione from Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Secane was awarded the Our Lady of Guadalupe Award for 15 years as a religious educator.
Dennis M. Mueller, Queen of the Family Award recipient for 25 years of service as a director of religious education, prays during Mass.
Archbishop Charles Chaput blesses the awards before they are distributed.
Bishop Michael Fitzgerald greets recipients of the religious educator awards.
Tracy Pizzuto of SS. Phillip and James Parish in Exton receives the Pius X Award from Bishop Michael Fitzgerald.
St. Cyprian parishioner Laura Blackwell receives the Pope John Paul II Award.
Bishop Fitzgerald presents the Elizabeth Ann Seton Award to Joanne M. Trageser for 20 years as a DRE.
The McCloskey family and in particular Matthew McCloskey Jr., founder of the Archdiocesan Educational Fund and St. Martin de Porres Foundation, was honored with the Paul VI Award from the Philadelphia Archdiocese. From left, Archbishop Charles Chaput stands with Matthew H. McCloskey IV, Catherine Reimel Hamilton (a family member) and Bishop Michael Fitzgerald.