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Parishioners and Port Huron Pay Tribute to Sister Gloria

By Sister Mary Lou Putrow, OP

June 20, 2016, Port Huron, Michigan – When Mayor Pauline M. Repp of Port Huron, Michigan, declared that so many people had never before been in attendance at the Annual Spirit of Port Huron Awards Ceremony, little did she know that 90 percent of the attendees were from Holy Trinity Parish. They came in support and tribute to Sister Gloria Korhonen, one of two recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Spirit of Port Huron Awards Program was established to recognize citizens who had made a significant contribution to the city. Sister Gloria was among 11 award recipients at the 2016 event, held in the late afternoon of June 13 after a reception at McMorran Lounge.

The Lifetime Achievement Award “bestows special recognition on the rare individual who has consistently and unselfishly given an extraordinary amount of time and personal effort over the course of many years toward the betterment of their community.”

Michael W. Reaves, Director of Public Safety for the City of Port Huron, congratulates Sister Gloria. Looking on is John Kendrick, who, with his wife Ann, received the Civic Award. Photo by Ricardo Ramales

City Council member Rico Ruiz, in presenting the award to Sister Gloria, noted her 53 years of service as music and religious formation teacher at St. Joseph Church in Port Huron – which has since merged with others to become Holy Trinity Parish. Mr. Ruiz – himself a former student of Sister Gloria’s – described her work in collaborating with Grace Episcopal Church to present major vocal works to the community, as well as her key role in United We Sing events. She holds a bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in special education from Wayne State University, Detroit.

“Sister Gloria has inspired many to choose a career path in music or pursue a devotion to music,” Mr. Ruiz noted. “Over the years, she has spent countless hours patiently directing and teaching the Chorale Choir and Celebration Singers. Most importantly, this has been done with a smile on her face.”

Mr. Ruiz concluded his tribute with commentary on Sister Gloria’s character. “She does not judge or carry prejudice,” he noted. “Sister Gloria is one of those rare, dedicated individuals who unselfishly gives of herself to others. We are all beneficiaries of her teaching and her contributions to the community.”

The love and admiration of Sister Gloria’s parishioners was unmistakable as the crowd gave her a standing ovation at her acceptance of the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Sister Gloria chats with the choir members and their spouses who attended the ceremony. Photo by Ricardo Ramales

The parish celebration of Sister Gloria did not end with the ceremony. The parishioners had arranged for a special dinner in an exquisite setting at the Port Huron Township Elks Club. At the conclusion of the evening, the choir members serenated her in gentle harmony with a beautiful blessing. She was chauffeured home in the same style in which she had arrived at the ceremony – in an elegant, vintage car which appeared to be right of the Great Gatsby era.

Adrian Dominican Sisters Sue Schreiber, Janet Fulgenzi, and Mary Lou Putrow were privileged to be part of the celebration and to witness the deep appreciation and affection of the many parishioners for Sister Gloria and her ministry with them.

PAB Announces Loan Investments to Four Community Organizations

June 15, 2016, Adrian, Michigan – The Portfolio Advisory Board (PAB) of the Adrian Dominican Sisters is sending out low-interest loans to four community service organizations. The loans – sent to organizations from Oklahoma and California to Maryland and South Carolina – were recommended by the PAB and approved by the Congregation’s General Council. The funds are scheduled to be sent out on June 15 to:

  • Staff members of the Citizen Potawatomi Community Development Corporation, located in Shawnee, Oklahoma. 
    Citizens Potawatomi Community Development Corporation (CPCDC). This certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) provides several kinds of loans – from microloans and business loans to asset-building Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) to Citizen Potawatomi Tribal members and other Native Americans throughout the United States. The loan from the Congregation will be pooled with those from other capital investors to make small business and micro-loans to at-risk Native American households in Oklahoma. CPCDC, founded in 2003 and headquartered in Shawnee, Oklahoma, also offers financial education workshops and small business development services. The organization’s mission is to “promote, educate, and inspire entrepreneurial growth and financial well-being of the Citizen Potawatomi National tribal community.”

  • Morro Del Mar, a 21-unit tax credit rental project for seniors, is located in Morro Bay, California.
    San Luis Obispo County Housing Trust Fund (SLOCHTF). Founded in 2003, this non-profit organization makes loan funds available to very low through moderate-income residents of San Obispo County, California, filling a niche between financing offered by banks and government housing programs. The Housing Trust Fund offers more flexible and favorable terms than banks and is generally more responsive and flexible than government housing programs. The Congregation has already made a loan to SLOCHTF; the recently-approved loan will be used as loan capital to finance affordable housing projects for lower-income households. Since 2005, when the organization first offered loans, it has provided more than $17 million to finance 641 units of affordable housing.

  • Families take part in National Night Out in August 2015.
    St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center. St. Ambrose aims to “create, preserve, and maintain equal housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income people primarily in Baltimore City and encourage and support strong and diverse neighborhoods.” The loan from the Adrian Dominican Congregation – with loans from other sources – will support a multi-year, multi-phase project to preserve, stabilize, and expand St. Ambrose’s rental portfolio to provide quality affordable housing to low-income Baltimore households headed by single women with dependent children. The 310 affordable rental units owned and managed by St. Ambrose are a significant source of stability for hundreds of households in Baltimore City and County.

  • Midlands Housing Trust Fund Executive Director Brian Huskey at the groundbreaking of Phase II of Village at River's Edge, a 124-unit, multi-family tax credit development in Columbia, South Carolina.
    Midlands Housing Trust Fund (MHTF). This non-profit organization provides financing, technical assistance, and advocacy for the construction, rehabilitation, and preservation of affordable housing in the Midlands of South Carolina. While the Congregation has already invested in a low-interest loan in MHTF, the additional loan will be used to expand the organization’s service area to include 15 counties, most of which are rural with high rates of poverty. The Congregation’s loan will be used in areas which have no other funding. When formerly rent-burdened households receive access to affordable housing, they have more money to spend on other necessities, such as transportation, health care, food and clothing. Midlands places high priority on lending for the creation of permanent service-enriched housing for individuals and families who are homeless.

Founded more than 40 years ago, the PAB was a response to the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ vision for social change. Firmly rooted in the tradition of Catholic social teachings, the PAB helps the Congregation to advocate for social justice in two ways. Through Community Investments work, the PAB offers low-interest loans to non-profit community organizations that benefit low-income people and underserved communities. The PAB Corporate Responsibility arm monitors the Congregation’s investments and engages in shareholder activities on matters of justice involving corporations in which the Congregation invests.  

Feature photo: Members of the St. Ambrose community get ready to volunteer for YouthWorks.



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