Congratulations to Sister Janice Vanderneck, a long-time advocate for immigrants in the Latino community, who was honored recently by the National Catholic Association of Diocesan Directors for Hispanic Ministry.
Sister Janice was publicly recognized as one of the recipients of the association’s 30th Anniversary Regional Recognition Awards, which seek to affirm the diverse visible gifts of the Spirit in the Hispanic ministry and to build up the Church in our times. She was acknowledged at the anniversary gala dinner on November 3 as part of the association’s annual conference in Las Vegas where more than 150 members, partners and guests gathered to express prayers of gratitude and to celebrate the many blessings of God in their pastoral work.
Sister Janice, Director of Civic Engagement for Casa San José, was recommended for the award by Jorge Vela, Director of Hispanic Apostolate for the Diocese of Pittsburgh, and subsequently chosen as one of two honorees by the Regional Directors of Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Humbled and honored by the award, Sister Janice says the significance of the award stems from her faith community.
“My motivation for service with and for Hispanic immigrants is fired by my Catholic faith,” she says, expressing gratitude to the Association of Diocesan Directors and the Sisters of St. Joseph for their support in enabling her to attend the conference.
“There I was able to receive the award in person in the midst of my faithful peers from all around the United States. It was as if Christ was saying to us in the words of Saint Paul, ‘I give thanks to my God at every remembrance of you’.”
The Sisters of St. Joseph opened Casa San José (House of St. Joseph), a resource center for Latino immigrants in 2013, as an outreach to support the ongoing and important work of Sister Janice in the Pittsburgh region.
The National Catholic Association of Diocesan Directors for Hispanic Ministry, in communion with the Bishops of the United States supports, provides resources and assists in the ongoing professional development of Hispanic Ministry diocesan staff, in order to facilitate full participation of Hispanics in the mission of the Church and society.