SALT LAKE CITY — Two women who have served long and faithfully on diocesan committees were recognized recently.
Mary Kay Griffin, a CPA who contracts with the diocese, has been a part of the Diocesan Finance Council, Capital Development Corporation Board of Directors and the Lay Employees’ Pension Board for 20 years, as well as serving as the finance council representative on the Pastoral Plan committee.
A Saint Ambrose parishioner, Griffin said her service was “a way, with my experience, education and training, I could support the efforts of the diocese. It was an opportunity to give back.”
“I am so grateful that Mary Kay has graciously served on various diocesan councils, committees and boards for decades,” diocesan Chief Financial Officer Joan Loffredo said of Griffin. “Her expertise, demeanor and wisdom, along with her love for our church, has been instrumental in influencing the workings of the various diocesan groups. She exemplifies lay leadership in ministry.”
Nancy Essary has been a member of the Diocesan Finance Council and Capital Development Corporation Board of Directors for 15 years.
Principal at St. Joseph Elementary School, Essary said she had originally had been asked to serve on the committees by Loffredo because she had a background in accounting before becoming an educator.
“It has been a wonderful experience,” she said. “I was pleased to work on the committee with everyone. Even though we had some turnover, Mary Kay, who had been on the committee the longest, was a guiding factor.”
“Nancy Essary is a gift to the diocese, in particular to our Catholic schools system,” Loffredo said. “Her vast knowledge and prudent care have been, and will continue to be, a wonderful contribution to our diocese.”
Monsignor Colin Bircumshaw, vicar general, who worked with the two women on the committees, had high praise for them.
“Mary Kay and Nancy are both ... exceptionally competent, professional and gracious women who have served the needs of the diocese in innumerable ways over many, many years,” Msgr. Bircumshaw said. “Their expertise in financial oversight has been especially valuable to the functioning of the Diocese Finance Council and Capital Development Corporation. And they are both very enjoyable people to work with. I will miss their presence on both boards.”
On May 21, Bishop Oscar A. Solis presented each woman with the Madeleine Medal of Appreciation for Faithful Service.
The Madeleine Medal is an award given by the Diocese of Salt Lake City. It was created by Msgr. Bircumshaw in 2012 in response to a need expressed by several pastors for such an award. The award honors an individual person or married couple annually from a parish or diocesan institution who has exemplified faithful service to the parish or community over many years.
Essary said she was “completely surprised” to receive the Madeleine Medal and felt very honored to have received it.
“It’s absolutely beautiful,” she said. “I’m not worthy of such an honor.”
Griffin expressed similar feelings.
“You’re never quite sure you’re doing something worthy enough to get that recognition,” she said. “It’s something I’ll treasure forever.”