Archbishop’s Medallion Recipients, 2018

Amelia Tristan
Holy Cross of San Antonio

This year’s Holy Cross 2018 Archbishop’s Medallion recipient is a very active, and practical member of her parish and school faith communities.
Her parish life is marked with both leadership and devotion to service through the Teen ACTS Retreat and Life Teen programs. In addition to regular attendance at Mass, she was spiritually impacted by her own ACTS retreat so much that she volunteered and was chosen to be on ACTS team twice. This, in no small way, is due to her pastoral leadership skills which have garnered her the deep respect of her parish leadership.

Her campus life at Holy Cross is also marked with leadership and devotion to spirituality. She has a quiet, but yet inspiring way amongst her peers. Her service on campus lies in the fact that she is a relied upon campus minister who helps coordinate the various campus Masses and helps design and implements class retreats. These spiritual and service hallmarks of hers, all stem from her deep devotion to her faith and to Christ-like living.

Angelica Flores
Antonian College Preparatory High School

The faculty and staff of Antonian College Preparatory High School proudly nominate this student as the recipient of the 2018 Archbishop’s Medallion. This student immerses herself in a myriad of activities that, in an unassuming and humble way, exhibit her unwavering devotion to her Catholic faith.

This student first became involved in her parish, Our Lady of Guadalupe, when she and her mother would take her grandmother to Mass on Sundays. With the strength of her musical abilities, this student directs the bilingual choir, cantors the psalm every Sunday, and sings at weddings and funerals of her fellow parishioners. She also serves as a lector and an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, the latter of which includes the Homebound Ministry. She regularly visits three women in her parish who cannot attend Mass to bring Holy Communion to them. She has organized and participated in mini youth retreats at her church and has also served as a member of a council that aims to improve the future of her parish and the surrounding community. In her own words, “There are not many youths who are involved in my parish, but I hope to continue to set an example through my service and ministry.”

This student has a deep appreciation for the sacrifice that her mother has made to provide her a good Catholic education. She shows her gratitude by staying focused on her ministry, academics, and extracurricular activities. She is a leader in the Antonian band, serving as section leader for two years and then as assistant drumline captain in her senior year. She has been a team member for the Antonian IHS retreat, a member of the High School Apostles, and a leader in Antonian’s Alpha Ministry. Always seeking to enrich her own spiritual life, this student has participated in Antonian’s first Kairos retreat during her senior year and attended the National Catholic Youth Conference in Indianapolis this past fall. She truly feels blessed to be in an environment in which she can freely practice her faith while she learns.

Grateful for the support that she has received during difficult times in her life has motivated this student to serve others who are in need of support. She has dedicated most of her service to the Guadalupe Community Center where she frequently works in the food pantry and has also volunteered at the Center’s Clothing Closet. For the last four years, this student has participated in the H-E-B Feast of Sharing and the San Antonio Police Department Thanksgiving Luncheon to serve families in need. Once again, this student uses her musical talents to participate in the Via Dolorosa, a procession which commemorates Christ’s passion and death on Good Friday. In each of these activities, she shows God’s love to others.

Daniel Guerra
Central Catholic High School

Philippians 2:3 says, “Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves” encapsulates the spirit of this year’s Archbishop Medallion recipient. In all of his involvement, he does not often seek the spotlight but offers strong unwavering support no matter what he is involved in, from helping at St. Pius X Parish festivals, Religious Education teacher, altar server, lector, extraordinary minister of the Eucharist, ACTS retreat team leader, or singing in the choir.

This year’s 2018 Archbishop Medallion winner is a true example of Mary’s words to Jesus at the Wedding Feast of Cana, “Do whatever he tells you.” Often when the individual is asked to participate or assist with events, he never hesitates but responds with a resounding, “Yes, what would you like me to do? When do I need to be there?” This individual willingly serves both his school and parish ministries with zeal. At Central Catholic, he demonstrates his faith through assisting in our liturgies and leading our prayer experiences. During his four years at Central Catholic, he has completed over 400 community service hours serving at our school, his parish, and the greater San Antonio community. Commitment is an apt descriptor for this individual. When this individual commits to an activity or group he remains steadfast. He has wholeheartedly served the Corp of Cadets, Student Council, and Academic team since his freshman year.

During his summers this individual spends his time conducting research on Type II diabetes with UT Health San Antonio. Academically this individual is a strong student. He was awarded the title of National Merit Scholar this year. He maintains membership in the National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society. We hope that this individual continues living the call from 2 Timothy that doing God’s work does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.

Frankie Valdovinos
St. Anthony Catholic High School

Every year, St. Anthony Catholic High School awards one student with the Archbishop’s Medallion. The recipient of this award is selected on the following criteria: They must be a practicing Catholic, attend a Catholic school for a minimum of three academic years, be actively involved in their school and parish, and go above and beyond the expectations of their community.

This year’s recipient has met all of these requirements and more. This student has demonstrated true leadership through St. Anthony’s core values of service, social justice, honesty and integrity, scholarship, and holistic education. These core values were instilled in the St. Anthony community by its founders the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate and the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word. During his high school career, this student has completed over 500.00 community service hours with various organizations which include: The Headwaters at Incarnate Word, UIW, San Antonio Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, Women’s Global Connection-Water Harvester Project, St. PJ’s Home for Children, and Catholic Charities. This student is an active member of his home parish, San José Church, where he is actively involved in the parish community.

This student has been involved in all aspects of campus ministry at St. Anthony Catholic High School. He has served as an extraordinary minister of Communion for our weekly liturgies in his junior and senior year. This year, he has served as the captain for the extraordinary ministers of Communion and is responsible for the monthly rotation schedule. This student was on team for the 2016-2017 SALVE Retreat and was selected on the leadership team for the 2017-2018 SALVE Retreat. This student has also served as a dedicated lector for all our weekly and special liturgies. He has shown, through his actions that he fully embraces his faith and stands as a model of our core values to our community.

This student is diligent and dedicated to his work. He has maintained his academically strong record while also participating and excelling in his extra-curricular activities at St. Anthony Catholic High School. He truly understands, at the core of his heart, the power of service.

Isabelle Purcell
Incarnate Word High School

Each year the Archbishop’s Medallion award recognizes a Catholic high school senior from each of the Catholic high schools who is committed to assist the school community to encounter the Gospel of Jesus Christ through living out the Catholic teachings and values.

We have been blessed with many young women who have given of themselves in service to our school, our church and the community at large. However, this young woman imbues the light and love of “The Incarnate Word.” She has embraced the qualities and the vision of remaining faithful to Christian Service and Justice. She has given selflessly to the greater community which is reflected in the 842 volunteer service hours spent in areas such as the San Antonio Food Bank, SAMMinistries, St. PJ’s and ACTS Missions. Her active participation within her own parish community has not gone unnoticed. She has served as an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist, Teen ACTS leadership and a mentor to the younger members of the community.

In the words of her own youth minister, “She shows extreme strength in leadership and has earned the respect of her entire community. She is an exemplary individual, reliable and agreeable with a unique, sweet nature. She has exceptional and fresh ideas — breathing life into everything with which she is involved.”

In the words of her Shamrock sisters, “When she walks into the room she engages everyone. She is warm and welcoming and makes everyone feel like a part of the team. Whatever task is given to her, no matter how great or small, she runs with it. Her smile lights up the room when she walks in.” She has served this community well and we are incredibly grateful for all she has shared with our Shamrock family.”

Madeline Pawelek
St. Gerard Catholic High School

This year’s Archbishop’s Medallion is being awarded to a student who has created a legacy of her own while at St. Gerard Catholic High School. When people talk about this young lady, they cannot help but smile, laugh, and think of good times and great stories. When asked to describe her, words such as spunky, creative, hilarious, confident, beautiful inside and out, tough, loving, and loyal beyond measure come to mind.

She began her Catholic school years at St. Anthony Catholic School. Upon graduating from eighth grade, she decided to become a St. Gerard Royal. During her years at St. Gerard, this young lady’s grade point average has remained solid while she has stayed involved and act as a leader in and out of the classroom, dedicating over 250 hours of service to her parish, community, and school. She has volunteered numerous hours at Mission San José serving the parishioners, and preparing hundreds of Thanksgiving baskets for those in need. Her dedication to Mission San José is well known especially since this is where she received the sacraments of baptism, Holy Eucharist, and reconciliation. She is loved and valued by her parish community for her genuine spirit and giving heart.

This student’s faith and her reach go far beyond the walls of school and church. To quote the president of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, “This young lady has been a tremendous asset and has unselfishly given us her time, skills, and talent…” She has done all that to show Christ’s love to others through her actions, her dedication, and her smile.

This young lady is also academically successful and very active with her class. She has maintained a competitive GPA and has been recognized on the Honor Roll throughout her years at St. Gerard. She also assists with school tours, and interns as the main office aid, and does this always with a smile on her face and a pep in her step.

We are proud of this young lady and look forward to the many amazing things that she will accomplish. We pray that God will continue to bless her and may she walk in His footsteps and fulfill the mission He has for her. We are blessed to have known her and St. Gerard Catholic High School is a far better place because of her.

Nikos L.
Our Lady of the Hills Regional Catholic High School

The 2018 nominee for the Archbishop’s Medallion exemplifies the profile of an Our Lady of the Hills graduate. This student is mature in faith, open to growth, loving towards others and is intellectually competent and committed to Social Justice.

This year’s nominee honors the spirit of Christ with unfailing kindness and generous empathy and compassion towards others and has an abiding love for God’s Word and his teachings.
This OLH Hawk supports and encourages us all by giving of his time and talents in service to others, by sharing his artistic gifts to inspire and affirm others, he cheers our athletic efforts, win or lose, and he accepts each of us just as we are — without judgment or censor. This Hawk never seems to have a bad day!

We know we are loved because we feel his genuine warmth and sincere goodwill.

Tristan Ornelas
St. John Paul II Catholic High School

The recipient of the 2018 Archbishop’s Medallion for St. John Paul II Catholic High School is a student who consistently demonstrates dedication to school and extracurricular activities, high moral character, and is a leader by example. He takes his faith very seriously and is an inspiration to many of his peers and his teachers.

This young man shares his faith on and off campus, spreading devotion to the rosary as a co-founder of the Rosary Club at St. John Paul II, serving as a student leader for retreat ministry in his parish, St. Dominic’s throughout high school, and participating faithfully at his home parish 5 p.m. teen Mass and religious education programs. He has even taken his faith out of state, participating as a guest speaker with an international ministry organization. He is a reverent participant in weekly school Masses, setting an example for how to treat the Eucharist, the source, and summit of our faith.

Our recipient has maximized his time in high school, using it to develop himself and his academic skills. A daily commute of over an hour each way is only one of the quiet sacrifices he has made to attend St. John Paul II. Despite many demands on his time, he remains consistently at the top of his class in all his courses and participates in cross country and track, where he was named MVP of the cross country team his senior year and was a member of the state championship team as a junior. He has also represented the school at state-level academic competitions for the last two years.

This student stands out among his peers in our core virtues. He never advertises his accomplishments, but humbly gives his best under all circumstances. His faith is obvious in his conversation and in his character. His quiet strength as he navigates the challenges of being a modern teenager demonstrates his courage. And his love is evident in the many works of mercy he performs.

Victoria Huedepohl
Providence Catholic School

It is with great joy and honor that we announce the recipient of the 2018 Archbishop’s Medallion. This amazing young woman exemplifies the charism of the Congregation of the Sisters of Divine Providence, has demonstrated spiritual leadership and has been highly involved within Providence, her parish, and community.
This outstanding young woman has consistently volunteered at her parish in a number of ways. She serves on the hospitality committee welcoming all new people in her church by helping the young and the elderly feel welcomed. Moreover, she has extensive involvement with multiple ACTS retreats, serving as a team member, and on the leadership team throughout her high school years. She states that the goal is to help other young people deepen their relationship with Christ while building fellowship. Her positive spirit and leadership has her currently serving as director for an ACTS retreat this summer.
This dedicated senior has spent many hours in service within our local community. She has spent over 120 hours volunteering, since her freshman year, for San Antonio Sports, a nonprofit that works to transform our San Antonio community through the power of sport while linking the connection between healthy bodies and minds to inspire children and their families to live active, healthy lives. She loves seeing the kids’ determination and learning about teamwork.

Remarkably, this student has volunteered over 200 service hours with Kym’s Kids since she was in eighth grade. Through this program, she volunteered with the Food Bank, the Doseum, SAMM’s Transitional Living, and helped animals get adopted as well. She has also volunteered many hours with the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio as a child life volunteer and has helped sick children do arts and crafts and read while in the hospital. She then took the extra step to assist with marketing for the same hospital. This student has also volunteered at the Financial Empowerment Center with Family Service Association to help families learn more about saving, budgeting and credit management. This senior stated that she learned a lot about time management and being a part of something larger to make a difference.

Finally, this student has consistently demonstrated strong academic work while being extensively involved in our own Providence community. From serving as an ambassador, and proudly representing the school, she has also volunteered with Providence athletics in helping out with middle school summer leagues, festivals, and simply assisting where needed around campus. She also served as an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion and in the Yearbook production. This well-rounded, humorous, bright, and outgoing natural leader has shared her time, talent and gifts volunteering for almost 700 service hours in parishes, our local community and on campus. Clearly, this young woman puts her faith into action!

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