CINCINNATI – July 21 – They’re the humble servants who feed the hungry, care for the sick, comfort the lonely and protect the vulnerable. They inspire others to be merciful to neighbors and strangers alike.

“The nearly 200 nominations we received moved us and made it difficult to select 100 individuals, groups and agencies,” said Ted Bergh, CEO of Catholic Charities. “We’re honored to celebrate our centennial anniversary by recognizing 100 Champions of Mercy from across the community.”

After 100 years, Catholic Charities continues to reflect God’s mercy in serving the most vulnerable in southwestern Ohio. To mark the anniversary, a Centennial Celebration and Awards Dinner will be held starting at 6 pm, Saturday, October 1, at Xavier University’s Cintas Center. Rev. Dennis Schnurr, Archbishop of Cincinnati, will present the awards.


Meet the Honorees

Honorees and information about them are available at The top five honorees will each receive $1,000 to benefit their favorite ministry. They are:

Pat Banaszak, the founder of the Family and Youth Initiative in Springfield, Ohio;
Holly Schlaack,a foster care advocate as well as founder and executive director of Invisible Kids;
Christina Thomas, a volunteer for more than 50 years to a wide variety of organizations;
Fifth Grade Students from St. Catharine of Siena for lifting up a fellow parishioner battling cancer for the second time; and
Our Lady of Lourdes, for a wide range of ministries that serve the poor, protect the vulnerable and welcome the stranger.

About Us

Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio is a United Way Agency Partner that serves the poor, protects the vulnerable and welcomes the stranger regardless of religious background or country of origin. Our mission to enlighten, serve and empower is enabled by the generosity of donors and volunteers. Together, we serve and bring hope to more than 91,000 people each year.