The Southington Knights of Columbus Assembly 122 will be holding their third annual Catholic Citizenship Awards on Sunday, May 22. The event will be held from noon to 3 p.m. at Hawks Landing Country Club, 201 Pattonwood Dr. in Southington.
Honorees are selected for their steadfast commitment with years of faithful service to church and community citizenship. This year’s honorees are Gloria Colonero (Mary Our Queen Church), Nicholas DePaola (St. Aloysius Church), John Leary (St. Dominic Church), and Sr. Marie Roccapriore (St. Thomas Church). The event is open to the public.
Cost is $28 per person, which includes the reception, luncheon and award presentations. To reserve your ticket, contact (860) 276-8228.
Colonero has been a member of Mary Our Queen Church (MOQ) for 30 years, along with her husband, Vincent, and their daughter, Kate and son, Greg. She served three years on the parish council and serves in the Prayer Shawl Ministry and as captain of the MOQ Relay for Life Team fighting cancer for 10 years.
She is currently a member of the MOQ Ladies Guild and has been a member of the Family Life committee for more than a quarter century. She also is a collection counter, hosts the All Souls Day mass and annual anniversary mass receptions. She volunteers at parish dinners, men’s group and other functions.
Within the Southington community, Colonero has volunteered for various school events and has served as president of the South End School parent-teacher organization. She was a member of the Junior Woman’s Club of Southington for nine years with one term as president. She was active with her children in the Indian Guides and Girl Scouts. In addition, she has worked with the women’s auxiliary at Recreation Park for eight years. She has been a neighborhood volunteer for many years for the American Heart Association and the March of Dimes and has been active in the Relay for Life event for 19 years.
Since its inception, she has been a member of the RFL town committee. She currently serves on the board of directors for Bread for Life and as the fundraising events chairperson.
DePaola has served as a trustee at St. Aloysius Church for 44 years, serving his parish on the Stewardship, Renew, Building and Grounds committee. He has served as CCD Center chair, and was instrumental in providing a new heating system for the church and an HVAC system for the rectory as well as providing 35 years of snowplowing and 15 years of lawn mowing services.
He served as a CCD teacher, CYO leader, and as a member of the Finance Committee, the Parish Council, and Holy Name Society. His civic experience includes 16 years on the Southington Town Council, eight years as Police Commissioner, four years on the Parks and Recreation Board, and 20 years on the Town’s Permanent Building Committee, including seven years as chairmen of the various committees. In addition, he has served in leadership roles with Little League baseball, Jaycee, town basketball leagues, the Kiwanis Club, the Elks Club, Sons of Italy, UNICO, local Red Cross, and the YMCA Board.
DePaola’s professional career in education allowed him to serve as an elementary school teacher and Director of Southington Elementary Education; Adjunct Professor at Central Connecticut State University, the Briarwood College Evening Division, Briarwood Foundation, and as a member of the board of trustees for four state universities. He has received awards from the Southington JayCee, the New England Lieutenant Governors of the Kiwanis (Kiwanian of the Year), UNICO (Gold Medal), the Archdiocese of Hartford (St. Joseph Medal), and Briarwood College (honorary doctorate).
Leary told the KOC that he is most proud to be the husband of Karen Matthews Leary and father to Lauren (20) and Matthew (18). He is deeply committed to his immediate family, his mother and grandfather, his Catholic Faith, and service to others. He is guided by a strong belief in the dignity of the human person and care for God’s creations.
He is a graduate of Catholic elementary and high schools in Waterbury, and was able to provide his children with Catholic education from kindergarten through college. He is also a distinguished Eagle Scout and a 37-year active member of the Boy Scouts of America where he has served in numerous capacities, including troop leader.
Leary serves St Dominic Parish on the finance committee and as a board member of the new Southington Catholic School. He currently serves as chair of the Southington Board of Finance. In his professional career, he is the director of financial consolidations for Tronox Limited, a global leader in mining and chemicals.
Roccapiore is a native of Meriden and a member of the Religious Teachers Filippini Community. She holds degrees from Villa Walsh Academy in Morristown, N.J., Notre Dame of Maryland University in Baltimore, LaSalle University in Philadelphia, Pa., and Hartford Seminary.
Sr. Marie has taught in elementary schools in New Jersey, Rhode Island, Maryland, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania and was principal of St. Nicholas Tolentine in Philadelphia. She was Director of Religious Education, (D.R.E.) Pastoral Minister and Coordinator of the Rite of Christian Initiation Ministry (RCIA) in various parishes in Connecticut.
For the past 20 years, she has served as D.R.E. at St. Thomas, directing Spirit Joy Children’s Music Ministry, which she founded for the purpose of bringing the Joy of the Holy Spirit to the sick and elderly in hospitals, nursing homes, health care facilities and assisted living residences. Sr. Marie states “We are called by God to serve one another.”
Together with 20 other local women her Lap Blanket Prayer Ministry has brought comfort to those in local care facilities with more than 1,000 hand-knitted blankets and was recently honored with the 2016 UNICO Gold Medal for her “service above self.”