St. John Eudes’ medal bestowed on longtime volunteer

The inaugural presentation of the 2013 Saint John Eudes Medal was made to parishioner Mel Spratley at mid-morning Mass on Aug. 18, the closest Sunday to the Chatsworth parish’s patron saint’s feast day (Aug. 19).

The award recognized Spratley’s longtime volunteer support of St. John Eudes Church, and for his outstanding service to the church.

Spratley, 79, a retired aerospace engineer, became involved and closer connected to his Chatsworth parish when it offered professional counseling to the many parishioners who had lost their homes in the 1994 Northridge Earthquake. Spratley and his wife, Alice, were very grateful for the kind assistance, and Mel decided to return the favor by helping the parish with his time and talents.

His service began when he joined the Men’s Council and served as its president and treasurer for a decade. He also served as an usher, a coordinator of the one-day retreats for men conducted by the Sisters Devoted to the Sacred Heart each Lenten season, a tutor in the school’s after-school tutoring program, and is a member of the Parish Facilities Committee, which keeps the parish campus in good order and which designed and directed construction of the new sign for the church and school located on the corner of Lassen Street and Mason Avenue.

Currently serving as pastoral council chairperson, Spratley assists Father Gérard Lecomte, pastor, with setting the future direction of the parish. He also cares about preserving parish history and has developed a system to archive all available historical artifacts, including thousands of photos, videos, CDs, and documents.

During the past year, Spratley volunteered hundreds of hours working on the 50th Anniversary Planning Committee. According to parish leaders who nominated him for the Saint John Eudes Medal — Father Lecomte selects the recipient from among the nominees — Spratley is an excellent example of the spirit of dedication, devotion and stewardship that is part of the charism of St. John Eudes.

The Saint John Eudes Medal, which will be awarded annually, was established to recognize outstanding individuals or groups in the parish that exemplify the values that are at the core of the teachings of the parish patron saint. St. John Eudes’ strong devotion to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary is central to his call that people must form Jesus in themselves and use the guidance and power of the heart to have a positive impact on the surrounding community.

More information about the parish is available at www.stjohneudes.org.




Voices

Easter and beyond

Anne Hansen

We move quickly from our major religious holidays each year. It’s not intentional. Life hurries along and as soon as the sun sets on one holiday the next is being touted by merchants looking to sell us whatever the next big day brings. To remain in the spirit of the religious holiday — in this case Easter — takes deliberate intention.

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April 25, 2015

  • Saturday, April 25

    Super Groovy 5K Run/Walk, 8 a.m., Woodley Park, 6350 Woodley Ave, Van Nuys. Sponsored by St. Euphrasia School, this year’s “Super Groovy” theme celebrates the school’s 50th anniversary of its founding in 1964 and serves as a tribute to that nostalgic era of peace and love — the 60’s. At the finish line, all runners and walkers will be puffed with clouds of psychodelic color. Registration $25-$40. For more information, contact Susie Sempelsz, (818) 488-1598. info@knights5k.org.

    5th Annual Car Show, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Junipero Serra High School, 14830 S Van Ness Ave., Gardena. Featuring classics, hot rods, and muscle cars as well as food, music, vendors and raffles. (310) 324-6675. la-serrahs.org.

    Challenge Weekend for Men, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and April 26, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Povorello Retreat House, 1519 Woodworth St., San Fernando. Presented by St. John Eudes and Our Lady of Grace Men’s Fellowships. Men will not board overnight; lunch is provided both days. $90 or donation. Register at knowingweekend.eventbrite.com. For more information, contact Fred Perez, (818) 749-5126.

    First Annual Sacred Heart High School Gala, 5 p.m., Los Angeles City College New Student Activities Center, 855 N Vermont Ave., Los Angeles. Proceeds from the event, themed “United to Empower,” will benefit the Comet Scholarship Fund.



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