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.




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May 27, 2016

  • Friday, May 27

    17th Annual Mary Logan Orcutt Awards Dinner, 6 p.m., Woodland Hills Country Club, 21150 Dumetz Rd., Woodland Hills. Presented by Catholic Charities of Los Angeles Guadalupe Community Center to honor supporters and benefit Guadalupe Community Center. Honorees are: Most Reverend Gerald Wilkerson, Auxiliary Bishop (Emeritus), Archdiocese of L.A.; Providence Tarzana Medical Center; El Proyecto del Barrio; John Reeve. Dinner attended by Archbishop José H. Gomez. Tickets $175. For info or tickets, contact 213-251-3556 or email syanez@ccharities.org.

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