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As part of Saint Louise House’s 15th anniversary celebration, it honored Austin Bishop Emeritus John McCarthy on Wednesday with its Sister Sharon Groetsch “See the Need” Vincentian Spirit Award. The presentation was made during a reception at St. Edward’s University sponsored by the university’s Center for Religion and Culture.

Bishop McCarthy, who served as Bishop of Austin from Feb. 26, 1986, to Jan. 2, 2001, has remained one of Saint Louise House’s most active supporters and strongest advocates since it opened in October 2001 to provide housing and supportive services to empower women with children to overcome homelessness in Central Texas. To date, 152 families with 318 children have called Saint Louise House “home.”

“I can’t think of a more fitting recipient than Bishop John McCarthy,” said Saint Louise House Board Chairman Molly Trexler, who made the award presentation. “Bishop McCarthy has been an ambassador, a champion and a tireless advocate for Saint Louise House. His connection to Saint Louise House starts way before its creation, when he was approached about the idea by Sister Sharon and members of the St. Austin’s Vincentian Small Christian Community.”

The award recognizes Bishop McCarthy “for inspirational service, diligence, humility and courage in furthering the mission of Saint Louise House, and for modeling the spirit and creativity of saints Vincent de Paul, Louise de Marillac and Elizabeth Ann Seton.” This is only the second time the award has been presented.

Also at the reception, in recognition of its anniversary, the nonprofit announced the creation of the Saint Louise Legacy Circle to honor the agency’s consistent supporters for their commitment. The Legacy Circle has more than 80 members and is co-chaired by former Board members Letty Landa and Jack Gullahorn.

“Our Legacy Circle members are the first generation of our Saint Louise House community,” said Executive Director Laura Ward. “They were there in the earliest days, conceiving our mission, volunteering, encouraging, giving and building our foundation. Through the Legacy Circle, they will continue to guide and strengthen the future of Saint Louise House with their expertise, ideas and direction.”

(Photo: Austin Bishop Emeritus John McCarthy (center) receives the Sister Sharon Groetsch “See the Need” Vincentian Spirit Award from Jack Gullahorn (left) and Letty Landa (center), SLH Legacy Circle Co-Chairs, and Molly Trexler (right), SLH Board Chairman, as part of Saint Louise House’s 15th anniversary celebration.)

For more event photos, see our Facebook page.

Download pdf version of news release here