‘Post’ earns two national awards

QUEBEC CITY, Canada — The Catholic Post has received two awards from the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada for material published in 2016. Both were in the category of “Best Personality Profile.”

Jennifer Willems, assistant editor, received second place for her profile of Father James DeBisschop, pastor of Mary, Our Lady of Peace Parish in Orion and St. Maria Goretti Parish in Coal Valley. Published Sept. 25, the story was headlined “No bucket list, just service: Prayers, parish life help Father DeBisschop cope with cancer.”

Judges called the article “a courageous account of what it is like to live with cancer because it does not simply brush off the suffering as resolvable by faith, but rather offers up meditative prayer as a way of finding glimpses of meaning amidst suffering.”

“The use of first-person quotes combined with skillful narrative make this piece a winner,” according to the judges.

In the same category, an honorable mention was awarded to Tom Dermody, editor, for his story about Anthony Stone, a teenager from Creve Coeur who has cystic fibrosis and chose to meet Pope Francis as his request from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The story, “God is opening many doors for me” — also published Sept. 25 — included details of how Anthony was subsequently enrolled at Peoria Notre Dame High School and taking steps to become Catholic.

Both awards were selected from entries among non-weekly diocesan newspapers with circulations of 25,000 or less. They were announced at the closing dinner of the association’s Catholic Media Convocation in Quebec City.

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