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2007 Spirit of TEC Award Winners

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August 23, 2007 - 12:00 PDT



Recipients recognized for service to Catholic young people through TEC ministry

FESTUS, MO - AUGUST 23, 2007 - Each year, the TEC Conference acknowledges individuals for their exemplary commitment to Catholic youth and young adults with a Spirit of TEC Award. The 2007 recipients, presenting 21dioceses throughout the U.S, include two bishops, five priests, one religious and 33 lay adult and young adult leaders.

"On behalf of the TEC Leadership Council and Conference staff, I would like to congratulate each of you for receiving the 2007 Spirit of TEC Award. You are true gifts to both the TEC Movement and your local TEC community. May the Lord continue to bless you and be the light on your faith journey; even as you serve as His light to others," said TEC Conference Director Ronald Reiter.

Since 1990, nearly 500 people have been honored with this distinction. Nominees are selected by their local TEC communities for committed service to the youth and young adults of the Church; contributing to the TEC ministry in a significant way on a local or regional level; and witnessing Paschal Mystery spirituality in their daily lives.

The 2007 Spirit of TEC Award Winners (in order of TEC community) are:
• Agape (Diocese of Superior, Wis.)-Rev. Michael J. Tupa
• Agassiz Valley (Diocese of Crookston, Minn.)-Most Rev. Victor Balke
• Atlanta (Archdiocese of Atlanta, Ga.)- Ronald Devine and Paula Mihalek
• Anchor of Hope(Diocese of Green Bay, Wis.)-Peter Burkel, Lauren O'Callaghan and Kevin Smits
• Belleville (Diocese of Belleville, Ill.)- Rev. Elmar Mauer OMI and Most Rev. Stanley G. Schlarman
• Big Sky (Diocese of Great Falls/Billings, Mont.)-Nicole Simensen
• Dodge City (Diocese of Dodge City, Kan.)-Rev. Ted Stoecklein
• Great River (Springfield, Ill. Diocese)- Erin, Russ and Donna Siebers
• Kairos (Madison, Wis. Diocese)-Barb Wills
• Miami (Archdiocese of Miami, Fla.)-Emilio Codias and Gonzalo LaVerde
• New Life (Diocese of Gaylord, Mich.)-Joe Vezino
• New Orleans (Archdiocese of New Orleans, La.)-Rev. Steve Bruno, Terry and Dottie Manieri and Denise Theriot
• North Coast Spirit (Diocese of Cleveland, Ohio.)-Marcus Naugle and Amy Stephens
• Pathways (Diocese of Winona, Minn.)- Peter and Ann Langworthy
• Peterstown (Diocese of Peoria, Ill.)- Joanne Brown and Betty Wenzel
• River of Life (Diocese of Springfield/Cape Girardeau, Mo.)-Sr. Mary Jane Jansen SSND and Joe and Barb McKeon
• Rocky Mountain (Archdiocese of Denver, Col.)-Kelley Contreras, Arnie Dowd and Rev. Dan Norick
• Southwest Indiana (Diocese of Evansville, Ind.)-Chuck Coomes
• Spirit of St. Louis (Archdiocese of St. Louis, Mo.)-Erin Kuenzel and Georgia Lahay
• Springfield (Diocese of Springfield, Ill. Diocese)-Kara Korte
• Sunflower (Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kan.)-Jeannie Bestgen
• Twin Cities (Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis, Minn.)-Ralph and Lynn Pierre

For more information about the TEC Movement, contact (636) 933-9233 or; or visit online at

TEC--an acronym for Teens, Troops, Twenties, To and Together Encounter Christ--is a Catholic movement of spirituality for older adolescents and young adults founded in Battle Creek, Mich. in 1965. Focusing on the Paschal Mystery, TEC helps 8,000 young people each year deepen their relationship with Christ and discern their vocation within the larger Church. TEC is affiliated with the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry; National Catholic Young Adult Ministry Association; and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops through its Episcopal Moderator Most Rev. Roger L. Schwietz, OMI, Anchorage, Alaska.


TEC Conference
Mary Lovee Varni - Administrative Assistant, 636 933-9233


Teens Encounter Christ or TEC


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