Outstanding Catholic Leader

10.29.2012 | Culture and Society, International, Faculty, Catholic

Sister Angela Ann Zukowksi, M.H.S.H., D.Min., has taken the University of Dayton's mission to educate in faith formation from the halls of the Vatican to the sandy beaches of the Caribbean and hundreds of places in between.

Zukowski has served as director of the University's Institute for Pastoral Initiatives for nearly four decades, leading the Catholic Church in developing fresh and effective ways to communicate the Gospel around the world, with growth in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.

On Nov. 9, the Catholic Leadership Institute will present the 2012 Award for Outstanding Catholic Leadership to Zukowski. CLI developed the award in 2000 to recognize people in the Catholic Church whose exemplary leadership in the family, workplace, community and Church has been inspired by their Catholic faith.

Three other Catholic leaders will also receive the award:

  • Lisa Brenninkmeyer — co-chairman of the board and founder, Walking with Purpose
  • William Donohue — president and CEO, Catholic League for Religious and Civil Right
  • The Rev. Jack Wall — president, Catholic Extension

"Catholic Leadership Institute is blessed to honor these outstanding Catholic leaders and Christian witnesses for their commitment to living and sharing the Gospel with passion through their most unique and important ministries," said Timothy C. Flanagan, Founder and Chair of Catholic Leadership Institute.

The awards ceremony and dinner is expected to draw more than 600 guests, including cardinals, bishops, priests and Catholic leaders from around the country.

View the event live online at 6 p.m. at http://www.ustream.tv/user/CatholicLeaders.

"This recognition belongs not to me, but to the University of Dayton," Zukowski said. "The University has supported our ministry and outreach to the Catholic church for more than 30 years as we've sought to make a global contribution to the church."

Zukowski has given long and distinguished service to the Catholic church and the University of Dayton. The Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation (VLCFF) at the University of Dayton is among her most significant contributions to the church in the digital age. Launched in 2000 by the University's Institute for Pastoral Initiatives, the VLCFF is an online adult faith, catechetical and lay leadership program open to the public, offering more than 100 courses, seven certificate programs and tracks in the areas of biblical studies, Catholic doctrine, Mary, church history, lay ministry leadership, youth ministry, social justice and more. With more than 60 VLCFF diocesan partners, it reaches into 182 Catholic dioceses and more than 40 countries, and enrolled more than 5,000 students in the past year.

For seven years, she served as the world president for the International Catholic Association for Radio and Television, known as UNDA. As a member of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications — the first woman to serve on the Council as an official member — she was a major pastoral contributor to the important Vatican document, Aetatis Novae. The document called for development of pastoral communications planning around the world.

For more than 20 years, she has been the executive editor of the University of Dayton Catechist Formation Series in the Catechist Magazine, a regular columnist for MOMENTUM Journal, and she authored the book The Gospel in Cyberspace with the Rev. Pierre Babin. She co-directs the Caribbean School for Catholic Communication in Trinidad, West Indies. She also provides critical leadership for the Catholic Religious Education Development Institute in Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies, which combines online distance learning with on-site instruction by local facilitators to award college degrees.

The Rev. Jason Gordon, Bishop of Bridgetown in Barbados, works closely with Zukowski in her ministry in the Caribbean and nominated her for the award, saying she has inspired many Catholics around the world.

In 1997, UNDA-USA awarded her the President's Medallion — a lifetime achievement award — and the NCEA and Peter Li Group named her one of the 25 most influential individuals in Catholic education over the past 25 years.

In 2001, Pope John Paul II awarded her the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Medal, bestowed to lay people and clergy who have given zealous and outstanding service to the Catholic church. She received the Distinguished Communicators Award from the Salesian Guild (2004), the Emmaus Award for Excellence in Catechesis from the National Association of Parish Catechetical Directors (2010) and the Catechetical Award from the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership (2012).

For more information, contact Cameron Fullam, assistant director of media relations, at 937-229-3256 or fullam@udayton.edu.