At its Corporate Headquarters, on December 6th, Liberty Bank presented Sister Mary Jude Lazarus of Willimantic with the Bank’s 2021 Willard M. McRae Community Diversity Award.
Sister Mary Jude, who is the Director of the Office for Hispanic Ministry for the Diocese of Norwich, received the award at a presentation attended by Liberty Bank teammates, Board members and her friends and family.
“In choosing the recipient of the award, we look not just for people who have given their time in service to community organizations, but for those who have made it their mission to promote diversity, equity and inclusion,” said David W. Glidden, President and CEO of Liberty Bank. “Sister Mary Jude has devoted her life to promoting and protecting human rights, seeking social justice and equal opportunities for all.”
Introduced in 2001 as the Liberty Bank Community Diversity Award, this award was renamed in 2009 in honor of Willard M. McRae, a past chairman and board member of Liberty Bank. It is designed to recognize an individual who has been a leader in the communities served by Liberty Bank in connecting people who are different—whether those differences are of religion, race, ethnicity, economic status, age, or any other aspect of diversity.
As this year’s award recipient, the Liberty Bank team is making a $5,000 charitable donation to a nonprofit organization of her choice. She selected Holy Family Home and Shelter in Willimantic. As another way of giving back and recognizing Sister Mary Jude, a group of Liberty Bank teammates volunteered at Holy Family Home and Shelter on Friday, December 10 and donated items to the Shelter for its residents.
Sister Mary Jude was nominated by Catina Caban Owen, Liberty Bank Foundation director, who said, “She shows up in life every single day with the conviction that kindness, mercy and welcoming a stranger is the strength of our nation and our mission as human beings.”
Glidden reiterated those sentiments in his own remarks, saying, “Honoring Sister Mary Jude today not only puts an exclamation point on all that we’re doing at Liberty but it gives us the opportunity to publicly recognize someone like her who shares our same values and has done so much in the communities where we operate.”
Sister Mary Jude is the twenty-first recipient of Liberty Bank’s Willard M. McRae Community Diversity Award.
FCC News Desk
First Row: Catina Caban Owen, Liberty Bank Foundation; Marie Hakmiller, Holy Family Home & Shelter; Sister Mary Jude Lazarus, Sisters of Charity; Sheila Hauschild, Liberty Bank Willimantic Branch Operations Supervisor; Angela Smart, Liberty Bank Willimantic Branch Manager; Susan Johnson, CT State Representative; David Glidden, Liberty Bank President and CEO.
Back Row: Father Larry LaPointe; Mark Gingras, Liberty Bank Board Chairman; and Father. Robert Washabaugh.