This past Friday, October 6, 2017, the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement hosted their annual Sharing Hope Celebration Dinner at the Pierre Hotel in New York City. The dinner honored three individuals whose work exemplifies the Friars’ charism of unity and at-one-ment.

Each honoree has demonstrated the Franciscan spirit in their lives, serving humanity through their commitment of time, talents and resources. This year’s Graymoor Award was given to two outstanding recipients. Bernadette Castro has diligently promoted the preservation of the environment and also worked tirelessly for the Royal Dames for Cancer Research, as well as Tomorrow’s Hope Foundation. Lewis Ranieri, also a supporter of Tomorrow’s Hope Foundation, has focused his mission on fostering Catholic education. He has worked for years to increase awareness and provided scholarships for students who might not otherwise be able to afford a Catholic education.

The Graymoor Community Service Award was presented to Jonathan Galente, Executive Director of the DeMello-Stroud Spirituality Center. Mr. Galente has also made a significant impact by directing a foundation established by his life-long friend—the renowned psychologist,  the Anne Anastasi—which grants funds to outstanding students in the field of psychology.

Not only did the Sharing Hope Celebration Dinner acknowledge the hard work of generous individuals, it served as a reminder of the joy and hope Christ gives to all. The celebratory nature of the dinner reminded guests of Saint John Paul II’s words “we are an Easter people and Alleluia is our song.” It is the hope of the Atonement Friars that by honoring individuals who consistently give to others, people everywhere would be reminded to serve one another with the joy and love of Christ.