Father Gregory Rothfuchs, pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Lockport, will receive the 2015 National Catholic Education Association’s (NCEA) Elementary Schools Department Distinguished Pastor Award that honors pastors who have given outstanding support to Catholic elementary education. Father Rothfuchs is one of 10 honorees throughout the country and will receive the award on April 7 at the NCEA Conference in Orlando.
He was recommended for nomination by the local school board at St. Joseph’s School. His nomination was endorsed by Father John Belmonte, S.J., diocesan superintendent of Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Joliet, and the school principal, Lynne Scheffler. To be considered, the pastor must possess a clear philosophy of Catholic education and provide spiritual guidance to the school community, along with supporting the school administration and providing financial resources to the school.
“I congratulate Father Gregory for winning this prestigious award,” says Father Belmonte. “His leadership is a prime example of how a pastor committed to his Catholic school helps the school flourish as it strives to form disciples of Christ. His recognition only affirms why ‘We Teach More’ in our Catholic schools. I couldn’t be more proud of his accomplishments.”
“He is a leader who inspires all of us to provide the best in Catholic education for the Diocese of Joliet,” said Scheffler. “His dedicated spiritual leadership encourages families to raise their children with Jesus as their compass. We are blessed to have him at St. Joseph and are thrilled to have him recognized as one of the 2015 NCEA Distinguished Pastors.”
Father Rothfuchs will celebrate his 20th anniversary of being a priest this June and throughout his service in the diocese he has always served a parish with a Catholic school.
“Father Gregory came to St. Joseph 18 months ago and has brought so much life, faith and support to our school and parish,” said Michelle Ray, St. Joseph parishioner and advancement director.