School of Ministry Distinguished Alumni Honored After December Weather Delay
The School of Ministry is presenting its "Dei Verbum" and "Lumen Gentium" Distinguished
Alumni Awards to two deserving alumni after the ceremony was delayed nearly a month
due to the ice storm in early December 2013. Mary Elizabeth Morgan (center), a Catholic
Biblical School graduate from Bossier City, La., was honored with the "Dei Verbum"
Award in early January. Lari Newman-Williams of Dallas was given the "Lumen Gentium"
Award, an honor bestowed upon an alumnus of the School of Ministry graduate program,
on Sunday, Jan. 26.
"With these annual awards, we acknowledge two graduates whose established records
of outstanding accomplishment reflect the fruit of theological education for transformative
service," said School of Ministry Dean Mark Goodwin. "They have given exemplary service
to their local church in general, the work of faith formation in particular and the
larger community, especially the poor and in-need."
Mary Elizabeth Morgan graduated from the School of Ministry Catholic Biblical School
in 2013 as part of the first class from the Diocese of Shreveport, LA. Mary is a member
of Christ the King Parish in Bossier City, LA, and she currently works as a nurse
at the Shriners Hospital in that area. Mary is well-known in the diocese as a self-less
and caring minister who is generous with her time and energy for the sake of others.
Among other commitments, she is active in assisting with RCIA, prison ministry, home
visitations, taking food to the poor, working in a free clinic, learning Spanish to
better serve the Hispanic community, and doing Pre-Cana at her home parish. Mary and
her husband, Bob, have four grown children and six grandchildren.
Lari Newman-Williams graduated with the master of pastoral ministry degree in 2007.
After serving many years as a catechetical volunteer in the parish, Newman-Williams
now works as a parish administrator at Holy Cross Catholic Church in southeast Dallas.
She returned to the classroom as the first student in the School of Ministry's church
management program, a joint venture with the University of Dallas Satish & Yasmin
Gupta College of Business. She completed this graduate certificate in 2012.
Newman-Williams serves in her parish as a cantor, liturgist, pastoral council member
and volunteer with the youth ministry program. She is integrally involved in the black
Catholic community and has chaired the diocesan black Catholic "Come Home for Christmas"
initiative. In 2012, she was awarded the Servant of Christ Award in recognition of
outstanding leadership and service to the African American Catholic community of Dallas.
In 2013, she demonstrated her continued support for her alma mater when she began
working on a research project on contemporary parish life with undergraduate pastoral
ministry majors at the School of Ministry. Newman-Williams and her husband Ronnie
have been married for 31 years. They have one daughter, Annelle.
*image of Lari Newman-Williams courtesy of Michael Roberts*