Christine Bukowsky

Christine has been a member of the St. Monica Catholic Church community since 1998. Christine immediately became involved in numerous ministries including Eucharistic Ministry, Holy Name Society, Little Rock Scripture, Lay Apostles, and Catholic Daughters of the Americas, to name a few.

While Christine insists that she is not a leader, she is always a very active member in all organizations she belongs to.  She served as CDA-Court St. Faustina Hospitality Chair for the past 6 plus years.  Christine always made sure set-up needs were in place for every meeting, lunch, breakfast, retreat, or other event. Christine also assists with the monthly boiled eggs contribution for the Austin Street Shelter, coordinates food donations for funerals, makes rosaries by the thousands, teaches others how to make rosaries, and participates in the summer program at St. James Church – Mother Teresa Sisters Summer Camp, where she and other volunteers teach the children how to make rosaries.   And, as if that were not enough, she also volunteers every Tuesday at North Dallas Shared Ministry.  Since our meetings are always on a Tuesday, once a month, her 2nd Tuesday of the month begins with early Mass at 6:45am, then a day of work at North Dallas Shared Ministry, and ends with a CDA meeting and cleanup at 9:00pm. 

What has always impressed me the most about Christine is her sense of compassion for members and others in our St. Monica Church community by making herself aware (somehow) of those who are sick and in need of a home visit.  She has a large circle of friends and is the first to let me know when I or we, as a Court, need to reach out to a sick member or friend.  She has inspired me to be a better steward of my time, to give more, and minister better to those in need.  

At 88 years of age, Christine continues to serve the Lord by serving her church community and her family.

Christine is an amazing woman with a heart of gold and she positively shines with her love for Jesus Christ and for all to whom she ministers.  She exemplifies love, kindness, consideration, and compassion.  I am honored to call her my friend and a true sister-in-Christ.  

May God continue to bless Christine and her family.

Nominated by Mary Louise Ludt


Rita Leos

Rita Leos works one full day a week as a Volunteer Greeter in the Family Center. We ask our volunteers to give 2+ hours a week and she gives us a full 6 hours every Thursday. Ms. Leos always has a smile on her face and a kind word for every student, guest and staff member she comes across during her day. She remembers people and gracefully engages others in conversations that shows she remembered and cares! Ms. Leos is always eager to lend a hand by helping teachers prep materials for class or washing up our table cloths after an event. Every Thursday the teachers can count on her to keep our campus safe and to help them get much needed tasks or projects done. She is so efficient, that she is often asking what MORE can she do to help us out! Ms. Leos truly serves our community and especially our preschool with a servant heart - always giving more. We are grateful for her time and gifts.

The connections Ms. Leos has made with staff and children have led her to sometimes be a substitute in our Preschool, when needed, and is available.

Nominated by Donna Woodard


Jack Rayome

Jack Rayome is a charter member of the St Monica Knights and has served as a constant pillar of leadership and support for the last 7 years of the Council's existence at St. Monica. Jack is one of three trustees for the Knights and oversees the Council activities. He is instrumental in the food programs that benefit the parish such as the monthly Burritos and Sausage, Lenten Dinners and July 4th Parish Picnics. Jack is exactly the kind of volunteer that makes St Monica Parish a great place to belong to. He is selfless, active and always willing to lend a helping hand. It is the pleasure of the Knights of Columbus to nominate Jack for the Volunteer Recognition Program.

In addition to his work with the Knights, Jack serves weekly as an Usher for the parish at Mass, as a longtime donor and volunteer for the St Monica Dad's Club and their Spaghetti Dinner and Gala. He has also been on the steering committee for the Texas Chef's Association for many years.

Nominated by Knights of Columbus St Monica Council 5656


Carmen Grant

Carmen Grant has been a member of Legion of Mary for several years. Each week she and another member of the Legion have a Communion Service at the Arcadia Nursing Home on Forest Lane. They have become a source of happiness and friendship to those attending the service. At times, they even assist the residents by pushing wheel chairs.

Carmen brings fresh flowers to put next to our Blessed Mother’s statue each week and has been a source of inspiration to us all. She encourages parishioners to join our ministry and this year she brought in a new member to our legion. Carmen also leads a morning rosary before the 8am Mass on Tuesdays. With all of her support and service, she has made our Legion of Mary better known in our St. Monica parish.

In addition to her role with the Legion of Mary, Carmen also serves with the Catholic Daughters of America.

Nominated by Legion of Mary



Juliette Akagu

Juliette approached me about three years ago with the idea of starting a Multicultural Group at St. Monica. She would not take no for an answer. As a result of that meeting, and with her persistence, we had our first Multicultural Celebration in our parish last year, on Pentecost Sunday. It was a very successful event, and the group again made plans for the second celebration for Pentecost Sunday, May 15, 2016.

The purpose of this Multicultural Celebration is to celebrate our cultural diversity in our parish, by celebrating Mass together, followed with food and entertainment to include the many different cultures within our parish and from around the world. Each ethnic group is invited to wear their native attire.

Juliette has opened the window of many cultures to us here at St. Monica. This involvement helps to enrich our lives, and break down barriers between us.

In addition to her role with the Multicultural Group, Juliette also serves as ministry leader for the Nigerian Catholic Women Organization.

Nominated by Deacon Larry Lucido


Elida Muñoz

Elida is coordinator for St. Monica’s Pro-life Ministry. For the last 2 years, she has invigorated the ministry and has expanded the group, to the best it has been since its’ beginning in the 1990’s. I have been with the group from the beginning, and I can honestly say we have never had a leader to match Elida. To her credit, Elida has gone to Austin several times to lobby for the respect for life cause before legislature.

Elida left Cuba when Castro took power. This experience has deeply engraved itself in her mind. Primarily, she can be furious at what can happen to a country when God is left out and removed from a country. Her convictions for her ministry, church and God make her worthy and deserving of this recognition and award.

Elida also serves as a Eucharistic Minister.

Nominated by Deacon Larry Lucido


Cecilia Martin

Cecilia Martin exudes a Catholic spirit of service and humility, as a St. Monica School PTO volunteer for the past 15 years.

She is recognized for her work with the School PTO, such as the St. Monica Staff Christmas Purse collection. Cecilia is a PTO work horse. She is always ready to help. From advice to strategy to planning to manual labor, Cecilia is consistently there to serve anyone and everyone in this blessed community. Cecilia is the true definition of a servant of Christ. She is involved in every big and small activity that takes place at St. Monica Catholic School. Specifically, this year Cecilia has volunteered for Autumnfest, the Christmas Market, teacher luncheons, Winter Mixers, 8th grade Junior Assemblies, Catholic Schools Week, 4th grade JCDA activities, the JCDA Garage Sale, homeroom events and various other fundraisers.

Most recently, Cecilia did an exemplary job with the St. Monica Staff Christmas Purse Collection. The PTO several years ago, through Cecilia’s leadership, implemented some different procedures for the collection of Christmas bonuses for our staff, which really helped take the collection to a whole new level. This past December, she helped lead a record breaking Christmas bonus collection for the St. Monica School staff. Without a doubt, we are blessed with Cecilia’s commitment to serve, skills with implementing procedures and because of the respect and trust she has developed with our donors over the years.

Nominated by Amy Vaughan


Dan & Sally Cook

Sally and Dan Cook have been one of our faithful and dedicated sponsor couples for over 20 years. They are one of our "go to" couples when we need a couple who can be flexible in working with engaged couples. They love this ministry and we look forward to having them serve with us many more years.

Nominated by Mariangela Byrne