On Friday, November 11th, Catholic Charities staff gathered at St. Agnes Our Lady of Fatima Church to celebrate the St. Elizabeth of Hungary Mass & Awards. Catholic Diocese of Cleveland Bishop Edward Malesic presided over the Mass which was attended by many of the honorees and their collogues, followed by The St. Elizabeth of Hungary Award. Named after the patroness saint for her extensive charity with the poor and marginalized, this award represents the work that we strive to continue each day throughout the communities we serve and honors those who embody the qualities of St. Elizabeth both in their work with Catholic Charities and outside volunteer work. The annual celebration is a time to not only honor the saint, but also all employees who show dedication and commitment to our mission.
Out of the 500+ Catholic Charities employees that were then dwindled down to 24 nominees, St. Augustine Health Ministries had two employees recognized at the event. Bob Liggett from Holy Family Home being one of them, receiving one of the Mission and Values Awards.”Bob has been an employee of Holy Family Home for 45 years. With so many staffing challenges, Bob is willing to work extra hours when needed, even though he is only part time in addition to his regularly scheduled days. He often comes in on sunny days off just to take the patients outside. Bob is very involved in the community; he organizes an annual car wash and bike rides to raise money for those with muscular dystrophy. Bob represents a truly optimistic, hopeful, and prayerful man.”
This year the honor of the St. Elizabeth of Hungary Award, the highest award presented by Catholic Charities, was given to St. Augustine Health Ministries’ very own, Tara Gray.”Tara is a phenomenal clinical RN as well as kind and compassionate with every resident and nurse. She works tirelessly to make sure that all of the residents and staff are safe and even takes time to get them a cup of coffee knowing that they like it with three creams and no sugar. She runs all of the Quality Assurance meetings with a smile despite the many pressures that we have in health care. She helps with the Spanish speaking residents when needed as well. Her strength and perseverance truly radiate St. Augustine’s Mission of truly being an extension of Christ.”
Tara holds strong to the truth of St. Elizabeth ‘s dignity of a person, concern for the poor (of spirit), justice for the vulnerable and marginalized in all that she does, no matter what. Tara’s life took a tragic turn and turned it in a way to help others. In April of 2021, her youngest son took his life at the age of 17.”He had dreams of becoming a firefighter and was involved in St. Edwards High School, it did not make sense. He had Covid and Tara began looking for answers. Through research she found that the neurological effects of covid such as psychosis in young people were not being looked into. With the support of her family and friends, the Brycen Memorial Foundation was formed, raising $49,000 at their first golf outing to be donated to award scholarships and to help support teens in need.” Tara is always looking for ways to be proactive in helping our youth to make sure that they have the tools they need for their mental health, supporting the dignity of person much like St. Elizabeth.
Congratulations to St. Augustine Health Ministries employees Bob Liggett and Tara Gray for the momentous and much deserved awards! Browse our photo gallery of the event!