November 4, 2016

Honorees committed to providing faith-based education for students

Eighteen people were honored for their contributions to the Mother Theodore Catholic Academies in Indianapolis during a 10-year anniversary celebration on Oct. 27. Seated from left are Richard Ruwe, Connie Zittnan, George Zittnan, Catherine Elder and Tim McGinley. Standing from left are Art and Ann Wilmes (accepting for Archbishop Emeritus Daniel M. Buechlein), William Drew, Jane Drew, Cardinal-designate Joseph W. Tobin, Annette “Mickey” Lentz, Msgr. Joseph Schaedel, Carole Watt and Tony Watt. Honorees not pictured are Marc and Jennifer Konesco, Charles and Jacqueline Pechette, Bill and Eileen Polian, and Jane McGinley. (Photo by Rob Banayote)

Eighteen people were honored for their contributions to the Mother Theodore Catholic Academies in Indianapolis during a 10-year anniversary celebration on Oct. 27. Seated from left are Richard Ruwe, Connie Zittnan, George Zittnan, Catherine Elder and Tim McGinley. Standing from left are Art and Ann Wilmes (accepting for Archbishop Emeritus Daniel M. Buechlein), William Drew, Jane Drew, Cardinal-designate Joseph W. Tobin, Annette “Mickey” Lentz, Msgr. Joseph Schaedel, Carole Watt and Tony Watt. Honorees not pictured are Marc and Jennifer Konesco, Charles and Jacqueline Pechette, Bill and Eileen Polian, and Jane McGinley. (Photo by Rob Banayote)

By John Shaughnessy

From the beginning, Tony and Carole Watt viewed their efforts as a way to share an incredible gift with children.

Through their time, involvement and financial support, the couple wanted to help provide a Catholic education to thousands of children in some of the poorest areas of Indianapolis.

“The Mother Theodore Catholic Academies have a special place in both of our hearts,” says Tony Watt about the archdiocese’s efforts to make a difference in the education of children whose families often couldn’t afford a Catholic education.

“Carole and I strongly believe that the quality of education that students get in these schools is really critical to helping them break the cycle of poverty. Kids need to have a good education, an education that’s also faith-based.”

Tony Watt served as the first executive director—as a volunteer—of the Mother Theodore Catholic Academies (MTCA) in the archdiocese. Based upon that commitment during the first 10 years of the MTCA, he and Carol were among seven couples and four individuals honored on Oct. 27 during a celebration in Indianapolis.

St. Vincent health care system was also honored during the event, which was called the Notre Dame ACE Academies’ “X-travaganza.”

The fundraising event celebrated the MTCA’s 10 years of success. It also marked the start of a new era this year in which the Notre Dame ACE Academies are continuing the MTCA legacy of providing a Catholic education to children in Central Catholic, Holy Angels, Holy Cross Central,

St. Anthony and St. Philip Neri schools.

In addition to the Watts, seven other couples and one individual were honored for their 10 years of dedication to the MTCA: Bill and Jane Drew, Marc and Jennifer Konesco, Tim and Jane McGinley, Charles and Jacqueline Pechette, Bill and Eileen Polian, George and Connie Zittnan, and Richard Ruwe.

Three Leadership awards were also presented during the celebration.

Archbishop Emeritus Daniel M. Buechlein was honored for his dedication to the MTCA, including committing $1 million per year toward the academies.

Annette “Mickey” Lentz, the chancellor of the archdiocese, also received a Leadership Award. She was saluted for her “innovative thinking, collaborative approach and growth mindset” in establishing the MTCA when she served as the archdiocese’s executive director of Catholic education and faith formation.

Msgr. Joseph Schaedel, now the pastor of St. Luke the Evangelist Parish in Indianapolis, also received a Leadership award. At the time of the MTCA’s inception, Msgr. Schaedel served the archdiocese as vicar general and moderator of the curia. He was recognized for his “tremendous support of the change from parish schools to a consortium model and of the Catholic schools themselves.”

The St. Vincent health care system received the MTCA’s “Business Partner of the Decade” award. The award saluted St. Vincent for providing “millions of dollars of support to the health and wellness of our students and families since the inception of the MTCA, and has committed to another $1 million over the next five years.” †

 

Related story: Event celebrates center-city schools’ anniversary, new Notre Dame ACE Academies

Local site Links:

Like this story? Then share it!