Fr. Tony Pizzo and Dr. Jim Foody Named Honorees for Augustinian Gala

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The Midwest Augustinians have named Fr. Pizzo and Dr. Foody as the honorees for their third annual Augustinian Gala on April 24, 2015 in Chicago. They will also have a special “Diamond Jubilee” remembrance for the late Fr. Ray Ryan.

Father Tony Pizzo, O.S.A., has been an ordained priest for 30 years and a member of the Midwest Augustinians for 35 years. He is currently assigned as Pastor of St. Rita Parish in Chicago, where he has been serving since June, 2006. Under his pastoral leadership, St. Rita has been actively involved in community organizing to seek solutions to neighborhood issues such as housing foreclosures, immigration, street gangs, and violence. In the past, he has also served at St. Clare of Montefalco Parish in Chicago and at the University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, Illinois. Fr. Pizzo has previously also been awarded a "Neighborhood Leadership Award" from Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago (2011), the "Pope John XXIII Award" from the Archdiocese of Chicago Office for Hispanic Ministry (2010), the "Humanitarian Award" from the Italian-American Executives in Transportation (2012), and a "Community Heroes Award" from the Keep Our Homes Campaign (2009).

Jim Foody, M.D., F.A.C.P., first came to know the Midwest Augustinians when he entered St. Augustine Seminary High School in Holland, Michigan, and continued studies at Tolentine College in Olympia Fields, Illinois. He left the Augustinian seminary program, but says that he left with lifelong mentors and friends. In 1983, Dr. Foody was recruited to join the faculty for the Department of Medicine for the University of Chicago. In 2001, he moved to Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, where he still serves as Professor of Medicine and Vice-Chairman for Clinical Affairs. In 2013, Dr. Foody was ordained a permanent deacon by Bishop Conlon of Joliet, Illinois. He remarked that his vocational call did not leave when he left the Augustinian Order. He said, "I ended up choosing a career in which I could minister and use math and science as my tools. Serving as an ordained minister flows from the same impulse and my submission to it witnesses that I think the Church is relevant in today's society."

As this third annual gala launches the Midwest Augustinians' year-long 75th anniversary celebration, the religious order will also present a "Diamond Jubilee Remembrance" of the late Fr. Ray Ryan, O.S.A. Father Ryan served as the Prior Provincial (religious superior) of the Midwest Augustinians for three, four-year terms. His years as an Augustinian led him to ministries across the Midwest, including Augustinian parishes and schools in Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Missouri. Father Ryan died in 2012, two years after being diagnosed with lymphona. He is remembered as an ideal leader during a challenging time of transition in the Augustinian Order. For his students and parishioners, he was a prayerful, kind and compassionate mentor who was frequently sought out for his wise counsel. He was always willing to give of himself to others.

This third Augustinian Gala, held at the Drake Hotel in downtown Chicago, is expected to attract 450 guests from across metropolitan Chicago and the Midwest United States. The Midwest Augustinians will also be joined by special guest from Rome, the Most Reverend Alejandro Moral Anton, O.S.A., who is the worldwide leader of Augustinians. He, and other high-ranking clergy, will be celebrating a Diamond Jubilee Opening Mass the morning following the gala at St. Rita Parish in Chicago. Past Augustinian Gala honorees include: Bishop John McNabb, O.S.A.; Bishop Robert Prevost, O.S.A.; Bishop Dan Turley, O.S.A.; Fr. David Brecht, O.S.A.; Fr. Jack Gavin, O.S.A.; and Fr. Bill Sullivan, O.S.A. Tickets, program ads, and other sponsorship opportunities available online at midwestaugustinians.org/gala.

The Midwest Augustinians are a Catholic religious order that follow the teachings of St. Augustine. The local Augustinians have served in parishes and schools in the Midwestern United States since 1905, as well as missions in Peru since 1963.

For more information, please email the Augustinians’ Associate Director of Communications, Patrick Murphy, or call 773-595-4007.

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Patrick T. Murphy
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