Bishop Francis Award

About the Award

Catholic Volunteer Network bestows the Bishop Joseph A. Francis Award on individuals or groups that have demonstrated exemplary service to their local communities.

Most Reverend Joseph A. Francis, S.V.D. served as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Newark. He was the Episcopal Advisor for Catholic Volunteer Network from 1976 until his death in 1997. His wisdom and guidance helped the organization grow from a diocesan project in Newark to a national membership organization and resource center for faith-based volunteer programs.

As Bishop Francis gave so much of himself to the Church, society and Catholic Volunteer Network, the individuals and organizations that are honored in his name will likewise have made great strides in bettering the world around them.

Bishop Joseph A. Francis Award
Honoring outstanding service to the local community

Now accepting nominations for the 2018 Bishop Francis Award  - honoring a former volunteer in the Baltimore area!

Who is eligible?

Volunteer alumni nominees should have:
  • Successfully completed at least one term of service with a CVN member program.
  • Demonstrated a sustained effort to share about the impact of his/her volunteer experience and increase awareness of faith-based service.
  • An ongoing commitment to community service, advocacy, and/or ministry to the greater Baltimore area.
  • A continued dedication to the four tenets of community, spiritual growth, social justice and simple living.

Who can nominate?

Volunteer program staff, current volunteers and alumni, campus ministers, and members of the general public may submit nominations for any individuals who fit the above criteria. Self-nominations may also be submitted.

How can I nominate someone for this award?

Please complete the online nomination form found here. The deadline for nominations is September 14, 2018.

2017 Honoree: Christine Dragonette

Director of Social Ministry, St. Francis Xavier College Church and Former Vincentian Mission Corps Volunteer
About Christine Dragonette: Christine grew up in Cary, North Caroline. SHe attended UNC-Chapel Hill, where she studied Public Policy. After graduation, she moved to St. Louis and she began her service year with Vincentian Mission Corps, and lived in intentional community with fourteen others. Christine’s placement site was at Peter & Paul Community Services, a homeless services agency, where she worked in a transitional housing program for people experiencing poverty who are also diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. 
After completing her service year, she decided to remain in St. Louis, and earned her Master’s in Social Work at Saint Louis University. During graduate school, she took on a part-time role coordinating direct service programs at St. Francis Xavier College Church on SLU’s campus and decided to remain on staff after her graduation. She now assumes the full-time position of Director of Social Ministry. In this current role,
Christine organizes parishioners around service and justice initiatives and head’s the community’s anti-racism efforts. Christine has served on the St. Louis Chapter Board of Empower Missouri, the state’s oldest social justice organization. She remains an active alum of Vincentian Mission Corps, and recently facilitated orientation sessions on social justice issues for new volunteers.

Past Award Recipients

Since 2007, the Bishop Francis Award has honored those who have shown a great commitment to volunteerism. Our award recipients include:

  • Catherine Crum
  • Dr. Anne Charbonneau Cardile, M.D.
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Dog Tag, Inc.
  • WGL/Washington Gas
  • Stradley, Ronon, Stevens, & Young, LLP
  • Comcast
  • BB&T Bank
  • The Knights of Columbus State Councils of Maryland and the District of Columbia
  • Catholic Business Network of Prince George's County, Maryland