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2021 Steward of the Year Revealed and Winning Nominees Announced!

September 23, 2021

Diana Rascon has been selected as the 2021 Steward of the Year. A parishioner at St. Mark Church, Diana was nominated in the Blessed Carlo Acutis Youth & Young Adult category, one of seven categories inspired by holiness.

Diana found out she was the winner of the 4th Annual Steward of the Year content during the 15th Annual Foundation of Faith Event: Ignite Your Hearts VIP experience at The Manor at Ten Eleven on Thursday, September 23. Her parents and her pastor, Msgr. Arturo Bañuelas, who nominated Diana for her work with the youth at St. Mark, were in attendance.

You can watch the 15th Annual Foundation of Faith Event on the Catholic Foundation's YouTube channel.

The Catholic Foundation received 27 nominations from across the diocese from pastors, diocesan leaders and Catholic school principals for outstanding individuals who they believed used their gifts and talents to their fullest potential, and generously helped those in great need, during the pandemic. 

The Catholic Foundation's Stewardship Committee read every application thoroughly. After prayerful and thoughtful consideration, Diana Rascon was selected as the 2021 Steward of the Year in the Blessed Carlo Acutis Youth & Young Adult category.


“Diana is an outstanding youth leader in our parish. Many of the youth were experiencing difficult times of anxiety, fear and isolation. She responded to address these concerns among the youth", said Msgr. Bañuelas. He added, "She is also a great community builder among the youth. We in the parish can always count on her dedication and service in our parish, especially with the youth. Our parish is blessed to have such an outstanding faith-filled youth leader.”

The pandemic brought a myriad of challenges, including social isolation, loneliness and depression. According to Psychology Today, "Humans are fundamentally social, and perhaps never more so in adolescence when hanging out with friends is the top priority for most teenagers." Diana combated social isolation and helped the youth of today feel connected to one another through Zoom gatherings and sharing her Catholic faith with them.

The Catholic Foundation commends the meaningful work Diana does on behalf of the youth in the Diocese of El Paso, and for helping to build the future of the Church. Diana was awarded two invitations to the 15th Annual Foundation of Faith Event: Ignite Your Hearts, and a restaurant gift card. Each year, the winning parish receives $1,000.

We are also pleased to share the 4th Annual Steward of the Year category winners! There are seven categories.

St. Toribio Romo, Ministry of Refugees and Migrants
Rafael Carrasco, St. Mark Catholic Church
“Caring for migrants and their families has been a top priority for Rafael because he sees his calling as being a missionary of Christ to the most vulnerable…one time, we had no food for that day, a miscommunication, we were praying for a miracle, when Rafael arrived to help and found out about the situation, he returned with more food that we needed. This is the way he works.” — Rev. Msgr. Arturo Bañuelas, Pastor, St. Mark Catholic Church

St. Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa), Ministry to the Poor
Yuridia Perez, El Buen Pastor Mission
“During this pandemic, needy parishioners of El Buen Pastor were surprised to find on the footsteps of their home food baskets filled with milk, cereal, can goods, bread, soap, detergent, toilet paper, meat, toothpaste, napkins, cleaning supplies and water…for months they wondered who was doing this, until one day Fr. Fabian walked into his office and found Yuridia leaving bags of groceries and toiletries on his desk.” — Fr. Fabian Marquez, Pastor, St. Joseph's Catholic Church 

St. Teresa Benedict of the Cross, Ministry of Bereavement
Lupe Rodriguez de Gonzalez, San Antonio de Padua Catholic Church
“Lupe developed a Memorial at the Parish of all the faithful departed who have died of Covid this year. Parishioners and their relatives were invited to give Lupe a list of names of the deceased in order for them to be written on ribbons that would hang from the “Covid Memorial Tree” until the end of the year of St. Joseph.” — Fr. Mariano H. López, STL, Pastor, San Antonio de Padua Catholic Church

St. John of God, Ministry of Health
Pete Felix, San Antonio de Padua Catholic Church

“Pete was asked for an estimate in order for his disinfecting company Blue Life Environmental, to sanitize the church after every mass when the churches opened at 25 percent capacity, he said he would not give an estimate because he would it do it for free and donate the supplies. Pete ensured that the workers of his company would attend the end of each service in order to disinfect the church.” — Fr. Mariano H. López, STL, Pastor, San Antonio de Padua Catholic Church

St. John Baptist of la Salle, Ministry of Education and Religious Education
Brother Mariano Lopez, FSC, Cathedral High School
"Brother Mariano embodies the five Lasallian values that are engrained in every student on our campus. He models his faith daily on the campus and at all extra-curricular activities. Concern for the poor is modeled through his community service in our community. Respect for all is displayed daily to all faculty, staff, and student body. Quality education is delivered daily to all of his students.”  — Adolfo Sanchez, Principal, Cathedral High School

St. Juan Diego, Ministry of Communication and Evangelization
Santiago Romero, All Saints Catholic Church
“During this pandemic when churches were closed, Santiago made it one of his responsibilities to begin live streaming the mass, initially he took his personal equipment to the church and learned to live stream the Mass, eventually, the parish purchased equipment to continue live streaming and Santiago continues to live stream the Mass." — Paula Favela, Parish Administrator, All Saints Catholic Church

For more information about the Steward of the Year contest and living a Stewardship way of life, please contact Karina Sandoval at ksandoval@catholicfoundationelpaso.org or 915-872-8412. The 5th Annual Steward of the Year contest will be announced in the summer of 2022.

Rafael Carrasco: St. Toribio Romo, Ministry of Refugees and Migrants Yuridia Perez: St. Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa), Ministry to the Poor Lupe Rodriguez de Gonzalez: St. Teresa Benedict of the Cross, Ministry of Bereavement Pete Felix, St. John of God, Ministry of Health Brother Mariano Lopez, FSC: St. John Baptist of la Salle, Ministry of Education and Religious Education Santiago Romero: St. Juan Diego, Ministry of Communication and Evangelization

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