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Rewards for service: Parishioners receive Legacy Awards

October 6, 2012
Daily Press

MARQUETTE - Edna Hocking of St. Anthony Parish in Gwinn and Michael Decet of St. Rita Parish in Trenary are recipients of the 2012 Legacy of Faith Catholic Service Award. Bishop Alexander K. Sample announced the recipients of the award, which annually recognizes members of the Catholic Diocese of Marquette for lifetime dedication and service to the Catholic Church.

Hocking has served her parish selflessly in many ways, most notably as an active member of the parish choir for 75 years. She has served many other parish ministries, including the Pastoral Council and Finance Committee. She has also been an active member of the parish Altar Society since its inception.

Her particular joy has been the many hours spent working on the Funeral Luncheon Team, a group of parishioners who stand ready to ensure that grieving families are well cared for and shown the love of the parish community in their time of sorrow.

Article Photos

Courtesy photos

Edna Hocking (front, center) of St. Anthony Parish in Gwinn is joined by her daughters, Linda (left) and Phyllis Hocking after receiving the Legacy of Faith Catholic Service Award from Bishop Alexander K. Sample of the Catholic Diocese of Marquette.

Hocking has also been an active member of local community boards and groups such as the Forsyth Township Library Board, Historical Society of Gwinn, Share Food Group, Merry Mixers, VFW Auxiliary, Red Hat Society and more. She is a shining example of service to God and neighbor.

Bishop Sample presented Hocking with a commemorative medallion at her residence at Brookridge Assisted Living facility in Marquette in the presence of her daughters and many residents of the facility.

Her service was further honored at her parish with a weekend Mass offered by Bishop Sample and a coffee social afterwards where parishioners celebrated Hocking with music, dancing and merrymaking.

Michael Decet has been an extraordinary leader within the Church, the St. Vincent DePaul Society, and his local community. A graduate of the Loyola Institute for Ministry Extension Program and the diocesan Specialized Ministries Program, he was especially active in parish liturgy and catechesis.

St. Rita Parish was maintained for many years under the spiritual and administrative guidance of a number of priests from India.

Decet's continual mentoring and guidance to these priests, who were new to the country and to the diocese, was well received by the priests and parishioners alike.

He networked tirelessly in the broader St. Vincent de Paul conference and was able to funnel surplus goods from other St. Vincent de Paul charities to local needy families in Trenary.

Decet established several community charitable programs, including Christmas and Easter food baskets for needy families, and a program to provide needy children with backpacks filled with back-to-school items. These projects have become longstanding parish traditions that have allowed the broader community to feel the generosity of a small and wonderful parish.

Bishop Sample presented Decet with a commemorative medallion at his residence at the Jacobetti Home for Veterans in Marquette in the presence of his family, staff and other residents. Decet's service was further honored at his parish with his wife, Anna, accepting the award on his behalf.

The parish community celebrated Decet's inspiration, commitment and witness to carrying out the mission of the Catholic Church following a weekend Mass offered by Bishop Sample.

The Catholic Service Award is a program of Legacy of Faith, which is the campaign to build the Endowment Foundation of the Diocese of Marquette. The award was created in 2006 in the spirit and intent of the endowment to preserve and foster the Catholic faith in the U.P.

Nominations for the annual award are due by May 1 of each year. For more information, contact Terri Gadzinski at (906) 227-9108 or visit



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