Six individuals were honored during Niagara University's annual Vincentian Heritage Convocation held Thursday.
The event, which takes place during the university's celebration of Vincentian Heritage Week, recognizes the extraordinary contributions of university employees, alumni and community leaders.
The Most Rev. Raymond F. Chappetto, D.D., V.G., V.E., Class of 1967, received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters for his career as a leader in the Catholic Church. Chappetto studied philosophy at Niagara University and the Our Lady of Angels Seminary in Albany, where he earned a master's of divinity degree. He would later add a master's degree in religious education from St. John's University, as well as a certification in pastoral counseling. Blessed John Paul II appointed Chappetto a Prelate of Honor in 1997. In 1999, he became pastor of Our Lady of the Snows in Floral Park. The National Catholic Education Association named him "Pastor of the Year" in 2008. By April of 2012, he had been appointed pastor of St. Kevin Church in Flushing. His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, appointed Chappetto as auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn in May 2012. He was formally ordained to the episcopacy July 11, 2012. By September of the following year, he had taken on the role of vicar general of the Diocese of Brooklyn.
TheRev. John Carney, C.M., '78, was granted the Perboyre Medal for extraordinary service and contribution to the global society. Within four years of graduating from NU with a degree in philosophy, Carney had been ordained as a Catholic priest and earned two master's degrees from Mary Immaculate Seminary. Shortly after entering the priesthood, Carney was assigned to serve in the Republic of Panama, where he still ministers. Standing out among his many contributions in his adopted homeland is the establishment of a kindergarten and pre-K program designed for children living in rural Panamanian villages that prepares mothers to be their children's teachers. Carney's pastoral work includes stops in Rio Sereno, Puerto Armuelles, Colon, and his current assignment as pastor and superior at St. Mary's Parish in Balboa. In February, Carney was made a Spanish translator for the IV International Assembly of Lay Vincentian Missionaries called MISEVI.
Presented with the St. Louise de Marillac Award for Outstanding Service was Diane Quarantello, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Niagara Falls. The Brockport University graduate commenced her career working with disadvantaged children in 1981 when she became program director at the Porta-Niagara Girls Club. Five years later, Quarantello was named the organization's executive director. In 1989, Quarantello joined the Niagara Falls Boys and Girls Club as its director of operations. She was promoted to executive director in 1998. Quarantello volunteers extensively for Youth Mentoring Services as well as the United Way of Greater Niagara. She also assists at Niagara Catholic and Heart, Love and Soul. In collaboration with Niagara University, Quarantello has developed a program that exposes young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to the collegiate atmosphere.
Nanette Harmon was presented with the Vincentian Mission Award, which is given to members of the university community who seek to emulate the altruistic spirit of St. Vincent, the universal patron of charity. A senior lecturer and faculty fellow of American Sign Language and deaf studies at NU, Harmon holds a bachelor's degree from SUNY Geneseo and master's degree in deaf education from Canisius College. Harmon, who lost her hearing from an autoimmune disease she developed as a child, is involved in numerous events that promote awareness of American Sign Language and deaf culture. She coordinates a deaf speakers series, silent shopping, silent bowling, and many other events. In addition, Harmon is the ASL club adviser and she serves on the board of Deaf Adult Services in Buffalo.
James Delaney, Ph.D., was presented with Niagara's Ozanam Medal, which is awarded to individuals who have improved the situation of the poor, and advanced the cause of social justice. Delaney joined Niagara's philosophy department in 2004 after receiving his Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo that same year. In addition to his work as an associate professor, Delaney chaired the philosophy department for several years, heading a team of scholars and teachers. Delaney has published articles in several peer-reviewed journals, including the American Catholic Philosophical Association's Annual Proceedings, The American Journal of Bioethics, and The Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal. He has also authored a pair of books on Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The 2007 Excellence in Teaching Award recipient recently completed a three-year term as Niagara's mission director.
Monica Saltarelli, '86, received the St. Vincent de Paul Medal as an outstanding Catholic lay person whose life embodies the ideals and values of St. Vincent. After earning her undergraduate degree from Niagara, Saltarelli completed master's studies at Villanova University. Shortly thereafter, she was hired as a high school religion teacher at Mount Mercy Academy in Buffalo. In 1998, Saltarelli, who had been serving as an adjunct professor at her alma mater, returned to NU full-time as a campus minister. Saltarelli's contributions to Niagara University's office of campus ministry include leading student and faculty service trips, and helping to establish Niagara's Brothers and Sisters in Christ service-immersion program. In 2001, Saltarelli was awarded a grant to study campus ministry in Peru and Bolivia through Maryknoll Missions and the Catholic Campus Ministry Association. The following year, NU presented her with its Outstanding Service to Students and Vincentian Mission awards. Saltarelli is currently pursuing a certificate in Catholic school leadership from St. Joseph's College.