The Spirit of Sister Dorothy Stang Award was presented at Catholic Central High School on August 4 to MacKenzie Taylor, CCHS Class of 2020. MacKenzie and her family are active members of St. Joseph/St. Raphael parish, which had a special relationship with Sr. Dorothy Stang during her ministry in the Amazon until she was murdered in 2005.

The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur asked each Archdiocesan high school to select one teacher or graduating student with the following characteristics:

-Demonstrates Christ-like solidarity with the poor

-Has care for the earth

-Applies Catholic social teaching in cross-cultural service

The purpose of the award is to keep alive the memory of Sr. Dorothy Stang and to honor graduating high school students who exemplify the values of Sr. Dorothy.

Josh Mueller, CCHS Campus Minister, had this to say about MacKenzie: “MacKenzie was in a Catholic Social Teaching class this past fall and was absolutely inspired by each principle of CST. She really was inspired by the Respect for Life principle. She didn’t feel it right that anybody, or anything, deserved to be treated as less. She would go out and interact with individuals from various backgrounds and make sure that they were able to receive the love of Christ through her. She wants to consistently make sure that everybody out there receives love and respect. She was also specifically inspired by the Care for Creation principle. She was super touched and influenced by excerpts of Pope Francis’ Laudato Si. She agrees that everyone and everything was created by God, so why shouldn’t each be treated as a gift. This is MacKenzie’s lifestyle and passion in life. She was so inspired by CST as a whole that she has decided to pursue a career with Doctors without Borders. I can’t think of a better candidate for that career or this award.”

Deb McCullough, Director of On-The-Rise, also recommended MacKenzie Taylor for the Spirit of Sr. Dorothy Stang Award. “This young lady is very community-minded, very much a leader, and is a take-charge individual. She has been a very important part in the activities that her class has assisted in. On-The-Rise is a small non-profit in Springfield and really appreciates all the work MacKenzie and her classmates have done.”

MacKenzie left for college at Ohio Northern on August 5.

Pictured: MacKenzie Taylor at the Service Ministry/Magnified Giving Ceremony in January 2020, along with Julie Rose of Project Woman, one of the organizations MacKenzie and the Service Ministry class supported this year during Winter Term.