2018 Mandatum Award Recipient
The award is presented to an individual or organization whose service in the Gospel of Jesus Christ exemplifies the purpose and goals of the Federation. In particular, the leadership of this individual or organization enhances the ministry of presbyteral councils, seeks to expound on the issues and concerns of priests, and champions NFPC’s mission and goals in the public square. The award’s scriptural reference is: “I have given you a model to follow, so as I have done for you, you should do also.” [John 13:15]
Biography – Alan Szafraniec
Alan Szafraniec began his ministry with NFPC in January 1997, hired for a part-time position as a publications assistant by then Executive Director, Marianist Brother Bernie Stratman. Alan had graduated a year earlier from Loyola University Chicago’s Institute of Pastoral Studies (IPS) and was in the process of discerning his future ministry. In 1998, Alan was asked to work full time at NFPC and he accepted this ministerial calling. Although his title has changed many times over his 20 plus years with NFPC, most recently Managing Director, he has served in whatever capacity was needed to promote NFPC’s mission.
Although his main responsibility became editing various print publications, including the Touchstone periodical and many of NFPC’s commissioned studies, Alan also became an important reference person to many dioceses and Catholic organizations. His developed connections with Catholic personalities across the U.S. became invaluable in NFPC’s ability to connect and support the U.S. presbyterate. In addition, in 2002, he began compiling and editing the weekly digital e-letter, NFPC This Week, and had produced over 700 by the time of his 2017 retirement.
Alan believes firmly in his IPS professor Dr. Ann O’Hara Graff’s definition that pastoral ministry is mainly about “making God accessible.” He sought to live that in his work in what he referred to as a “theology of presence – being present, being there to listen, help, and serve in whatever area we are called.” With an outstanding memory for names and places, and a heart for service, Alan became known as the “history and the heart of NFPC.”