On Tuesday, October 4th, it was our great honor to present Risen Christ's annual Circle of Light Award to two priests who have provided transformational leadership and support to our school community over many years: Fr. John Forliti and Fr. Joe Gillespie. We gathered at Town and Country Club in St. Paul on a beautiful autumn evening, overlooking the colorful Mississippi River Valley to enjoy food and fellowship while updating close friends and supporters about the current school year and presenting our awards.
Our Circle of Light Award is given annually to individuals or organizations whose dedication, long-time support, visionary leadership and generosity have made Risen Christ the hallmark of hope and opportunity for the children we serve today. Below is a brief summary of our 2022 recipients:
Fr. John Forliti
While serving as pastor at St. Olaf Catholic Church in downtown Minneapolis, Fr. John discovered Risen Christ Catholic School and has been one of its greatest champions ever since. Although his family roots are firmly established in St. Paul where he is a proud graduate of Cretin High School, Fr. John has made an indelible impact across the river in south Minneapolis by serving and supporting the children of Risen Christ. Fr. John has served as a member of the Risen Christ Board of Directors and was a leader of our Fulfilling the Promise capital campaign to eliminate the school’s longstanding debt. Over the years, he has introduced countless donors and volunteers to Risen Christ who continue to contribute their gifts and talents to this day.
Fr. Joseph Gillespie, OP
Fr. Joe is beloved for his fellowship and faithful service to all of us, particularly the children of Risen Christ Catholic School as the school’s Canonical Administrator since 2007. A south Minneapolis native, Fr. Joe graduated from DeLaSalle High School and has been a Dominican priest for over 50 years. Recently retired from his role as pastor at St. Albert the Great in Minneapolis, Fr. Joe still serves at the Basilica of Saint Mary as one of its Sunday Celebrants. Known throughout our faith community, Fr. Joe has invited countless individuals to experience the joys of supporting the children of Risen Christ. Through his leadership of our successful Fulfilling the Promise capital campaign, Risen Christ is now debt-free with a bright future.
Congratulations, Fr. John and Fr. Joe!