Delone Catholic High School has a proud history of outstanding faculty, and this spring, the Diocese of Harrisburg bestowed one of its greatest honors on a current Delone Catholic HS teacher. Mrs. Katherine Phenicie, Religion Teacher and Spiritual Life Director, was named as a recipient of the 2018 Golden Apple Award. The award, now in its tenth year, was first presented by the Donahue Family Foundation in 1992 in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. Jack and Rhodora Donahue are the parents of 13 children who were all educated in Catholic Schools, and they wanted to honor outstanding individuals who devote their lives to teaching in Catholic schools.
I have observed Mrs. Phenicie’s performance both inside and outside of the classroom, and she embodies everything anyone could ask for as far as representing the school as a ‘Doer of the Word,’” said Principal Richard La Rocca. “This year we opened a Spiritual Life Center across from our chapel, and her headquarters has been a bee hive of activity from day one. Whether she is supervising meetings of the peer ministers, preparing for our school liturgies, engaging with our chaplain, leading discussions with our guest seminarians, planning retreats or hosting any number of activities, Mrs. Phenicie is always inspiring, encouraging, challenging and modeling the essence of what our faith is all about, being faithful to her calling as a Catholic Christian.”
Katherine Phenicie has been the Spiritual Life Director at Delone Catholic HS for nine years, and she has served as a member of the school’s religion department for five years, teaching at various grade levels. Mrs. Phenicie realized her desire to become a theology teacher after a weekend summer retreat more than fifteen years ago. In her own words she stated that she had no idea that this realization would set her on a path of unfathomable joys and challenges.
The Church tells us that grace is ‘a participation in the life of God’ (CCC 1997). In a Catholic school, I have the honor of providing opportunities for grace, participating in God’s life, to my students,” said Mrs. Phenicie. “From one day to the next, I find myself planning liturgies and prayer services, greeting students in the hallways, instructing my students on Church teaching in the classroom, and sitting with students individually to discuss what is on their hearts and minds. Each of these different circumstances allows me to bring God’s life to our school community, but also gives me life and feeds my spirituality.”
Mrs. Phenicie will be honored with other Golden Apple Award winners at a banquet in May at the Cardinal Keeler Center in Harrisburg, Pa. In addition to a Golden Apple with a 24-carat gold cross, she receives a $5,000 cash award, a certificate of achievement and a Golden Apple lapel pin.
Mrs. Katherine Phenicie (left) is pictured in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel with Delone Catholic’s Extraordinary Ministers.