Diocesan priests to be honored for work with interfaith care
By Jennifer Mauro | Managing Editor
Caregiver Volunteers of Central Jersey will be honoring two priests of the Diocese for their commitment to the interfaith organization.
Msgr. Casimir Ladzinski, a retired priest of the Diocese, and Msgr. Sam Sirianni, rector of St. Robert Bellarmine Co-Cathedral, Freehold, will be presented the Interfaith Visionary Leadership Award at the nonprofit’s 25th Anniversary Gala set for Nov. 17 in Toms River.
“The name of the award really tells the story,” said Lynette Whiteman, the organization’s executive director. “Both have always been willing to work with all faiths to get people care. They are visionaries in recognizing the need for what we do.”
Caregiver Volunteers of Central Jersey assists the elderly and homebound in Monmouth and Ocean Counties with everyday tasks at no cost. Its volunteers, which come from a coalition of faith communities, assist in areas such as transporting people to medical appointments, grocery shopping, and friendly visits and telephone calls, among others.
More than 2,000 seniors are currently served each month in the two counties, a legacy made possible, in part, with help from Msgr. Ladzinski. Twenty-five years ago, Msgr. Ladzinski, then pastor of St. Joseph Parish, Toms River, made it a mission to help the organization get its start.
“He was very instrumental with getting volunteers and other clergy involved,” Whiteman said. The agency, which began in a small office in Beachwood, has grown to be housed in the Community Medical Center of Toms River.
In 2016, Msgr. Sirianni played his role in bringing Caregiver Volunteers to Monmouth County, where the agency is currently based out of the parish.
“It’s really a legacy award,” Whiteman said of honoring the two priests, who are both active with the agency. Msgr. Sirianni serves on the board of directors, and helps introduce the agency to other congregations. Msgr. Ladzinski, who used to serve on the board, continues on in an advisory role.
“The heart of our mission is connecting people and helping vulnerable seniors remain in their homes that they love,” Whiteman said. “It’s all about making connections between people who would never normally meet.”
“Msgr. Sam really allows us to spread that message in his congregation,” she said, explaining that many volunteers come from the parish. “Volunteering helps people in the congregation, too.”
The 25th Anniversary Gala will be from 6 to 10 p.m. in the Versailles Ballroom at the Ramada hotel, 2373 Route 9, Toms River. Tickets are $125 and can be purchased at http://caregivervolunteers.org/events/anniversary-gala/. Anyone interested in sponsoring a table can call Linda Conroy, director of development, at 732-505-2273, ext. 203, for more information.[[In-content Ad]]