Sylvania Franciscans 2012 St. Francis and St. Clare Honorees
Dr. Ben Fedrick pictured center with his wife and children.
The Sisters of St. Francis are proud to announce the winners of the 2012 St. Clare and St. Francis awards for community service. The awards recognize those who have demonstrated a strong commitment to the underprivileged, have helped to elevate the self-esteem of people who have lost their way, and have worked for peace and social justice issues. This year’s recipients—Dr. Ben Fredrick and Kathy Griffin—both embody the Franciscan spirit, and help the poor and the marginalized both right here in Toledo as well as abroad. Dr. Ben became interested in global health through his experiences with the Sylvania Franciscans in Haiti. His acquaintance with Haiti began several years ago when he and his family started hosting children from that island nation who came to the Penn State Hershey Medical Center for surgery. Nelson Petite-Frere, a friend of the Sylvania Franciscans in Pestel, Haiti, was their second guest. The Fredricks opened their home to him when Nelson needed heart valve replacement surgery. The following year Dr. Ben visited the Since his first visit to Haiti, Dr. Ben has founded Thriving Villages International, where workers go into small villages and try to save lives by providing medicine to men and women. Current projects include supplying the children of Pestel with Vitamin A and the deworming medicine Albendazole. In addition to these efforts, Dr. Ben also works tirelessly with Water Missions International, and Heifer International to bring clean water and end “Dr. Ben definitely has a heart for the poor and a boundless energy for serving them,” said Sylvania Franciscan Sister Fidelis Rubbo, who has ministered in Haiti for 10 years herself and nominated him for the St. Clare award. “He always says how amazed he is that God is using him to do His work. He has a great joy about what he is doing. In those ways, I Kathy Griffin, the St. Clare Award recipient, helps women closer to home. As Executive Director of Bethany House on Toledo’s west side, she has shown a strong commitment to those who use the services at the transitional shelter for battered women and children. In 1995 she became the first full time case manager and in 2001 she became the Executive Director. Since then she has devoted herself to helping women regain their self-esteem and build a better life for themselves and their children. “Kathy is truly a messenger of peace for the homeless women who enter Bethany House,” said Sylvania Franciscan Sister Faith Cosky, who nominated her for the award. “Her influence is extended to other local civic groups as they work to end the devastating effects of domestic violence. Kathy consistently advocates for the victims of domestic violence with perseverance and a keen understanding of their plight.” This year’s awards will be presented during the 13th Annual Franciscan Gala at the Eucharistic Liturgy in Queen of Peace Chapel preceding the Gala in the Franciscan Center on September 22, 2012. Tickets are still available for those who wish to attend. For information, call 419-824-3624 or email


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