Share this story

 | By Brittany DeHaan

Local Priest Receives John Paul II Award from the Institute for Priestly Formation

August 15, 2023 | During the National Convocation at the Marian Servants of Divine Providence House of Prayer, a local priest was honored for his service to the Church.

Father Joseph Waters received the St. John Paul II award, a recognition that helps to support the Institute for Priestly Formation, located in Omaha, Nebraska that is dedicated to the spiritual formation of bishops, priests, and seminarians.

Donations were made in Father Waters’ name to the John Paul II Fund for Priests that exceeded the minimum level of $5,000, which resulted in him receiving this award, a beautiful bronze medallion specially created for the Institute’s Saint John Paul II program. The John Paul II Fund and Medallion program was established as a way for people to express their appreciation for the positive impact of a particular priest on their lives.

“For us, it represents our appreciation for you being a spiritual father, a Christ-like shepherd,” said Alicia Goodwin, President of the Board of Directors of the House of Prayer, as the award was presented to Father Waters. “We especially appreciate your dedication to the priesthood and your uncanny ability through your homilies to break open the Word in meaningful and practical ways, underscoring your gifts as a teacher, counselor, and advisor.”

The Marian Servants of Divine Providence are a Public Association of the Faithful of the Diocese of St. Petersburg located at Our Lady of Divine Providence House of Prayer in Clearwater, FL. They guide others through healing prayer, spiritual direction, and retreats. Father Waters serves as the spiritual moderator for The Marian Servants.

“Your assistance to the Marian Servants over the years has been an incredible blessing. We are inspired by your continued generosity with your time, even with the demands of serving as judicial vicar for two dioceses. It is deeply appreciated and a witness to your commitment to serve,” Goodwin continued. Father Waters serves as Judicial Vicar for the Diocese of St. Petersburg and the Diocese of Venice.

Every five years, the Marian Servants invite their members from their 15 affiliate communities throughout the United States to a three-day National Convocation at the House of Prayer. This Convocation aims to unite members in prayer and to be recommitted to their call to serve the Lord and live their Rule of Life.

The convocation took place this year from August 9-11, 2023, with the theme of “We proclaim Jesus Christ Crucified… the power of God and the wisdom of God.”

At this year’s Convocation, Bishop Parkes celebrated Mass for participants on August 10th. He encouraged those present to continue to bring the truth and love of Christ wherever they serve and was able to present the John Paul II Recognition Award to Father Waters on behalf of the Marian Servants.