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Effingham residents receive Gartland Award
1227 Geraldine Klock
Geraldine Klock and Bishop Gregory J. Hartmayer - photo by Photo provided

Two Effingham County area residents are recipients of 2011 Bishop Gartland Awards for outstanding service to the Catholic Church in South Georgia.

Savannah Bishop Gregory J. Hartmayer conferred the Bishop Gartland Service Award on Lisa Ganser of Guyton and Geraldine “Gerry” Klock of Rincon along with 82 other South Georgia recipients at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Savannah on Nov. 20. Ganser and Klock are members of St. Boniface Catholic Church in Springfield.

Ganser has devoted countless hours at St. Boniface. Between serving as director of vacation Bible school for the last 15 years, coordinating the nursery, and teaching religious education she also found the time to coordinate the parish fundraiser, “Hope for Harris,” an effort that resulted in over $7,000 being raised in one day for Harris Orsini’s organ transplant fund.

Klock has been a parishioner and active steward of St. Boniface for seven years. The list of councils and organizations she has served on fills most of a page, but her work with the Council Catholic Women has had a remarkable impact on the community of St. Boniface.

As part of the CCW’s craft group she has shared her knowledge and ability to with her fellow council women. Many of the crafts created by the group will be sold at church fundraisers.

Named for Francis X. Gartland, the first Bishop of Savannah, the award is given for distinguished service to the Catholic Church in South Georgia. The award was instituted in 2000 to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the Diocese of Savannah.

Bishop Gartland, born in Dublin, Ireland in 1805, was named Bishop of the newly erected Diocese of Savannah in July 1850. A true missionary bishop, he traveled the expanse of the diocese, which at that time included all of Georgia and part of northern Florida.

When a yellow fever epidemic struck the city of Savannah, he visited the sick tirelessly, administering the sacraments, until he, himself, contracted the fever and died in 1854.

The Bishop Gartland Service Award is an honor bestowed by the Diocese of Savannah on persons who have given distinguished service to the Church in the tradition of its first bishop.

The gold and blue award pin combines elements of Bishop Gartland’s episcopal coat of arms with elements from the shield of the Diocese of Savannah. His motto, Vincit Veritas, or “Truth conquers,” is inscribed on the pin.

The Catholic Diocese of Savannah includes 78 parishes in 90 counties of South Georgia.