TYLER – Bishop Álvaro Corrada, SJ, presented Dr. Danny and Kelly Jackman with the Bishop Charles E. Herzig Award for their years of service to others during a Sept. 13 Mass in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
Father Harold Paulsen also received the award for his more than 25 years in prison ministry, but could not attend the presentation due to bad health.
The award is named for Bishop Charles E. Herzig, founding bishop of the Diocese of Tyler in 1987 and who died of cancer Sept. 7, 1991. The award, instituted by Bishop Corrada in 2007 to honor humanitarian service, is presented every year on the Sunday nearest Bishop Herzig’s death. This year, its presentation was pushed back so Bishop Corrada could attend.
Members of Bishop Herzig’s family also were in attendance.
Bishop Joseph E. Strickland in his homily tied the work of the Jackmans and Father Paulsen to the second reading, from the Letter of St. James (2:14-18), in which the apostle said that faith without works is dead.
“St. James reminds us that we are not saved because of our works, but that we work because we are saved, because we believe,” Bishop Strickland said. “We are nurtured in the Eucharist, anointed in the Anointed One, and so we go to work.”
He said the Jackmans, who have worked for many years in St. Vincent de Paul and have also contributed both time and money to St. Gregory Cathedral School and the Bishop T.K. Gorman Schools in Tyler, and Father Paulsen, who has spent most of his priesthood ministering to the incarcerated, exemplify St. James’ words.
“Danny and Kelly Jackman are dressed in their Sunday best today,” he said, “but I have seen them in their work clothes, moving boxes, preparing food, sorting through clothes and serving the poor in the Dominican Republic and Mexico. St. James tells us that is the work of faith.
“Father Harold Paulsen couldn’t be with us today because his health is fragile,” Bishop Strickland said. “But he has spent many years ministering to the prisons around Palestine, and he has made great sacrifices to serve those in prison. He has truly lived and embodied the Gospel.”
Bishop Strickland also paid tribute to two of his predecessors – Bishop Herzig, founding bishop of Tyler, and Bishop Corrada, third bishop of the diocese and now bishop of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico.
In the first part of his homily, calling up the children and speaking to them, Bishop Strickland told them of “a very special celebration that happened almost 30 years ago,” when the Diocese of Tyler was formally erected and Bishop Herzig ordained a bishop on Feb. 24, 1987.
“We’re here today, flourishing as a diocese, because he worked so hard as our shepherd,” the bishop said of his predecessor.
To the rest of the congregation, Bishop Strickland described Bishop Herzig as “a good man from San Antonio, a priest of that archdiocese who received the call to come to Tyler and establish a new diocese. Believe me, that was a lot of hard work.”
A portrait of Bishop Herzig – one taken the day he learned he had cancer in the fall of 1990 – was displayed in the cathedral sanctuary during the Mass.
Bishop Herzig was known as a frugal, hard-working man of simple tastes who was devoted to his new diocese and the mission of the Gospel.
Bishop Strickland said there could be no better way to honor such a man than by doing “the work of Christ” – feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the imprisoned.
He also paid tribute to Bishop Corrada, his immediate predecessor as bishop of Tyler.
“Bishop Corrada served us for 12 years,” Bishop Strickland said. “(The work of a bishop) is not pretty a lot of times. We’re here today in our fine robes, but the work of a bishop is often down and dirty, because that’s the work of Jesus Christ. He got his hands dirty, and so must we.
“We thank Bishop Corrada and celebrate the memory of Bishop Herzig for the ways they’ve helped us, 28 years later, be who we are as the Diocese of Tyler.
“Let us all continue the work of the Lord,” Bishop Strickland urged.