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An employee of the Department of Catholic Education and seven Catholic educators will be honored by the Federation of Catholic School Parents during its annual awards dinner at 6 p.m. next Saturday in the Sheraton Inn, 2040 Walden Ave., Cheektowaga.

The St. John Neumann Award will be presented to Thomas Peters, director of government programs for the Diocesan Department of Catholic Education, in recognition of his dedicated support of Catholic education.

The St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award for meritorious service will be presented to Sister M. Desiderata Mis, Blessed Sacrament School, Kenmore; Geraldine Kizielewicz, Catholic Academy of West Buffalo; JoAnn Nightengale, Holy Family School, Buffalo; Antonia Pellegrino, Niagara Catholic Junior-Senior High School; Barbara Fischer, SS. Peter & Paul School, Depew; Lorraine Heine, St. Andrew Country Day School, Town of Tonawanda; and Helen T. Kunkenmoeller, St. Teresa's School, Buffalo.

Sabbath of Song at Beth Zion

The Sabbath of Song, a special service focusing on women and spirituality, will be conducted at 11 a.m. next Saturday in Temple Beth Zion, 805 Delaware Ave.

The service, led by members of the Temple Sisterhood, will include music by Shir Chadash, the temple's new chamber choir. Rabbi Lisa Eiduson will preach on "Song & Prayer: Women's Contributions to Jewish Spirituality."

The service will be followed by a luncheon. Tickets are $6.50. Reservations should be made by Wednesday by calling Ruth Fernandez at 877-6846.

Memorial stone to be blessed

Bishop Henry J. Mansell of the Buffalo Catholic Diocese and the Rev. Richard E. Zajac, chaplain of Sisters Hospital, will bless a Mother-Child Memorial Stone at 10 a.m. next Saturday in Mount Olivet Cemetery, 4000 Elmwood Ave., Town of Tonawanda.

The memorial, donated by Stone Art Memorial Co., marks an area in Section G of the cemetery used for burial of babies lost through miscarriage or other causes. The dedication ceremony, to be followed by a reception, will be sponsored by Sisters Hospital. It is intended for women and families who have experienced a fetal loss at any time in their life.

'Women Alive' conference set

"Women Alive," a Canadian ministry, will conduct an interdenominational conference for women from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Feb. 6 in Lockport Senior High School, 250 Lincoln Ave., Lockport.

The keynote talk will be given by Shirleyan Johnson, a motivational speaker from Phoenix, Ariz., who has become an accomplished pianist and director of music ministry despite being born with only one finger on each hand. Music will be provided by a worship team led by Susan Shamas of Kitchener, Ont.

Tickets are $25 and include a luncheon and two workshops. Reservations must be made by next Saturday by calling 434-0786.

Ecumenical service planned

The Clergy Caucus of VOICE-Buffalo, a faith-based organization dedicated to community improvement, will sponsor an ecumenical service of worship at 4 p.m. Sunday in White Rock Missionary Baptist Church, 480 E. Utica St.

The Rev. Dr. Ivery Daniels, pastor of White Rock Church, will preach at the service, which is open to everyone. Music will be provided by adult and youth choirs made up of members of more than 20 churches that belong to VOICE-Buffalo.

The Rev. M. Bruce McKay, pastor of Pilgrim-St. Luke's United Church of Christ and an organizer of VOICE-Buffalo, said the purpose of the service is to join congregations across racial, religious and geographic lines to seek God's blessing to make Buffalo a better place.

Rights observer to speak

Kristen Graser, who served last year as a human-rights observer in Chiapas, Mexico, will be featured speaker at a meeting of the Latin American Solidarity Committee at 7 p.m. Monday in Council of Churches House, 1272 Delaware Ave.

Ms. Graser, a teacher at Southtowns Catholic School, Lake View, and member of the Western New York Peace Center, also served in Chiapas in 1996 as a volunteer with Global Exchange. Everyone is welcome.

Reports also will be given by Elaine Chamberlain, a nurse, and Ted Dziekonski, an attorney, who visited both Chiapas and Guatemala earlier this month. They are members of the Buffalo Friends Meeting House.

Kurtz receives Humanist Award

Paul Kurtz, a retired University at Buffalo professor who is regarded as the leading spokesman for the secular humanist movement, has been honored with the International Humanist Award.

The award was presented to Kurtz, professor-emeritus of philosophy at UB, during the 14th World Congress of the International Humanist and Ethical Union in Bombay, India.

Levi Fragell, president of the organization, lauded Kurtz as "a consistent defender of human rights and freedoms" and for his role as defender of "freedom of conscience and the rights of unbelievers."

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