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University of St. Thomas to Celebrate Houston’s Good Samaritans at Faithful Citizenship Dinner


Three Houstonians to be Honored for their Extraordinary Lives of Faith,
Sr. Rosanne Popp, CCVI, Stan Marek and Laurence J. Payne

Faithful Citizenship logoThree remarkable Houstonians will be honored for their extraordinary lives of faith at the 11th annual Faithful Citizenship Celebration held by the Nesti Center for Faith & Culture at the University of St. Thomas. This year’s honorees are Sr. Rosanne Popp, CCVI, Stan Marek and Laurence J. Payne.

The awards dinner will be held at 6 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 7 at the Houston Country Club. The event chairs are Regina Rogers, Raye White and Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza Emeritus. For table and ticket purchase, contact Patti Murphy at 713-525-6921 or murphypa@ssthom.edu.

“Celebrating Houston’s Good Samaritans”

This year, the Center’s focus is on “Celebrating Houston’s Good Samaritans,” who, in concrete and visible ways, embody the principles and vision of Fratelli Tutti I (All Brothers and Sisters) in their work to heal the social fabric and reach across walls and boundaries to promote the common good.

Fratelli Tutti is the third encyclical of Pope Francis, subtitled “on fraternity and social friendship.” The pope’s letter focuses on the ills of our post-modern society, especially our failures in a global response to COVID-19. The encyclical serves as a wake-up for the Church to greater clarity and purpose.

“The Faithful Citizenship dinner is a celebration of three faithful citizens who live the values of the “Good Samaritan” in concrete and visible ways in our community,” Fr. Binh Quach, CSSp, director of the Nesti Center for Faith & Culture, said. “This celebration gives us the opportunity to appreciate their gifts and celebrate their accomplishments.”

 Meet the Honorees

Sr. Rosanne Popp, CCVISr. Rosanne Popp, CCVI

Sr. Rosanne Popp, CCVI, is a physician who helps Houstonians ward off medical and socioeconomic ills. Sr. Roseanne is the medical director of CHRISTUS St. Mary’s Clinic in the economically depressed East End. The clinic serves people who are uninsured, underinsured or who do not make enough money to pay the out-of-pocket costs for health care. Her focus at the clinic is on patients who do not have COVID-19. In this way, she helps ensure that the ongoing medical and socioeconomic needs of the vulnerable East End population do not go unmet as the pandemic continues.

Stan Marek

Stan MarekCommunity leader, Stan Marek, is a businessman and President and CEO of the Marek Family of Companies. In addition to leading one of the largest interior construction contractors in the Southwest. Marek believes that the company has a responsibility as a role model in both the industry and the communities they serve. To that end, Marek is passionate about workforce development, sustainability and comprehensive immigration reform.

Marek champions a workforce development program for his employees that includes structured on-the-job craft (apprentice) training and a program that offers fast-track career paths for high achievers. The company is known for using efficient and sustainable building practices. Marek is the co-founder of Texans for Sensible Immigration Policy and a member of the Greater Houston Partnership’s Task Force, Americans for Immigration Reform.

Laurence J. Payne ‘72

Laurence J. PayneServant Leader and University of St. Thomas alumnus, Laurence J. Payne ’72, majored in theology and minored in philosophy. This educational grounding taught him to hold the dignity of the human person close to his heart. A deeply faithful man, Payne has worked with vulnerable populations at Habitat for Humanity, SEARCH and more. These organizations have recurring themes of social justice, race equality and education as a path to a better life.

Payne is known as the host of “Dialogue Houston” HTV Houston Television. After almost 30 years, Payne continues to provide listeners in-depth, thought-provoking conversations with Houston’s leading thinkers as guests examine social situations on a dynamic scale within Houston. His book titled “The Heart of HoUSTon: Lessons in Servant Leadership” is available on Amazon. Over the years, Payne’s career in public service has included notable positions at the city, state and congressional levels. Currently, Payne serves as chair of Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Task Force for Police Reform.