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Archbishop Pilarczyk honored as a ‘great communicator’ by Salesian Guild

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Thursday, January 20, 2011
ST. LAWRENCE DEANERY — A great communicator “who can turn a phrase like no one else,” Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk was honored with the Distinguished Communicator of the Year Award by the Salesian Guild  Jan. 15.

Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk
The archbishop poses with his Distinguished Communicator of the Year Award. (CT/Colleen Kelley)
Franciscan Father Greg Friedman, creative director of the media production team of St. Anthony Messenger Press, which sponsors the award, described the retired archbishop thusly, noting that in the 2009 Mass celebrating 50 years of priesthood the day before his retirement was accepted, Archbishop Pilarczyk delivered a homily that had three key phrases, “I’m sorry,” “thank you” and “please.”
“Never has there been a more concise summary of a ministry in which he served us over the years,” Father Friedman noted.
Archbishop Pilarczyk is the author of more than a dozen books, all of which he has also recorded himself in audio form, and is heard frequently in daily reflections on Cincinnati’s Sacred Heart Radio. His daily 90-second homily on the Gospel reading of the day, “Sharing the Word,” is heard on the internet and broadcast over more than 100 radio stations.
Father Friedman reminded those gathered that the archbishop is “good off-the-cuff” and said it is an “unsung secret about the archbishop that he is a man of good humor and wit,” relating several funny anecdotes to illustrate the point.
Accepting the award from emcee Brian Patrick of Sacred Heart Radio, Archbishop Pilarczyk joked that he liked giving speeches because “I can look out and see panic in the eyes of the crowd.”
“It’s comforting to have one’s work recognized by thoughtful and intelligent people,” he told the 80 communicators gathered at the Sisters of Charity Motherhouse for the event, a remark met with laughter and applause. “I hope the Lord will enable me as I mature to continue to serve in the ministry of communication.”
He also told those present that “the church is richer because of what you have been able to contribute. You have made the Lord more present, more vibrant. Thanks to all of you for your work in the Lord’s vineyard.”
A special Lifetime Achievement Award was presented posthumously to Greg Olberding, a founding member of the Salesian Guild, who died in 2010. Olberding’s wife, Sally, and his five children accepted the award. Olberding worked in public relations with three network television stations in Cincinnati and did development work for St. Xavier High School, Glenmary, the Marianists and other religious groups. 
Named for St. Francis DeSales, the patron saint of both Catholic communicators and the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, the Salesian Guild is an annual gathering of Greater Cincinnati Catholics working in various communication fields, including journalism, advertising, and public relations. The group has no dues and no officers, and comes together only once a year — since 1944 — to share liturgy and fellowship.
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