At the Fifth Annual Augustinian Gala, on April 28, we will be celebrating the service of four very special honorees: Fr. Jim Friedel, O.S.A., Fr. Tom McCarthy, O.S.A., and Augustinian Affiliates Anne and Don Berschback. Today we joyously conclude our series of profiles of these 2017 honorees with the Berschbacks!
The Augustinians’ celebration of Anne and Don Berschback will be an evening 60 years in the making, starting from when a fifth-grade Don was mowing the summer grasses at St. Clare of Montefalco school in Grosse Point, MI. In the decades to follow Don, together with his wife Anne, would develop a relationship of faith and service with the Augustinian Order at every level possible--parish, school, and province.
After working as “office boy,” landscaper, and student at St. Clare’s, Don’s involvement with the Augustinians began “in earnest” while attending Austin Catholic High School. After losing his father tragically in his sophomore year, Don found guidance and support in the Augustinian friars that ran his school, particularly the late Fr. Edward Chapman, O.S.A. Since then Don has been a tireless supporter of the priests and brothers who “were the absolute reason why, I believe, I am who I am today,” he said in a 2014 interview.
The Berschbacks have the rare distinction amongst lay Affiliates of having accompanied the Midwest Augustinians through two capital campaigns, the first being the “Journey of a Lifetime Campaign” in the early 1990s. When the Midwest Province announced its “Continuing Our Journey of Faith Campaign” in 2014, the Berschbacks returned as energetic and galvanizing leaders, donating their services to the Campaign Cabinet and multiple Augustinian Gala Committees.
Their dedication to the Campaign’s mission--providing financial support for elderly friars and men in formation—reached its culmination at last year’s Gala, where Don’s impassioned plea for support helped bring in record contributions for the Province.
“We would be hard-pressed to find any more consistently loyal, generous, and forthright supporters than Anne and Don Berschback,” said Director of Advancement Michael Gerrity, “They have provided outstanding leadership for the Augustinians at every level for many decades.”
Even though the Augustinians ceased to run the Berschbacks’ home parish of St. Clare of Montefalco in 2013, Don and Anne continue their regular involvement with Augustinian events, festal celebrations and ordinations. As Prior Provincial Fr. Bernie Scianna said, “Don and Anne certainly embody the Augustinian Charism of Community! And they never miss a chance to get together with the Augustinians… I am proud to know them and to have them as Members of the Order!”
We greatly look forward to thanking the Berschbacks for their years of service and generous support. You are cherished members of the Augustinian family and it is now time we gather together in honoring you!
Please join us in congratulating Anne & Don Berschback at this year's Augustinian Gala!
This year's fifth annual Augustinian Gala will be held at the historic Drake Hotel in downtown Chicago. The gala is on April 28, 2017.
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