As we were poised to celebrate our 10th Legacy Gala, we wanted to
honor the memory of the late Peggy Horrigan through the inaugural
Peggy’s Legacy of Faith Award. JPII always held a special place in her heart
and this recognition is given to an individual who shares her deep love
of the center as can be seen through his/her actions. This year, the very first
award was to have been given to our Multi-Disabilities’ teacher, Mary Maher.
“We always wanted to add an award to honor someone who dedicates themselves to our mission,” shares JPII Principal Mary Adams. “We are blessed to have many of these angels who day in and day out are present and give their time and talents to JPII, often doing so without any recognition. It’s important to us that we take the time to show our gratitude for their ongoing support of our mission, students, adults and their families. Who better to name this award after but Peggy Horrigan, who was the most caring, giving, and selfless person. She represents all the faithful angels who fulfill our mission. Through this award, her spirit will forever be at JPII.”
“When I was advised that John Paul II was initiating an annual Peggy’s Legacy of Faith Award, I was thrilled, although I knew that Peggy would have humbly said, ‘No, I don’t deserve it,’ says Jack Horrigan, Peggy’s husband. “It was however, because of Peggy’s giant personality that she became the heart of the 2001 Capital Campaign that we co-chaired to fund the construction of the school when it moved to Shillington. In her personal and caring manner, Peggy recognized and loved the uniqueness of every John Paul II student, and greatly admired the love and dedication of teachers, staff and volunteers for their constant efforts in making John Paul II the SPECIAL school that it has become. How appropriate that Mary Maher, who has been teaching at John Paul II since it opened in 1982 be the first recipient to the Peggy’s Legacy of Faith Award. Mary truly reflects the loving dedication and sensitivity of every teacher, staff member and volunteer at John Paul II. Congratulations, Mary, on a well-deserved honor, and many thanks for all your years of dedicated service to the students of John Paul II.”
Mary Maher’s faith is what guided her from the moment that she first saw in her church bulletin that a group of parents wanted to start a special learning center. “It’s almost like from the beginning that the Holy Spirit was guiding my steps. During my initial interview, Sister Francis even said that the Holy Spirit was guiding me to work at John Paul II Center. Many times, your faith takes you on a path that may not be what you expected in life, so it’s important to have an open mind and open heart. It’s so gratifying and heartwarming to know that this is exactly where I am supposed to be,” she says.
“For 38 years, Mary Maher has walked through the doors of JPII everyday with passion and dedication. She is always willing to assist where needed, and our mission is always on the forefront of her mind. We are so blessed to have her as part of our JPII family. Mary, thank you for giving us so much of yourself over these years,” shares Mary Adams.