Catholic Charities President and CEO Msgr. John J. Enzler was honored with the Community Leader of the Year Award on Nov. 22 by the Catholic Business Network of Montgomery County.
The award was presented by Jay Long, Catholic Business Network president, and host Eileen Whelan of WJLA, at a gala that raised money for Catholic school scholarships. Msgr. Enzler was introduced by Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville of the Archdiocese of Washington.
In accepting the award, Msgr. Enzler said, “I’m very grateful for this moment. Tonight is wonderful … but it’s not about me. It’s about Catholic education. I believe so strongly in the gift of Catholic education.”
Msgr. Enzler was named CEO of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington in 2011. A native of Bethesda, he was ordained a priest in 1973 and went on to serve several parishes and as director of youth ministry and vicar for development for the archdiocese.
As CEO, he has expanded Catholic Charities services, which now reach more than 140,000 people in need in the District of Columbia and southern Maryland each year.
The award was presented for impact on the lives of people in the community, acts of charitable giving and commitment to Catholic education
In his remarks, Msgr. Enzler recognized his siblings in the audience. “Remember the great phrase from St. Francis Assisi, who said, ‘Preach a sermon every day. If necessary, use words.’ That’s what my family is to me.”
After asking his siblings to stand for recognition, Msgr. Enzler said, “I have 12 brothers and sisters. Think about these numbers. All 13 of us went to Catholic school — 112 years of Catholic education. … Almost all of my siblings went to Catholic colleges.”
He noted that his siblings have gone on to serve in many roles in Catholic education.
“What’s the sermon? I’d say it’s two words: Give back.
“That’s what we learned in Catholic education. Our parents taught us to give back. Our parents taught us to share our resources. Our parents taught us to do what we could for others.
“We’ve been taught — it’s in our DNA, all of us — to give back. So tonight, I share this with them because their sermon is what it means to receive a Catholic education and give back.”
Also at the gala, Jim Boland of Boland Trane was named business person of the year, and Gerard McLoughlin of Founders Bank was given the Paul Zurkowski founder’s award.