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Pittsburgh, March 2, 2011 — The indelible contributions of the 27 religious communities of women of the Diocese of Pittsburgh will be honored at the Sixth Annual La Roche College Founders Gala on Saturday, March 19. The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Westin Convention Center Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh. La Roche College President Sister Candace Introcaso, CDP, Ph.D., and the Board of Trustees will host the evening along with Honorary Chairs Helen Hanna Casey and Annie Hanna Cestra. All proceeds from the Founders Gala benefit the President’s Fund for Excellence, which supports scholarships, academic programs and other student-centered initiatives.

The Ad Lucem Award is presented at the Gala each year. The award takes its name from the Latin words Ad Lucem, meaning “to light,” and recognizes individuals whose vision, leadership and determination have transformed their dreams into reality and illuminated a new path, resulting in positive and lasting contributions to society, the community and the professions.

“Reflecting on these criteria, the unparalleled contributions that religious women have made to education, social service and health care systems in southwestern Pennsylvania came to mind,” Sister Candace said. “They are among the founders of many of our local hospitals and colleges, homes for the aged, housing and other social service programs that have sustained people of all faiths for decades. Many of us remember a sister who taught us values and life lessons along with our ABCs, or who sat bedside of a hospitalized loved one offering comfort during a lonely night.”

“The Board of Trustees of La Roche College believe that recognizing and celebrating the history of women religious is essential to understanding and celebrating the history of Pittsburgh, and therefore it is our honor and privilege to formally acknowledge the contributions of the 27 religious communities of women of the Diocese of Pittsburgh with the 2011 Ad Lucem Award,” she added.

The Founders Gala is open to the public. To learn more about this event or to purchase sponsorships or tickets online, please visit, or contact Director of Special Events Bobbi LaPlace at or 412-536-1087.

Editor’s Note: A list of the 27 Religious Communities of Women of the Diocese of Pittsburgh being honored is available at

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