from the office of State Senator Judith Zaffirini

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Nick Almanza
(512) 463-0121
June 9, 2006

SENATOR ZAFFIRINI NAMED HONORARY NUN BY SISTERS OF MERCY, MERCY MINISTRIES OF LAREDO

(LAREDO) -Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, can add the title of "Sister" to her list of distinguished accolades. On Tuesday (June 6) the Sisters of Mercy and Mercy Ministries of Laredo bestowed upon Senator Zaffirini an honorary membership in their Sisterhood for her outstanding public service and commitment to improved health and wellness for Texas families.

The honor is unique, the first given by the Sisters of Mercy and Mercy Ministries, and was presented during ceremonies at the Casa de Misericordia education center in Laredo. Members of the Sisters of Mercy and Mercy Ministries as well as Senator Zaffirini's family, friends and colleagues attended the ceremony.

"I am proud to be 'Sister Judith' and share this recognition with the many groups and persons, including the Sisters of Mercy and Mercy Ministries, who unite to promote, champion and improve health and human services, particularly for the needy," said Senator Zaffirini.

Sister Rosemary Welsh and Sister Maria Luisa Vera, incoming CEO of Mercy Ministries, presented Senator Zaffirini with her new honorary title.

Mercy Ministries of Laredo provides primary healthcare, healthcare education and social services in the Laredo area and acts as a safe haven for victims of domestic violence. The organization aims to address the needs of all persons, especially those who are economically poor and marginal.

"Because I grew up with nuns and always have worked with them, I learned not only to prioritize faith, but also to collaborate in achieving our mutual goals," Senator Zaffirini said. "From them I learned the truth of the words of Luciano De Crescenzo: 'We are all angels with only one wing, and only by embracing each other can we fly.'"

The senator has won more than 535 awards for her professional and public service work. This year, honors received by Senator Zaffirini include the Texas Advocacy Award from the American Cancer Society and the Texas Hospital Advocacy Tribute from the Texas Hospital Association.

Fourth in seniority in the 31-member Texas Senate, the senator is the namesake of United ISD's Senator Judith Zaffirini Elementary School, Laredo Community College's Senator Judith Zaffirini Library, Lake Casa Blanca International State Park's Senator Judith Zaffirini Road and the Judith Zaffirini Program in Edinburg that focuses on fighting drug addictions of men, women and children.


Senator Judith Zaffirini is named an Honorary Nun, "Sister Judith," by the Sisters of Mercy and Mercy Ministries of Laredo for her support of health and welfare legislation, personal commitment to its expansion and provision to all people and collaborative efforts dedicated toward improving and enhancing health and human services for all Texas families.

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