A Bryan County area resident recently received the 2011 Bishop Gartland Award for outstanding service to the Catholic Church in South Georgia.
Savannah Bishop Gregory J. Hartmayer conferred the Bishop Gartland Service Award on Gail A. Bailey of Bloomingdale, along with 83 other South Georgia recipients Nov. 20 at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Savannah.
Named for Francis X. Gartland, the first bishop of Savannah, the award is given for distinguished service to the Catholic Church in South Georgia.
Bailey is a member of Holy Cross Catholic Church in Pembroke. She has served for many years as a lector, religious educator and Eucharistic minister, first at St. Francis Cabrini Church in Savannah and now at Holy Cross Church in Pembroke. She is married to Donald L. Bailey, and they have three children and two grandchildren.
“Gail is the steady presence of the church in her fidelity to her family, her parish and her Catholic faith,” said Father Bob Poandl, pastor of Holy Cross Church in Pembroke.
The Bishop Gartland Service Award was instituted in 2000 to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the Diocese of Savannah.
Gartland, born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1805, was named bishop of the newly erected Diocese of Savannah in July 1850.
When a yellow fever epidemic struck Savannah, he visited the sick tirelessly and administered the sacraments until he contracted the fever and died in 1854.