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Dennis Osika

Longtime Lansing resident Dennis Osika was named one of three 2019 recipients of the Catholic Diocese of Rochester's Vita Award. This honor is given to residents from within the 12-county Central New York Diocese who demonstrate a dedication to the Consistent Life Ethic in their personal and public lives and are outstanding in their contribution to and advocacy in multiple dimensions of the Consistent Life Ethic.

Osika was the honored guest at a dinner organized by Catholic Charities of Tompkins/Tioga at All Saints parish hall October 4th. Two days later he officially received the award from Bishop Salvatore Matano at Sacred Heart Cathedral at the 11:15am Mass.

The Diocesan Vita Award nomination explains, "The Consistent Life Ethic is the underlying principle of our faith that urges us to affirm life from the moment of conception to natural death, in attitude as well as action. Most urgently, the Consistent Life Ethic calls us to protect life that is threatened by abortion, the death penalty, euthanasia, poverty, and violence/war."

Laurie Konwinski, Deputy Director of Catholic Charities of Tompkins/Tioga, nominated Osika for this award following his many years of active participation in Catholic Charities' Justice & Peace Ministry Program.

"Dennis has been involved for many years in our efforts to educate and activate people on the many issues related to Catholic Social Teaching.," she said. "He has especially been dedicated to the promotion of peace and non- violence, nuclear disarmament, and protection of the environment, remembering how all of these have direct consequences for the poorest and most vulnerable among us. He has played a central role in our meetings with state elected officials, our annual Peace Week activities and our efforts to engage the local Catholic parishioners in legislative advocacy."

Osika was instrumental in recent efforts to convince the Lansing Town Board and the Ithaca City Council, to adopt the "Back from the Brink" nuclear war prevention resolution, calling for the U.S. to adopt the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Osika, retired from the staff of Cornell University as the Director of the Grounds Department, has also served as a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity in Tompkins County and at All Saints parish, his worship community.

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