Paul J. Adams III: A closer look
The Queen Amelia Award is the highest distinction given by the Sisters of Providence to a benefactor who has furthered the mission of the sisters in an extraordinary manner. The award also recognizes that the person influences others to support the mission. It is named for Queen Amelia of France. Mother Theodore met the queen when she journeyed to France in 1843 seeking funds for her struggling community. The queen gave Mother Theodore advice and a financial gift to cover her ship passage for her journey home and then some. She also asked family members to do the same.
Paul J. Adams, III, from Chicago, nationally and internationally known educator, received the 2018 Queen Amelia Award. It was presented to him at the Saint Mother Theodore Evening, June 2, at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.
General Superior Sister Dawn Tomaszewski had this to say in presenting the award: “Like Queen Amelia, Paul, you financially support our mission. You invite others to do so as well … and you have been doing it a lot longer than Queen Amelia ever did! For almost 30 years, in fact, you have supported our capital campaigns, our retirement fund, our ministries and our general operations — you have always stepped up! Time and time again you have shown your belief in God’s mission for the Sisters of Providence.
“This special award also recognizes a person’s depth of relationship with the Sisters of Providence. For you, we would have to go back 47 years to 1971, when you first walked the halls of Providence St. Mel High School as the new director of guidance. The school at that time was owned and operated by the sisters.
“Fast forward to 1978. You were informed that the Archdiocese of Chicago would close the school at the end of the school year. You stepped up big time on behalf of the African-American youth of Chicago’s west side, brokered a deal with then General Superior Sister Loretta Schafer. She negotiated the sale of that school to you and became your life-long friend and constant supporter.
“You started out concerned about high school youth and over the years have expanded the education there from pre-school through grade 12! This year Providence St. Mel celebrates 40 years of 100 percent acceptance of its senior graduates into 4-year colleges.
“It is clear to us, Paul, that you embrace wholeheartedly our charism of trust in Providence. You also pass that charism and our core values on to the youth of today. Your long-standing faithfulness to our Congregation and to our sisters lifts our spirits, just as the queen did for Mother Theodore. As did Queen Amelia with her family, you have also influenced (directed would probably be the better word) the Providence-St. Mel School Board of Directors to make the support of the Sisters of Providence an annual budgeted item.”
And readers of this blog, don’t just take our words of praise of Paul Adams. Go to this link and watch the video It’s Up to Us. You will be glad you did.