Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Catholic Charities Atlanta Gala Honors Sister Valentina

Published March 29, 2012

A Sister of Mercy who has served for more than 60 years in various roles in the archdiocese, from Catholic school superintendent and parish administrator to director of mission integration at Saint Joseph’s Hospital, will be honored at the fifth annual Catholic Charities Atlanta Gala.

Sister Valentina Sheridan, RSM, is to receive the Archbishop John F. Donoghue Award, recognizing her “selfless service and devotion to helping others in need.”

The gala is scheduled to take place on Thursday, April 19, at 6 p.m. at the InterContinental Hotel in Buckhead.

The annual event is the organization’s largest fundraiser. All proceeds help the agency serve its clients in their transitions from adversity to self-sufficiency. Special guests for the evening include Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory.

The gala will feature a cocktail reception and a seated dinner. The evening will also include a silent auction with BidPal technology to place bids electronically. Silent auction items include tickets to Atlanta area attractions and sporting events, artwork, stays at vacation homes, restaurant gift cards, home and garden items, and themed gift baskets donated by parish groups and individuals.

Sister Valentina, known as Sister Val, led mission integration at Saint Joseph’s Hospital for the past five years. She served as the hospital’s director of pastoral care for 13 years. The hospital was established by the Sisters of Mercy over 125 years ago and was Atlanta’s first hospital.

Sister Valentina has more than 60 years of ministry as a Sister of Mercy. In addition to her work at Atlanta’s only Catholic hospital, she served as the principal of Our Lady of the Assumption School, Atlanta, as the superintendent of Catholic schools for the Archdiocese of Atlanta, the first pastoral associate at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Alpharetta, and the first woman religious to be named a parish administrator, a post she held at Sacred Heart Church in Atlanta.

The Donoghue Award recognizes acts of charity, compassion and contributions that have significantly impacted individuals, families and children living in Atlanta and North Georgia.

The keynote speaker will be Greg Willits, a radio personality, who will entertain guests with his realistic, energetic and humorous tales of living Catholic family life in faithfulness to church teachings, while still having fun in the process. Greg and his wife, Jennifer, are the hosts of “The Catholics Next Door,” a daily three-hour talk show on Sirius 159/XM 117: The Catholic Channel.

Fred Kalil, Emmy Award-winning weeknight sports anchor for 11 Alive News, will be the master of ceremonies for the evening.

The event’s primary sponsors include Saint Joseph’s Hospital Mercy Foundation; AGCO Finance, LLC; Scott and Mary Ellen Garrett; Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan, LLP; and Teresa Claugus.

Tickets may be purchased by visiting the website at and clicking on “donate now.” For more information on sponsorship opportunities or silent auction donations, contact Melanie Scopa at (404) 885-7207 or