Congratulations to all inductees and award winners. My prayer and challenge to all of us is – please Lord Jesus, allow each of us gathered here in this room to be an instrument in the answer to Your prayer of unity, so that each of us, united as one, may be a light that leads to You.
Harry Chaykun, you are a great man who has helped many. Keep up the great work. Thank you for honoring me with this award.
We are all connected –
I met Rich Pagano through my brother Kenny over 40 years ago. Keep up the great work Rich. Kenny was inducted into this HOF posthumously in 2009 and the DeFeo family is very appreciative and honored.
Dr. Eddie Coyle, a friend of my father Robert DeFeo was my High School football team’s strength and conditioning coach. Thank you Eddie for helping so many including me.
Growing up playing sports in Delco is truly special and filled with many special people. We need each other, God made it that way.
I went to Cardinal O’Hara HS while my brother Kenny went to Bonner. Our dad coached football at Bonner in the early and mid 70’s so I now bleed green gold red and blue a rare combination that my O’Hara friends are not happy with.
I did not know who Agnes Stegmuller was before tonight but I appreciate and thank God for her life, a remarkable woman. May God shine His light on her forever.
I was told this award is a humanitarian award. So I looked up the meaning of humanitarian.
Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines humanitarian as a person promoting human welfare.
My personal mission statement is – To Glorify God in business and life, while helping others along the way, and I do it and live it by training to look out for others from womb to tomb.
So, it’s about the God given right of the dignity of the human person from the moment of natural conception in the mother’s womb until the moment of natural death for every human being – that’s what humanitarian means and if we can get this right there will be peace.
Scripture has many passages as to how we are to love – first by loving the Lord God with all our strength, mind and heart and then go and love our neighbor as our self, not to mention do unto others as we would have them do unto us so that’s what I do and how I live. Simply following the way Jesus showed us and the Catholic Church teaches us.
Kenny’s friends started a scholarship fund in Kenny’s name 25 years ago to help others and the DeFeo family had nothing to do with starting it so that speaks as to the kind of person Kenny was; a great humanitarian. Kenny meant a lot to me and many and he made a huge positive impact on my life as my dad did as well and we need male leadership as my father and brother provided to me, we need this male leadership today in our families and communities now more than ever so I challenge every man to step up to the plate and embrace responsibility and obligations and to do it joyfully by loving, leading, protecting and providing through faith, education, healing and action; and obviously we need you ladies to do the same. We also need God now more than ever!
The DeFeo family is honored to continue to help others in Kenny’s name and give back to Catholic education which both Kenny and I as well as my father and mother and my own children benefited from.
So, as I stated earlier my definition of humanitarian is summed up in loving God as hard and as best as I can and by serving others, and I do this by helping every human being I can reach starting at the moment of natural conception in a mother’s womb until the moment of natural death at the very end of life, following God’s way and the teachings of the Catholic Church even if it means sacrifice, self denial, inconvenience and uncomfortableness on my part.
As the great St. John Paul II stated, we were not made for comfort but rather for greatness, greatness in, by and through Christ our Lord.
St Mother Theresa of Calcutta was one of many great role models in our times for living this way. She is one of many we can look to and emulate.
And most importantly we must have fun doing it with joy as she did.
I thank God for the men I called my father and my brother who I hope and pray are with God now. I thank God for the woman I call my mom who lives in Florida and could not be here tonight and I thank God for all of my children and for my nephew and his wife all of who are here tonight and who are always there for me, as well as you my dear friends and brothers and sisters in Christ who have come tonight as well. Thank you all for your love and support.
I will close by reciting something we all know as Americans that I believe best sums up what a humanitarian is and it goes like this – I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all – born and unborn!
So, let’s pray, hope, don’t worry and simply show up every day to be there for one another.
Thank you and God Bless you!