The Catholic University of America

Cardinal Service Commitment Award

Outstanding Member of the Alumni Association – Anthony Albence

AlbenceAnthony Albence, Class of 1993, received the Cardinal Service Commitment Award for alumni. The award was presented by The Catholic University of America on April 10, 2012, in celebration of the University's 125th anniversary.

Albence, of Wilmington, Del., contributed 785 hours to the University's service initiative. Much of his volunteer work involved service to St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Wilmington, and the Diocese of Wilmington. He led a long-range planning process for his parish, where he is a trustee. He has donated his time working with his pastor on major capital improvement projects at the church. He  volunteers on the enrollment strategy and marketing team at the parish school. Albence also helps run St, Anthony's Italian Festival, which he says is one of the largest Italian-American cultural celebrations in the eastern U.S.

"I am a problem solver and a planner," Albence said. Using those skills in the service of the Church is important to him.

"Tying those desires to a desire to actively live my faith attracts me to these types of activities," he said. "I feel that, in words attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, we are called to 'preach the Gospel, and use words if necessary.' I hope that my service is my own small way of being a witness to and bearer of the Gospel to others."

After graduating from Catholic University with a B.A. in politics, Albence earned a master's in urban affairs and public policy from the University of Delaware. He now works for the state of Delaware as the director of the Department of Elections for New Castle County. Previously, he worked for the Diocese of Wilmington's Office for Catholic Youth Ministry as coordinator of leadership development and young adult ministry.

Albence is a past president of the CUA Alumni Association Board of Governors and past president of the CUA Alumni Association's Philadelphia chapter. He also serves as a member of the Young Adult Commission of the Diocese of Wilmington; a member and former chair of the Advisory Board of the Franciscan Spiritual Center, Aston, Pa.; vice president of the Delaware Italian American Education Association; a member of the Northern Delmarva Regional Advisory Board of the Blood Bank of Delmarva; secretary and board member of the Delaware Community Reinvestment Action Council; and first vice president and board member of the New Jersey Lighthouse Society, a nautical and coastal history preservation organization.

"I like to make a difference," Albence said, "and I feel that each of us is endowed with gifts and talents that we are obligated to use and share to improve the lives of others – whether through individual, one-on-one interaction, or via community organizations. I am fulfilled knowing that I am part of the solution to something. I feel that strong communities are composed of dedicated individuals committed to making a difference and taking responsibility for problems. My motivation and fulfillment come from accomplishing goals that help others and strengthen communities, and from improving the lives of those around me."

Asked about his reaction to receiving the Cardinal Service Commitment Award, Albence said, "I’m honored and humbled to be recognized. My parents have always instilled in me a sense that service is expected and should be undertaken cheerfully and enthusiastically. I have been very blessed, and I feel it is my obligation to share my gifts and talents. I like to abide by the motto of a personal patron saint in these endeavors, Francis de Sales, who encouraged everyone to 'Be who you are and be that perfectly well.' We’re not called to be someone we’re not in serving others, but to be our most authentic self and a unique likeness of Christ in serving others."