Michael Prokopowicz and Dr. Cathy Kroll
Diocese of Marquette, Michigan
Michael Prokopowicz and Dr. Cathy Kroll are a married couple who attend St. Anthony Parish in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Cathy is a family doctor and chief medical officer at Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center, and Michael is a retired office manager at the health center. They uphold the true meaning of the Catholic faith in their day-to-day relationships and involvement with their family, community and church.
Mike and Cathy have been strong leaders in their parish for over 30 years. This includes being
Extraordinary Ministers, lectors and members and leaders of the parish council, parish finance council, annual parish retreats, and choir.
In 2009 Cathy helped form the Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center. Her dedicated leadership helped the center expand services to 11 clinics throughout the Upper Peninsula. She developed resources and built partnerships that resulted in life-saving advancements and health improvements for the people of the Upper Peninsula. More than one-fourth of the patients seen at the health center where Cathy works are at or below the poverty level.
“I have taken care of so many God-loving people and have learned from them how they live their lives,” Cathy said. “When given the chance to help someone less fortunate than me, this gives me another opportunity to see Christ in my brothers and sisters and help out however I can.”
Another local group that Mike and Cathy founded is the Superior Arts Council. This group puts on dinner theater events that raise money to help high schoolers to pursue their passions for music and theater in college.
Mike and Cathy not only support these efforts financially, but by being present as mentors, adult supervisors and servers. Mike and Cathy get involved in the kitchen, selling tickets, setting tables, serving food—whatever needs to be done to make a successful event from planning to the finish.
As an officer of the Knights of Columbus, Mike is a model for other council officers to follow through his example of faith, charity and good judgment. Cathy and Mike promote all Council activities and their leadership at Council programs ensures the overwhelming success of each event. They are consistently instrumental in the planning, preparation and accomplishment of numerous annual fund-raising events.
“The more I try to become prayerful and grow in my faith, the more I realize it is my faith that motivates me to work in service to others,” Mike said.
Christian service acts are acts that stem from a Christ-centered belief in serving the Lord and doing His will. Mike and Cathy demonstrate this selfless service as they give of themselves to benefit others with no expectation of recognition, award or acknowledgment. They display a love and understanding of their Catholic faith. Most Reverend John F. Doerfler, STD, JCL, Bishop of Marquette, said that the life of Mike and Cathy, “exemplifies the life of good and faithful servants of God.”