Catholic supporters honored at charity event

By Staff     4/16/2018

Three longtime leaders in the Orange County Catholic community were recently honored for their charitable work by a national nonprofit organization that supports aging Catholic nuns and priests across the U.S.  

Terrance Barry, Betty Barry and Sherry Alberoni Van Meter were recognized for their achievements at a March 24 reception at the Newport Beach Vineyard & Winery, hosted by Support Our Aging Religious, or SOAR! 

Terrance Barry and his wife, Betty Barry, have been active members for more than 50 years of various Catholic organizations. The Barry Family Foundation has supported the Diocese of Orange and local charities, as well as many humanitarian efforts outside of Orange County, from Haiti to Northern Alaska.  

At the reception, the Barrys were awarded the Gold Palm of Jerusalem, considered the highest honor of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre, a Roman Catholic Papal order of knighthood of the Holy See. 

“Terrance and Betty are enthusiastic supporters of many Catholic organizations in Orange County and throughout the United States,” said Sr. Kathleen Lunsmann, president of SOAR! “The Barrys’ support of SOAR! is in response to the invaluable education and spiritual formation they and their children have received from women religious.” 

The Barrys are longtime Orange County residents. In 1984 they founded The Barry Company, a land development and property management firm. 

Also honored at the reception was Van Meter, an entertainment industry veteran who has been involved in charitable work, community efforts and church activities for the past 30 years. In 1956, she became one of the original Mouseketeers on the “Mickey Mouse Club.”  

“Sherry has a remarkable gift of bringing her joyful spirit to all she meets,” Lunsmann said. “She brings joy and hope to the causes she supports. I am delighted to honor these individuals for their loyalty and support of our faith.” 

The SOAR! reception’s chairs were Patrick D. Powers and Sr. Kit Gray, CSJ. 

Sr. Grace Duc Le of the Lovers of the Holy Cross of Los Angeles also accepted a $15,000 grant from SOAR! that will provide accessibility renovations to ensure the safety and health of the elderly sisters at the Motherhouse.