Marina Molinari Coderre has been named the inaugural recipient of the Distinguished Catholic Alumni Award. The award was presented posthumously at Christian Community Day, October 8, 2010, and accepted by Marina’s husband, Marc Coderre, and family on her behalf. Marina was an exceptionally capable and compassionate student who, grounded in faith, shared her talents to the benefit of all who came to know her.
Marina Molinari Coderre attended St. Joseph and St. Anthony elementary schools and graduated in 1992 as the valedictorian from Immaculata High School. She won the Terry Fox Humanitarian Award Scholarship and went on to receive a BA from the University of Ottawa. Marina was a giving student who, at age 11, lost her mother to Huntington’s disease. On April 23, 2010, at age 36, Marina died of complications related to the care required for Huntington’s disease. Marina’s nominators commented that she was a self-directed, responsible, life-long learner seeking a balanced lifestyle. She would often say, “Don’t ask for an easier life; ask to be a stronger person.”
Marina lived as a witness to Catholic social teachings. In school she was a peer counselor, and served for years as a volunteer with CHEO. She established a partnership between Immaculata High School and St. Vincent Hospital, worked to establish a library for hospital residents, and promoted volunteerism among the students, including students with intellectual disabilities. While in university, Marina continued to volunteer with the aged at Island Lodge. She also helped out at a high needs elementary school; supporting grade 6 students develop literacy and artistic skills through the publication of a year book. When her husband obtained work in Japan, she accompanied him and spent her time there tutoring children. She was also very involved in her parish, St. Joseph, where she served as a member of the Parish Council, of the refugee committee, as a lector, and as a member of the choir.
We can all learn from the life lessons that Marina shared, including her words: “Living life to the fullest is the best thing we can do. I will do it because I can. Volunteering is something I am glad to do, if it can help someone make their day a little better, or make them smile.” A donation of $1000 in Marina’s name will be made to Immaculata High School. A permanent plaque will be placed at the Board office.
(L-R standing): Trustee Kathy Ablett; Chairperson of the Board Gordon Butler; Iliano Molinari (Marina’s father); John Dorner (former Immaculata Guidance Counselor and co-nominator); Marc Coderre (Marina’s husband); Jackie Maurais (Marina’s mother-in-law); Director of Education Julian Hanlon; Maria Zucconi (Marina’s aunt); Mary Durst (former principal Immaculata and co-nominator); Michael Lutaaya (student trustee); and Deputy Director of Education Denise Andre. (L-R seated): Sandra Motard (Marina’s sister) and Gabriel Coderre (Marina’s son)
Marc Coderre is a singer and has dedicated his CD to Marina. Listen to him sing I Will Be with You by James E. Moore. More details can be found on his website: circlenine.spaces.live.com >>
Established in 2010, the Distinguished Catholic Alumni Award acknowledges an alumnus who has achieved a high level of distinction and recognition in his or her chosen field, while exhibiting positive Catholic values reflecting the characteristics described by the Ontario Catholic Graduate Expectations.
The Ottawa Catholic School Board presents the Distinguished Catholic Alumni Award annually during the Christian Community Day celebration in October. A $5,000 donation is made, on behalf of the recipient, to the Catholic school of his/her choice. A plaque of recognition is be maintained in the Ottawa Catholic School Board, with recipient names added annually; the recipient(s) will receive a personal momento plaque. The award may be presented posthumously, through a family member if possible, with the donation being given to the last school in our Board attended by the recipient.