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Catholic Charities to honor Abessinios with Msgr. Reese Award



The Dialog


Rocco Abessinio, chairman and chief executive officer of Applied Bank and Roch Capital Inc., and his wife, Mary, chief executive officer of the Abessinio Family Foundation, will receive the Msgr. Thomas J. Reese Award at Catholic Charities’ Annual Tribute Dinner on April 15.

Bishop Malooly will present the award at the dinner, to be held at the Chase Center on the Riverfront.

“Mr. and Mrs. Abessinio are enthusiastic supporters of Catholic Charities,” said Richelle A. Vible, executive director. “Their commitment to promoting the well-being of people by providing caring service to those in need, with particular consideration to our homeless shelter in Milton, Casa San Francisco, mirrors Msgr. Reese’s commitment to the most vulnerable. They live the mission of Catholic Charities, and we are thrilled to recognize this gracious couple for their devotion to our communities.”

Rocco and Mary Abessinio
Rocco and Mary Abessinio

Rocco Abessinio, the founder of Applied Bank, grew the bank to be the 10th-largest issuer of Visa and MasterCard credit cards in the country. A Delaware resident for over 60 years, he has supported many worthwhile causes. He currently serves or has served as a director or trustee for Neumann University, Together Against Gangs, Christiana Care Health System and the Delaware Historical Society.

The Abessinios were members of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, where Mr. Abessinio was a Eucharistic minister, in charge of the annual fund, and was a coach for Catholic Youth Ministry.

Mary Abessinio worked as a private secretary to the head of the biochemistry department at the University of Pennsylvania prior to her marriage. In 1987, she helped her husband in starting his businesses, and served as corporate secretary of Applied Card Systems when she returned to work after raising her family. She retired in 1997, and now volunteers at the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children.

Rocco Abessinio holds a degree in business management from Neumann University. His wife is a graduate of Goldey Beacom Business School. They have four children and nine grandchildren.

The award, created in 1989 in memory of Msgr. Thomas J. Reese, community activist and longtime director of Catholic Social Services, the forerunner of Catholic Charities, recognizes exemplary individuals who have demonstrated a deep commitment to promoting and restoring the well-being of people – Catholic Charities’ mission.

To learn more about Catholic Charities Annual Tribute Dinner or to support the Tribute Dinner through sponsorships or ticket purchases, visit the Catholic Charities web page for the dinner at www.cdow.org/charities.html.

Catholic Charities, the charitable arm of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, celebrates its 185th anniversary of serving those in need during 2015. The agency offers a wide range of services to strengthen families, care for children, assist the disadvantaged, and build human relationships throughout Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland.