Misty Huff, business manager of St. John the Evangelist Church in Viera, will receive the prestigious Spirit of Holy Cross award during the celebration of the fourth anniversary of the dedication of the new church building.
Huff, who has been with the parish since 2005, will receive the award at the 11 a.m. mass on Sunday, January 16. This is the first time that a Floridian has received the award.
“I was very, very touched by the award,” Huff said. “It is a great honor to receive this award. I was shocked that I won because I didn’t even know I was nominated.
The Congregation of the Holy Cross, Province of Priests and Brothers of the United States, presents the award annually to lay collaborators who faithfully serve the province in the United States and abroad.
The award recognizes the crucial importance that lay collaborators play in the realization of the vision and the mission of the founder of Holy Cross, Basil Moreau, to make known, loved and serve God through education, the parish and the mission.
Four priests of Holy Cross from Brevard County, including the Reverend John Britto Antony, pastor in St. John, nominated Huff for the award.
“She is the pillar of our parish,” said Antony. “Nothing happens without it. She gives everything for the work she does.
Born in Geneva, Ohio, Huff and her family moved to Daytona Beach when she was a young child. There she attended a Catholic primary and secondary school and, after graduating from a Catholic secondary school, volunteered in many parish ministries, serving as coordinator for some.
Huff began working for the church in 1994, first in a parish in the Diocese of Orlando and then in the Diocese of St. Augustine.
On September 8, 2001, the parish of Saint-Jean-l’Évangéliste was established in Viera. In 2005, Huff was hired as an accountant.
In 2013, St. John launched a campaign to raise funds for the construction of a new church. St. John led the way in June 2016 and celebrated the dedication in January 2018.
Soon after, Antoine was appointed parish administrator and was tasked with completing various details of the newly built church, including the design and installation of the stained glass windows. Antony launched proposals for additions to the church, a new entrance to the property, modifications to the parking lots and the construction of a Marian grotto with an exterior Stations of the Cross. Construction of these projects began on September 27, 2021.
“My years of service with the priests of the Congregation of the Holy Cross have been the most rewarding and memorable of my career,” said Huff. “I feel privileged and blessed to have experienced the love of God through so many devoted priests, brothers and seminarians of the Holy Cross. I am proud to have been part of their mission of worship, education and action to make known, loved and serve God within and beyond our community of faith.
Huff, who has resided in Viera East since 2005, has no plans to retire.
“I love this church, this parish and its inhabitants,” she added. “It’s amazing how quickly we have grown and the generosity of the parishioners. It is a challenge to see this parish grow every day.