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DuPonts honored with national award from NET Ministries

Brad and Libby DuPont were honored with the 2020 Alumni Evangelization Award from the National Evangelization Teams Ministries. David Rinaldi, NET program director (right), presents the couple with the award. PHOTO COURTESY OF NET MINISTRIES

by Joe Bollig

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — There’s nothing more powerful than a good example, and that’s why Brad and Libby DuPont were honored with the 2020 Alumni Evangelization Award from the NET Ministries.

The DuPonts are consultants with the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas office of marriage and family life. Libby is also director of the Evermore in Love marriage apostolate (formerly Living in Love).

“They’ve been an outstanding witness of what it means to live the Catholic life,” said David Rinaldi, NET program director. “It’s more than just going to Mass and fulfilling obligations. They’ve devoted their whole lives bringing Jesus to others. They’re a fantastic couple.”

The married couple traveled to the NET national headquarters in West St. Paul, Minnesota, to receive the award on May 14. It was given during a yearly banquet marking the end of a year of evangelization.

NET, which stands for National Evangelization Teams, is an organization that sends out young adult missionaries on mission trips throughout the United States. The teams of six to 12 persons give intensive Christian formation retreats to Catholic junior high and high school students.

Brad was a missionary from 1998 to 2000, and then was a staff supervisor from 2000 to 2003. Libby was a missionary from 2000 to 2001, and then a staff supervisor from 2001 to 2003. The DuPonts married at the end of their service in NET.

Rinaldi was the DuPonts’ direct supervisor.

“They were nominated by other NET alumni,” he said. “There are a few criteria that they easily fit. [The nominees] must live an exemplary Catholic life. And then they must demonstrate an involvement in serving the church in their time past NET.

“You have to have been away from our organization for seven years and be able to demonstrate that you’ve served in ministry and the church for at least seven years, and they’ve been doing that for a combined 42 years.”

The award is meant to remind the rest of NET alumni that their time in the organization is supposed to be a springboard to launch them into service to the church for the rest of their lives.

“We were really humbled and filled with gratitude [to receive the award],” said Libby. “It was beautiful to be back at NET where we received so much, and to be able to exhort the team members. Your walk with Jesus just gets better and there’s always more with God. We were honored and grateful to be there.”

Brad echoed his wife’s sentiments.

“Honored would be the word I’d use to describe it,” he said. “I have so much respect for NET as a leader in evangelization. And the thought that they’d consider Libby and me as exemplifying their mission was very humbling and honoring.”

The DuPonts said they wouldn’t trade their experience of NET for anything in the world. Their time in NET laid the foundation of their lives — visiting 20 states and living what it meant to be disciples of Christ.

About the author

Joe Bollig

Joe has been with The Leaven since 1993. He has a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s degree in journalism. Before entering print journalism he worked in commercial radio. He has worked for the St. Joseph (Mo.) News-Press and Sun Publications in Overland Park. During his journalistic career he has covered beats including police, fire, business, features, general assignment and religion. While at The Leaven he has been a writer, photographer and videographer. He has won or shared several Catholic Press Association awards, as well as Archbishop Edward T. O’Meara awards for mission coverage. He graduated with a certification in catechesis from a two-year distance learning program offered by the Maryvale Institute for Catechesis, Theology, Philosophy and Religious Education at Old Oscott, Great Barr, in Birmingham, England.

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