Lee Askew honored with the 2014 St. Martin de Porres Award

"The Dominican Friars of Memphis, and the Southern United States, express their gratitude to Lee Askew by honoring him with the 2014 St. Martin de Porres Award.  Lee's service to Memphis has been in keeping with the example of Saint Martin de Porres, the patron saint of social justice, a prolific healer, and man of profound faith in God."   -Rev. Dr. Paul Watkins, OP

The Dominican Friars of the Province of St. Martin de Porres, and the Dominican Friars of Memphis have the honor of presenting the Saint Martin de Porres Award to Mr. John Angotti and Mr. Lee Askew, both of Memphis, Tennessee.   

St. Martin de Porres was a member of the Dominican Order who lived in 17th century Peru.  His mixed racial ancestry made him the target of much prejudice.  The patron saint of social justice, Martin was a man of tremendous faith who provided others hope through heroic charity by serving the poor and worked to bridge the divisions between culture and class.  One of the most popular saints in the Americas, Martin was a prolific healer through his skills as a barber-surgeon, pharmacist, and clinic administrator.  

Each year, the St. Martin de Porres Award is presented to individuals who serve both their faith community and the greater Memphis area, and follow the spirit of St. Martin de Porres’ example.  Like St. Martin de Porres, both of the honorees have exercised their faith, instilled hope in others, practiced charity through their many gifts, and promoted justice throughout their lives.  The award is given annually in Memphis, New Orleans, and Houston.  Past Memphis recipients include, Bishop Terry Steib, SVD, Dr. Scott Morris, the Christian Brothers, Lance Forsdick, Barbara Dausch, Archbishop Peter Sartain, Dr. Mary McDonald, Beverly Robertson, and Joe Birch.   

The Gala is the fundraising event for the Dominican Friars of Memphis, who have continuously served Memphis since 1846.  Today, they serve greater Memphis via St. Peter Church, Christian Brothers University, the Saint Martin de Porres Shrine and Institute, and Signature Health Care on the St. Francis Hospital campus.  The Gala also raises funds for the Southern Dominican Province of the Order of Preachers, which is the parent organization for the local friars.  Funds are used to support the formation and education of our young seminarians preparing for ordination, who are likely to serve St. Peter Church, Christian Brothers University, and the greater Memphis community.  Gala funds also ensure the care of elderly Dominican priests and brothers who have dedicated their lives to the service of the Church and poor in Memphis and the world.    

Mr. John Angotti evangelizes the poor through word and song, taking a special interest in reaching today’s youth and stressing the importance of finding God in everyday life experiences.  His witness and music has inspired and changed the lives of thousands in Memphis and to a national audience.  He has performed at the National Catholic Youth Conference, National Conference for Youth Ministers, National Pastoral Musicians Conference, as well as many other conferences, retreats, churches across the United States and around the world.  He is married to Tracy Angotti and has two children.  John and his family are members of St. Ann’s Church in Bartlett where John leads the popular and dynamic music ministry. 

Mr. Lee Askew is the founder of Askew Nixon Ferguson Architects (ANF Architects), one of the MidSouth’s leading architectural firms. He has served on numerous community, cultural, and civic boards, including the Memphis College of Art, Associated Catholic Charities, Center City Revenue Finance Board, The Med, and Playhouse on the Square.  He is a founding director of the RiverArtsFest. He has received many awards including the Silver Beaver Award from the Boy Scouts of America and the Bishop Carroll T. Dozier Service Award from the Catholic Diocese of Memphis.  Lee has delivered sandwiches to the poor for nearly 15 years, is a Eucharistic minister, lector, and has chaired both the sesquicentennial and 175th anniversary committees for historic St. Peter Church.  He has been married to his wife Annette for 40 years, and they have four children.   

These awards will be presented to John Angotti and Lee Askew at the annual Memphis Dominican Gala on Thursday, September 25. The Gala will be held at Felicia Suzanne’s restaurant, located at 80 Monroe Avenue from 6 to 9 PM.  There will be a enticing selection of hors d’oeuvres, buffet items, desserts, and cocktails provided.  A Silent and Live auction is also on the program for the evening.

Reservations can be made by contacting Sharon Farley at Please contact the Rev. Dr. Paul Watkins, OP at for more information about the Gala. 

Posted by Eli Cloud at 9:05 AM

1500 Union Avenue
Memphis, TN 38104


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