The Franciscan Alumni Association is pleased to announce the 2001 recipient of the FAA Humanitarian Award: Dale Recinella, a lawyer who serves as a state-certified spiritual counselor and volunteer lay chaplain, assisting the Catholic priest for Florida's death row and solitary confinement. Dale ministers cell-to-cell to inmates of any denomination on death row, solitary confinement, protective custody, and psychiatric solitary confinement, to the men confined in the prison medical hospital and in the general population, and is available to provide "deathwatch" spiritual counseling to men awaiting execution (and their families). He brings communion weekly to the Catholic inmates, teaches RCIA classes for the general population and tutors inmates through RCIA at their cell doors on death row and in solitary confinement.
A graduate of St. Francis High School Seminary, Dale has been a partner in two of Florida's prestigious law firms and was Director of Professional Development at the Rome, Italy office of Baker & McKenzie, the world's largest law firm. While in Rome, he taught international law for business and finance at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
He's been interviewed on several occasions on Vatican Radio and publishes a twice-monthly column "Jesus In My Pocket" in The Florida Catholic, the statewide newspaper of the Catholic Bishops of Florida. Formerly the editor of The Jesus Journal, he is currently the editor of a new magazine geared to assist marginal lay people who are trying to live Gospel values: Rabboni! Jesus Said It. You Read It. Go Do It. "I never slept much in high school. And still don't. But most nights I'm awake I'm indoors now sitting in front of a computer--too old to be running around in the woods anymore!!"
Dale is married to Dr. Susan Ward Recinella, senior psychologist for the Women's Admissions Unit of Northeast Florida State Hospital for the Mentally Ill. They have five children. Sue loves working directly with the women who need and appreciate her so immensely. She supports the family so that Dale can work for free.
Two Wednesdays per month, Dale leads a bible study for the wheelchair bound Protestants at a local nursing home. He's filling in long term for a Baptist pastor whose health doesn't allow him to continue. It may be an ecumenical breakthrough or perhaps there just was no one else available in the town of 4,100 people. Susan has joined him a few times and played the guitar to lead the songs. "We do okay with Christmas carols, but many of the standard worship songs that these dear old folks sing are songs I've never heard before--they're mostly Baptist and Methodist songs. So, I'm learning some of their songs and they're learning some of ours. P Aubs would be proud!"