Misty Huff, the business manager at St. John the Evangelist Church in Viera, will receive the prestigious Spirit of Holy Cross Award at 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 during the 11 a.m. Mass on Sunday, Jan. 16. It is the first time a Floridian has received the award.
“I’m very, very humbled about the award,’ Huff said. “It is a great honor to receive this award. I was shocked I won because I didn’t even know I was nominated.”
The Congregation of Holy Cross, United States Province of Priests and Brothers, gives the award annually to lay collaborators who faithfully serve the province in the U.S. and abroad.
The award acknowledges the critical importance lay collaborators play in living out the vision and mission of Holy Cross founder Basil Moreau to make God known, loved and served through education, parish and mission settings.
Four Holy Cross priests from Brevard County, including the Rev. John Britto Antony, pastor at St. John, nominated Huff for the award.
“She is the pillar of our parish,” Antony said. “Nothing happens without her. She gives her all 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 Catholic grammar/elementary school and, following graduation from a Catholic high school, volunteered in numerous parish ministries, serving as coordinator for some.
Huff began working for the church in 1994, first at a parish in the Diocese of Orlando and then in the Diocese of St. Augustine.
On Sept. 8, 2001, the parish of St. John the Evangelist was established in Viera. In 2005, Huff was hired as bookkeeper.
In 2013, St. John initiated a campaign to raise funds for the construction of a new church. St. John broke ground in June 2016 and celebrated the dedication in January 2018.
Shortly thereafter, Antony was appointed parochial administrator, and was given the task of completing various details of the newly built church, including the design and installation of the stained-glass windows. Antony initiated proposals for additions to the church, a new entrance to the property, modifications to the parking lots, and the building of a Marian grotto with outdoor Stations of the Cross. Construction for these projects began Sept. 27, 2021.
“My years of service alongside the priests of the Congregation of Holy Cross have been the most rewarding and memorable of my career,” Huff said. “I feel privileged and blessed to have experienced the love of God through so many dedicated Holy Cross priests, brothers and seminarians. I am proud to have been part of their mission of worship, education and action to make God known, loved and served within and beyond our faith community.”
Huff, who has resided in Viera East since 2005, has no plans to retire.
“I love this church, this parish and its people,” she added. “It’s amazing how quickly we’ve grown and the generosity of the parishioners. It’s a challenge watching this parish grow every day.”