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  • Gartland Awards 2021

    The Bishop Gartland Service Award for

     Joseph Raymond Johnson, Jr.

    60 years old, born February 1, 1961. Lifelong member of St. Joseph parish, Waycross, Ga. 
    Altar server starting in about 1969 while growing up (and continuing to present day as needed) in parish (and for Latin Mass).
    Eagle Scout.
    Graduated from 8th grade at St. Joseph Academy (our K-8 parish school) in 1975. Lector starting in about 1975 under the tenure of Fr. Michael O'Keefe and continuing to present day.
    Served on the Parish Council more than one term and three time past. President of the Parish Council. Past Grand Knight, Fr. Hillman Council, Knights of Columbus. 4th Degree Member and local Color Corps Commander, Knights of Columbus. Usher. Past member of St. Joseph Choir. Catechist since 1996 and continuing to present day as Confirmation I teacher (taking only a one year break in 2015 for health reasons--cancer, which, by God's Providence, I have survived). "Point man" and advocate for the establishment of the traditional Latin Mass 
    (according to the Missal of 1962) in the western portion of the Valdosta-Brunswick Deanery, setting up for and serving this Mass monthly at 
    St. Anthony of Padua, Ray City coordinating with the pastors there, training and supervising altar servers for this Latin Mass. (A  point of reference, 
    am not quite old enough to have grown up with the older form of the Latin Mass as it fell into disuse in the mid-1960's, when I was about 4 years old. I became familiar with it when I encountered it while a law student in Little Rock, Arkansas in the early 1990's, where it was offered daily there in the Cathedral of St. Andrew.  It was there that I learned about the older form of Mass and how to serve it from priests of the Fraternity of St. Peter.  It was there that I developed a strong appreciation and attachment to this form of the liturgy (and a greater appreciation of and understanding of Catholic liturgy in general--with a strong preference for more traditional usages and externals, especially if they foster a stronger belief in, and a greater degree of reverence for,  the Real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament!). This continues to the present day as a very strong part of my Catholic identity which I love to share with others! 
    Graduated Valdosta State University, B.A. Political Science, 1987. Graduated University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law, Juris Doctorate, 1995. Married to Sara Angela ("Angie") Booth Johnson, April 13, 1996. Daughters: Sara Ann Johnson, second year student at University of Georgia School of Veterinary Medicine.                   Julianna Rachel Johnson, senior at School of Social Work, University of Georgia. 
    Practicing attorney and partner in law firm of Thomas and Johnson, P.C., Waycross (with this firm since 1995, specializing in handling real estate titles and closings, wills and estates and engaged in general practice of law). 
    Solicitor-General, State Court of Ware County, 2008-present. Prosecutor, Waycross Municipal Court, 2008-present. Past member, Governor's Task Force on Domestic Violence. Past board member of the local chapter of the American Red Cross. Volunteer Fire Fighter,  Millwood, Ga., Station 7, Ware County Fire Department. 
    Hobbies are: Reading Catholic books and blogs, reading about history. Working on and driving early Ford automobiles (Model T's and Model A's) and old farm tractors (in fact, I enjoy working on , observing , using, or riding in,  just about any kind of antique machinery from the late 1800's or early 1900's, including riding steam powered railroads or seeing early airplanes in operation).  Listening  to music, especially early 20th century popular music, like ragtime and original performances of 1920's, 30's and 40's jazz and swing dance music. Watching old movies.  Enjoying the outdoors and time with my wife, daughters and extended family ( I am the oldest of 7 children--my father was J. Raymond Johnson (1936-2000) and I 
    still have my wonderful mother, Georgia Ann Giddens Johnson).