Parishioners Honored for Making a Difference; Three Priests Receive Papal Honors

December 09, 2004

Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, Archbishop of Washington, will honor 256 Catholic parishioners with Order of Merit awards for making a difference in their local parishes, while three area priests will formally receive papal honors at a special prayer service:

Sunday, December 12, 2004
2:00 p.m.
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
400 Michigan Ave., NE, Washington, DC

Cardinal McCarrick established the Order of Merit in 2002 to recognize ordinary parishioners for service to their parish and the Archdiocese of Washington. Parishioners were nominated by their pastors, and represent Catholic parishes from throughout the District of Columbia, as well as five Maryland counties: Montgomery, Prince George’s, Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s.

Each honoree will receive a bronze medal from Cardinal McCarrick during the ceremony. On one side is the Archdiocesan coat of arms and on the other, an image of the Cathedral of St. Matthew, known as the “mother church” of the Archdiocese, and the words, “For Faithful Service.”

The honorees range in age from a junior in high school to a 96-year-old woman from Southern Maryland. They were nominated for many reasons: assisting new immigrants, the homeless and the elderly, teaching religion and marriage prep, helping at Mass and caring for the church and grounds, and simply helping out with the many little things that make a parish run smoothly, but that often get overlooked. Some awardees have been active in their parishes over 50 years.

Also during the ceremony, three pastors will formally receive honors bestowed on them by Pope John Paul II. Reverend Charles Parry, pastor of Sacred Heart, Bowie and Episcopal Vicar for Prince George’s County; Reverend Robert J. Amey, pastor of St. Catherine Laboure, Wheaton and Episcopal Vicar for Montgomery County; and Rev. John Pennington, pastor of St. Peter, Waldorf and Episcopal Vicar for Southern Maryland, have been named Chaplains to His Holiness. All honors come with the title “Monsignor.”

Susan Gibbs
Director of Communications
[email protected]