Saturday, January 23, 2010

Recognition of Models of Stewardship by the Presentation of Papal Awards

On January 5th, in conjunction with the Centennial Celebrations of the Archdiocese of Regina, fifteen of the faithful of the Archdiocese were presented with awards granted by Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI in recognition of outstanding service to our Diocesan Church. These members of our diocesan church have exhibited model examples of Stewardship, sharing their gifts, talents and time in service to Christ and His Church.

We are especially grateful to the Holy Father for his kindness and generosity to our diocese in granting these awards of the Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice (For the Church and the Pope) and the Medal Benemerenti (To a well deserving persion.)

The ceremony was carried out during the Liturgy of Evening Prayer. I will share with you my homily that evening and some pictures of those who received these honours that evening:

Sr. Bernadette Feist, OSU, E&P

Sr. Winnifred Brown RNDM, E&P

Sr. Florence Leduc CSC, MB
My dear sisters and brothers: we come together this evening to celebrate the liturgy of the Church and to honour members of our diocesan church for their example of generous service to Christ’s Community of faith. This service has been given in the spirit of true Stewardship, for they have shared the gifts that God has given to them for the benefit of us all.

Vivian Bosch, E&P
Because this offering of Evening Prayer is part of the Liturgy of the Church, it is a prayer of immense value and sacredness. While our personal prayers that conclude each day bring us into an intimate exchange with God, the Liturgy of the Hours is more than our private prayer. It is the prayer of the whole Church. And because it is the prayer of the Church it is the prayer of Christ. And so this evening we pray with Christ as he offers hymns and psalms of praise to his Father.

Penny Malone, MB
As you well know, are in the process of celebrating the Centennial of our Archdiocese this year. And as part of this very special celebration of our Church’s life and history, we have felt that it would be important to recognize those people among us who are special examples of the faith and service upon which our diocesan church was built and which has sustained us for the first century of our existence.

Wendelin Herle MB

As we give recognition to these few people this evening, we recognize the generosity of the many, many people who give of themselves so that the work of Jesus Christ may continue in our diocesan church. And we recognize as well all of those people who have gone before us for a hundred years, whose gift of themselves to the work of God in our world has brought our Archdiocese through a century of living out the Catholic faith.

Mary Holash BM
The reading of God’s Word from the letter of St. Paul to Titus has some helpful words for us as we recognize tonight the good works that people do in our diocesan church. St. Paul writes: But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.”

Henry Laboida MB

Richard Turchenek, MB

There is no human deed that we can do which would enable us to say to God, “I have done this, now you must give me salvation.” No human deed has that worth or value. No human deed has the power to give us eternal life. Therefore God in his goodness and loving kindness towards us gives us the gift of Salvation because God is merciful and God loves us.

Robert Waldegger, MB

If our good deeds do not bring about our salvation, then why does Paul say we must insist on this teaching so that those who believe in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works, which Paul says are excellent things and are profitable to everyone?

Gordon Stopanski, MB

We who are disciples of Jesus because of our baptism and confirmation, do good deeds to show our gratitude to God for his love, his forgiveness, his mercy and his presence in each of our lives. Do you remember the sinful woman in Luke’s Gospel who washed Jesus feet with her tears? Jesus said of her: “I tell you, her sins which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love.”

Art Vanderzalm, MB

And that is why we strive to do good deeds: it is the way we show our love for God who has saved us. In this Christmas season we recall once again how Jesus by his birth in Bethlehem became Emmanuel, a name that means “God with Us.” God’s presence in each of our lives is God’s gift of love to us. That gift strengthens us in times of difficulty, it gives us hope and consolation, it shines light into those dark times in life and it gives us hope for our future. And so we do good deeds to show our gratitude and to show our love for God because we recognize all that God has done for us in our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Velma Harrison, E&P

Lorne Harasen, E&P

Before Jesus ascended into heaven he said to his disciples: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you will be my witnesses…to the ends of the Earth.” The followers of Jesus have taken up the challenge of this mission given to them by Jesus through the centuries.
People in our own diocesan church also have taken up that mission to be witnesses of Jesus to all around them. They have shown that witness by their generosity to God in the things that they do. They’ve done it for a hundred years as a diocesan church. And they continue to do so today.

Ron Kruzeniski, E&P

This evening we confer two special honours granted by our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI: the Benemerenti Medal, instituted by Pope Gregory XVI in 1832 and granted to those who have been recognized as being “well deserving persons” as a mark of recognition for long and exceptional service to the Catholic Church.
Vince Morrison, E&P

And secondly the Holy Cross Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice, instituted by Pope Leo XIII in 1888, bestowed to lay people and clergy who have given zealous and outstanding service to the Church.

We are grateful to our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI for accepting our recommendations for these honours and bestowing them on those who will now receive them this evening.


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