Papal honors presented to 19 in the archdiocese

A lawyer, a member of the second deacon class of the archdiocese, the president of a Catholic hospital and an administrator for Stella Maris in Timonium, are among 19 individuals in the Archdiocese of Baltimore who have been awarded papal honors.

Cardinal William H. Keeler will present the awards at a special ceremony June 24, at 6 p.m., at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, Homeland.

The awards, for outstanding service to the archdiocese and the papacy, include Knight or Dame Commander of the Order of St. Gregroy the Great, the Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice and the Benemerenti Medal. The new monsignors for the archdiocese, Monsignor Martin E. Feild, pastor of St. Joseph, Taneytown, Monsignor James P. Farmer, pastor of St. Ursula, Parkville, and Monsignor Richard H. Tillman, pastor of St. John the Evangelist, Columbia, will also be recognized. The rank and title of monsignor is the papal honor for a diocesan priest.

Knight Commander of the Order of St. Gregory the Great

The papal award, the Order of St. Gregory, was instituted in 1831 by Pope Gregory XVI, who named it after his holy predecessor Pope Gregory the Great. The Order of St. Gregory the Great was founded in two divisions, military and civil, as a reward for those outstanding citizens of the Papal States and for persons who defended the temporal territory of the Church. There are three classes within each division.

The classes of Knight Commander (or Dame Commander) and Knight (or Dame) are bestowed on the diocesan level as a special mark of favor of the Holy See for persons who diligently serve the Church on the local level. The Order of St. Gregory the Great can now be bestowed upon any individuals who serve the Catholic Church or who have distinguished themselves by their accomplishments benefiting society, regardless of their religion or gender.

Michael J. Batza Jr.
Papal Honor of Knight Commander of
St. Gregory

Michael J. Batza Jr. is a very active Catholic. He and his wife Patricia have three daughters, all of whom have been educated in Catholic schools. He is a strong proponent of Catholic education and serves on the boards at St. Mary’s Seminary and University, Roland Park, and the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, Baltimore, in addition to supporting local high schools. He serves on the Archdiocesan Finance Council as vice chairman and is supportive of Catholic Charities. His management skills and personal integrity assist the church in many ways. He served with distinction on the special committee for the 1995 visit of Pope John Paul II to Baltimore. In 1996, he was named a Knight of Saint Gregory by Pope John Paul II.

Dr. Marie-Alberte Boursiquot
Papal Honor of Dame Commander of
St. Gregory

Dr. Marie-Alberte Boursiquot is the manager of a solo medical practice in internal medicine. She volunteers at Medical Alliance which provides free healthcare to the non-insured of Howard County. She serves on the Respect Life Committee for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the medical advisory committee for a local pregnancy center and as Secretary of the Board for the Baltimore Guild of the Catholic Medical Association. She is an active parishioner of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption, Baltimore, volunteering in several capacities. She is a member of the Historic Trust of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption and chaired the Bicentennial Committee of the Historic Trust, which oversaw the many events and activities surrounding the re-opening of the basilica. In 2004 she was inducted into the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.

David W. Kinkopf
Papal Honor of Knight of St. Gregory

David W. Kinkopf, a partner in the law firm of Gallagher Evelius and Jones, is the lead counsel for the Archdiocese of Baltimore. He and his wife, Kristen, parishioners of the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, Homeland, have two children who are being educated in Catholic schools. Very generous with his time to both the Church and the civic community, he serves on the boards of the Maryland Catholic Conference, St. Mary’s Seminary and University, St. Ignatius Loyola Academy, and the Cathedral Foundation as well as the Sheppard Pratt Health System and Foundation. He has also served on the Baltimore City Board of Municipal and Zoning Appeals.

Michael J. Ruck Sr.
Papal Honor of Knight of St. Gregory

Michael J. Ruck Sr., the Chair of the Basilica Historic Trust and a longtime member of the Basilica of the Assumption parish, is an ardent supporter of the basilica and a trusted advisor to Cardinal Keeler. He and his wife, Wendy, have two grown children who were educated in Catholic schools and he recently became a grandfather. He is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Ruck Family Corporations, the third generation of his family to be involved in funeral service. He has been recognized by both church and civic groups for his active participation and support. He also was elected to the Alumni Hall of Fame of the Calvert Hall College High School, Towson. He is a member of the Notre Dame Council of the Knights of Columbus. In 1997 he was accepted in the Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre and has been very active in the Middle Atlantic Lieutenancy. In 2000 he was elevated to Knight Commander and in 2005 he was elevated again to the rank of Knight Commander with Star.

James R. Stojak
Papal Honor of Knight of St. Gregory

James R. Stojak, an independent consultant to financial institutions and technology providers, has been instrumental in the foundation and growth of the Catholic Family Foundation where he currently serves as the vice chair. He and his wife, Darlene, have three daughters. He is committed to the local Catholic high school, St. Maria Goretti, Hagerstown, serving as the chair of the board. In addition, he has been as a trusted advisor to the last four pastors of his parish, St. Ann in Hagerstown, and oversaw the recent building campaign there.

Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice

The Cross for the Church and Pontiff, or Cross Pro-Ecclesia et Pontifice, is a papal award founded by Pope Leo XIII in 1888, intended as an award to mark his 50th priestly jubilee. However, in present times the award is bestowed on persons, both laypersons and clergy, who have given service to the Church.

Deacon James L. Awalt
Papal Honor of Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice

Deacon James L. Awalt, a retired permanent deacon of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, was ordained a deacon in 1972 by Cardinal Lawrence Shehan. A member of the second deacon class of the archdiocese after the permanent diaconate was re-established after the Second Vatican Council, he worked to further the diaconal ministry in the archdiocese. He served on the personnel board for the archdiocese as the deacon representative, the first deacon to do so. In his more than 30 years of ministry he has served admirably and faithfully. He continues to serve in his retirement.

Lawrence M. Beck
Papal Honor of Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice

Lawrence M. Beck, President of Good Samaritan Hospital, Baltimore, has served in that capacity since 1994 when the hospital merged with Helix Health Care Systems. He has been very instrumental in helping to maintain the Catholic identity of the hospital while expanding its services in the community and increasing its level of quality care. He is an active parishioner at his parish, St. Pius X, Rodgers Forge, and is currently serving as the chair of the parish finance committee.

Therese Wilson Favors
Papal Honor of Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice

Therese Wilson Favors, director of the Office of African American Catholic Ministries for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, has worked tirelessly for the African American Community in Baltimore and throughout the United States. She serves on the National Black Catholic Congress, teaches at the Institute for Black Catholic Studies, lectures throughout the country, and prepares programs that focus on African-American issues surrounding catechesis, evangelization, and spirituality. She has contributed to several books, recently serving as editor for “What We Have Seen and Heard: Essays and Stories of Black Catholics in Baltimore,” which waspublished in 2006. She is also very active in her home parish of St. Cecilia, Baltimore.

Sister Geraldine Harvie, L.S.P.
Papal Honor of Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice

Sister Geraldine Harvie, L.S.P., a member of the community of the Little Sisters of the Poor, serves as the Superior of the Community at St. Martin’s Home for the Aged in Catonsville. Sister Geraldine shows exemplary kindness in her service to the elderly poor and in the administration of the community. Sister Geraldine served in Baltimore for two years when she first came to the United States in 1999. After serving in Indianapolis, Sister Geraldine returned to Baltimore in 2005 as Superior.

Samuel S. Hoyle
Papal Honor of Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice

Samuel S. Hoyle, a prominent business and civic leader, is an active parishioner of the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, Homeland. He serves on the Cathedral Finance Committee, an investment consultant to the Cathedral Preservation Trust, and is a trusted advisor to the rector, Monsignor Robert Armstrong. Together with his wife, Stephanie, he has helped to chair the Cathedral Parish Committee for the Cardinal’s Lenten Appeal. He also serves on the Board of the Catholic Family Foundation. He and his wife have two grown children.

Stephanie L. Hoyle
Papal Honor of Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice

Stephanie L. Hoyle is a very active parishioner at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, Homeland. Together with her husband, Sam, she has helped to chair the Cathedral Parish Committee for the Cardinal’s Lenten Appeal. She helps to provide planning, direction, and hospitality for major archdiocesan events held at the Cathedral and is on the environment committee that decorates the Cathedral for holidays.

Maria T. Johnson
Papal Honor of Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice

Maria T. Johnson, director of the Office of Hispanic Ministries for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, has worked vigorously to provide for Hispanics in the archdiocese. She has helped to establish an Institute of Pastoral Formation for the training of Hispanic leadership and a variety of other educational programs to provide assistance and information for the evangelization, pastoral and sacramental life of Hispanics. She is also active in her home parish of the Catholic Community of St. Michael and St. Patrick, Fells Point.

Mary Ellen Kaplan
Papal Honor of Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice

Mary Ellen Kaplan is a dedicated volunteer for Catholic and other causes in Baltimore. Together with her husband, Leon, she has four children. She and her husband have been very generous to Catholic Charities, serving on the leadership breakfast committee for the past 10 years, and she is a very active volunteer at Our Daily Bread serving both in the dining room and in fund-raising. She serves on the Board of Mother Seton Academy, a co-educational Catholic middle school for low-income families in Baltimore City. Since her daughter was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes, she has also been active with local and national organizations that assist in this area.

Father Michael T. Martin, O.F.M. Conv.
Papal Honor of Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice

Father Michael T. Martin, O.F.M. Conv., a member of the St. Anthony of Padua Province of the Conventual Franciscans, is the president of Archbishop Curley High School, an all-boys regional Catholic high school. A Baltimore native and a 1979 graduate of Archbishop Curley High School himself, he studied theology at the Pontifical Faculty of Saint Bonaventure in Rome. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1989. He returned to Archbishop Curley High School in 1994 as basketball coach, religion teacher and admissions director, then served as principal and, finally president in 2001. He also serves on the board of St. Thomas Aquinas School in Baltimore and is the president of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council.

Sister M. Karen McNally, R.S.M.
Papal Honor of Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice

Sister M. Karen McNally, R.S.M., a member of the Religious Sisters of Mercy, serves as the Chief Administrative Officer of Stella Maris, a multi-service facility for older persons. Under her leadership, Stella Maris has expanded to three campuses providing in-home resident and hospice care as well as reaching out to residents in the Baltimore area with long-term care, rehabilitation, home care, hospice care and residential services. Currently she is also the Chair of Health Facilities of Maryland, the State’s leading long-term care association. In 2000, she was one of four experts on senior citizen issues that represented the United States bishops at the Jubilee year celebration in Rome.

Patricia A. Nadolny
Papal Honor of Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice

Patricia A. Nadolny is the Executive Secretary to Cardinal Keeler. She has served faithfully in that office since 1991 after serving in the Archdiocesan Communications Office. A widow, she has two sons and four grandchildren.

Camilla R. Rawe
Papal Honor of Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice

Camilla R. Rawe is the Coordinator of Religious Education for the parishes of St. Ann in Grantsville and St. Michael in Frostburg. She has been very active in the parish for many years also serving on the liturgy team and with her husband as musicians in the contemporary music group.

Joseph A. Spadaro
Papal Honor of Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice

Joseph A. Spadaro is the Chief Financial Officer for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, serving his second term in that role. He has worked diligently to bring financial expertise and increased accountability to the archdiocesan offices and to the parishes and schools. He serves on the board of directors of a number of Catholic institutions. A daily communicant, he is also active in his home parish of St. Joseph in Cockeysville. He and his wife, Sandra, have two children and three grandchildren.

Benemerenti Medal

The term benemerenti literally translates to “good merit.” The Benemerenti Medal is awarded to individuals of both genders who have merited special recognition by the Holy See. The award seldom comes more than once during a pontificate.

The first Benemerenti Medal was bestowed by Pope Pius VI in 1791 as an award for military courage in the defense of the temporal Papal States. In 1925, the concept of awarding the medal as a mark of recognition of persons in service to the Church, both civil and military, lay and clergy alike, became acceptable.

Leon M. Kaplan
Benemerenti Medal

Leon M. Kaplan, who is Jewish, is a prominent business leader in the health
care field in Baltimore. Together with his wife, Mary Ellen, he has four children.
He and his wife have been especially generous to Catholic Charities and causes surrounding Catholic education.

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Catholic Review

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.