This blog entry has absolutely nothing to do with the table to be set on Thursday. Rather, I want to take a few moments to recapture the wonderful spirit present at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle yesterday when we awarded the St. Jude the Apostle diocesan medal to women and men from our parishes and missions who have given so generously of their time and talent. For me it is a wonderful and humbling moment to see these recipients who never sought or wished for any public recognition for the service they have rendered approach and receive their medal.
The ceremony takes place within the context of Solemn Evening Prayer on the Solemnity of Christ the King. Eleven years ago I chose this particular date for the first such ceremony because it is the day we reflect on the kingship of a man who came “to serve and not to be served.”
Finally, about five years ago we began to designate some person to receive the medal for their service to the diocese. This year’s very worthy recipient was Helen Marston, for many years the principal of Sr. Cecilia Elementary School and more recently both Assistant Superintendent of Schools for the diocese and for a few brief months this year our acting superintendent. When I told her colleagues in Catholic education my intention to award the St. Jude medal to Helen, they burst into loud and long applause. Helen lost her beloved husband, Bob, this year so my prayer is that in the loving support of others encapsulated in this year’s award, some of the tough and penetrating sense of loss can be ameliorated.
Congratulations again to all the recipients.