Cardinal O'Malley presents the 2015 Cheverus Award Medals for service to the Church. Pilot file photo/Gregory L. Tracy
BRAINTREE -- Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley will present 113 Cheverus Award Medals to laypersons, deacons, and religious during a 3 p.m. vespers service, Sunday, Dec. 4 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.
Inaugurated in 2008 at the close the archdiocese's bicentennial year, the annual award ceremony recognizes Catholics for their dedicated service to the Church.
Each year, one-third of the parishes of the Archdiocese of Boston are asked to nominate a parishioner for the award. Most recipients are nominated by their pastor and approved by their regional bishop or episcopal vicar and Cardinal O'Malley.
A criterion given to pastors suggests that the nominee be a layperson who has served the parish over an extended period of time and has done so in a quiet, unassuming, and even unrecognized, fashion.
Cardinal O'Malley has previously said that one of the main the purposes of the award is to "put a spotlight on those people whose hidden contributions to the life of the Church often go unnoticed."
In addition to the nominees from parishes, each year the regional bishops and episcopal vicars are asked to nominate a religious and a deacon from their region who are deserving of a Cheverus Medal. The Central Ministries of the archdiocese also make nominations from among religious, deacons and lay persons who serve on archdiocesan committees or lead key ministries. Some additional recipients are selected personally by Cardinal O'Malley.