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Cheverus Awards presented for 'loving service' to the Church


  • Cheverus Medals are displayed at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross before the 2016 awards ceremony Dec. 4. Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy
  • Cardinal O’Malley presents the 2016 Cheverus Award Medals to this year’s 113 recipients. (Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy)
  • “Your loving service is born of a deep faith and a sense of discipleship, that today we want to recognize and hold up as a role model for our young Catholics,” the cardinal said in his homily. (Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy)
  • Cardinal O’Malley congratulates Maureen Flaherty of St. Camillus Parish, Arlington after presenting her award medal. Flaherty was honored along with her husband, John. (Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy)
  • Cheverus Award recipients wait to receive their medal. (Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy)
  • Cardinal O’Malley poses for photos with recipients and guests at a reception following the ceremony at Cathedral High School. (Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy)

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SOUTH END -- It is the work done by this year's 113 Cheverus Award Recipients and others like them that keeps the Archdiocese of Boston from coming to a "grinding halt," Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley said at a Dec. 4 vespers service to present the awards.

"Your loving service is born of a deep faith and a sense of discipleship, that today we want to recognize and hold up as a role model for our young Catholics," he said.

Held at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, the vespers service saw hundreds gather to watch friends and family receive the Cheverus Medal.

Since 2008, the archdiocese's bicentennial year, one-third of the parishes of the archdiocese are annually asked to nominate a parishioner for the award. 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, perhaps, unrecognized way."

Award recipients can also include deacons and religious nominated by regional bishops and episcopal vicars and individuals selected by Cardinal O'Malley personally.

The medal is named after Bishop Jean-Louis Lefebvre de Cheverus, the first bishop of the then Diocese of Boston.

Bishop Cheverus led the diocese from 1808 until his return to France in 1824, and his likeness is featured on one side of the oval-shaped silver medal. On the reverse side is his coat of arms and his motto, "Diligamus nos invicem," ("Let us love one another").

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