Priests and laity were honoured by Pope Francis in the Diocese of Hamilton on Sunday, March 4th, 2018. His Eminence, Gerard Cyprien Lacroix, Archbishop of Quebec and Primate of Canada, will confer the honours with Bishop Crosby in the Cathedral Basilica of Christ the King, Hamilton. Salt + Light Television was there and will broadcast the special moment on television on Wednesday, March 14th, 2018 at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT
repeats at midnight and on Thursday the 15th at 12:30pm ET
The celebration was honour five Priests who have offered exemplary service for many years have been named Chaplains to His Holiness with the title Monsignor, a layman named a Knight of St. Gregory, five Religious and laypeople will receive the Cross Pro-Ecclesia et Pontifice, and five others will receive the Benemerenti Medal. All those being honoured in this ceremony are committed Catholics who have worked for the Church in many ways. Each recipient has accepted the honour given with humility. This Papal recognition is an expression of gratitude for their service and an encouragement to all the many Priests, Religious and laity of the Diocese in their call to discipleship. As a local Church, we rejoice in the abundance of gifts poured forth by the Holy Spirit in the Parishes, institutions, religious communities and families of our Diocese.
More about the Papal Honours:
Bene Merenti Medals
Pope Gregory XVI (1832) instituted two medals which he called merit medals to reward civil and military daring and courage. The medal is worn on the breast and is suspended by a white and yellow ribbon. This medal acknowledges the steadfast and faithful service rendered to the Church by the recipient.
Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice
The medal Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice was instituted by Pope Leo XIII (July 17, 1888, "Quod Singulari") in memory of his Golden Jubilee of priestly ordination and bestowed upon men and women who had contributed to the successful celebration of the Jubilee. It was made a permanent distinction in 1898 and is the highest honour which can be bestowed upon lay men and women who have provided invaluable service to the Church and its visible Head. The medal is in the form of a cross bearing the image of its founder.
Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great
Pope Gregory XVI founded the Order of St. Gregory the Great to reward the civil and military virtues of subjects of the Papal States. It is one of the five orders of knighthood bestowed on Catholic men and women in recognition of their personal service to the Church and their good example in the community. The decoration is an eight-pointed red-enamelled gold cross impressed with the image of St. Gregory.
The Order has several classes in ascending order: Knight/Dames, Knight Commanders, Knight Commanders with Star and Knight Grand Cross of the Frist Class (which is reserved to nobility)