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20 Diocesan Faithful to Receive Papal Honors

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The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge has announced the bestowal of Papal Honors by Pope Benedict XVI on twenty men and women in the Diocese of Raleigh. Four of the recipients will receive the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Cross and sixteen will receive the Benemerenti Medal.

The Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice is the highest award of the Roman Catholic Church bestowed by the Holy Father to the Laity. The English translation is “For Church and the Pope,” and is also known as the “Cross of Honor.” Established in 1888 by Leo XIII, it is currently given for distinguished service to the Church by lay people. The design of the medal is dictated by the Holy Father who bestows the honor. The medal or lapel ribbon may be worn at any time by the bearer.

The Benemerenti Medal is awarded to individuals in recognition of their dedicated service to the Church. The English translation is “well deserved.” The civil medal has the inscription benemerenti surrounded by a crown of oak leaves engraved on its face side. The medal is worn on the breast, suspended by ribbons of the papal colors.

The Papal Honors ceremony will be held Tuesday, December 6, 2011, at St. Michael the Archangel in Cary at 7:00 PM.

Papal Honors announcement from Bishop Michael F. Burbidge

It is with great joy that I announce the bestowal of Papal Honors by our Holy Father, Benedict XVI, upon twenty of the faithful in the Diocese of Raleigh. Those who are receiving these honors are truly representative of the many faithful who offer such generous service throughout our Diocese.   

The faithful who are receiving these honors are as follows:

Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Cross

  • Dr. Michael J. Fedewa, Ed.D., St. James Parish, Henderson
  • Sister Mary Isaac Koenig, S.U., St. Mary Parish, Wilmington
  • Mr. Maurice J. Koury, Blessed Sacrament Parish, Burlington
  • Mrs. Ann K. Koury, Blessed Sacrament Parish, Burlington


Benemerenti Medal

  • Mrs. Teresa H. Aldahondo, St. Michael the Archangel Parish, Cary
  • Mr. John W. Byrne, St. Bernadette Parish, Fuquay-Varina
  • Dr. Charles K. Coe, Ph.D., Sacred Heart Cathedral, Raleigh
  • Mrs. Martha E. Coe, Sacred Heart Cathedral, Raleigh         
  • Dr. Robert L. Deucher, M.D., St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Southern Pines
  • Mr. William J. Fraser, St. Paul Parish, New Bern
  • Mrs. Marguerite C. Gibbons, St. Raphael the Archangel Parish, Raleigh         
  • Mrs. Rebecca L. Guijarro, St. Mary Parish, Goldsboro
  • Mr. Milton Jenkins, St. Gabriel Parish, Greenville
  • Dr. George S. Lensing, Jr., Ph.D., Newman Catholic Student Center, Chapel Hill
  • Dr. J. Jacques Mistrot, M.D., Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Raleigh
  • Mrs. Agnes S. Penny, St. Raphael the Archangel Parish, Raleigh
  • Mr. George Quigley, St. Ann Parish, Fayetteville
  • Mr. Linus G. Riehle, Holy Family Parish, Elizabeth City
  • Mrs. Elizabeth A. Rogosich, St. Joseph Parish, Raleigh
  • Mrs. Anne W. Stahel, Sacred Heart Cathedral, Raleigh


With assurances of my continued prayers, I remain

Sincerely in Christ,

Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge

Bishop of Raleigh