Glendon to be honored by local sisters

BRAINTREE -- As they prepare to further equip their sisters to be more effective evangelizers in a digital age, the Daughters of St. Paul are inaugurating an award by honoring a former Vatican ambassador who garnered national attention when she refused an award from a well-known Catholic university.

On Sunday, Sept. 12, the Daughters of St. Paul will honor Professor Mary Ann Glendon at an Afternoon Tea at 3 p.m. at the Daughters of St. Paul's convent in Jamaica Plain with the sisters' first-ever Cordero Award. The award was named for Mother Paula Cordero, who brought the order to the United States.

The award will be presented annually to a Catholic person or organization who has "striven to uplift the human spirit and to recognize the dignity of the human person in or through the media," according to a statement released by the order.

Funds raised from the event will benefit the Daughters of Saint Paul's new media initiatives by further educating the sisters to be more effective users of new media to evangelize in modern times.

"When we think of education, we immediately think of children or teenagers. But if today's educators aren't keeping up with the times, then how can we be effective teachers and evangelizers?" asked Sister Christine Setticase, a member of the Daughters of St. Paul. "As our culture dives deeper into the age of digital media, we want to present the Gospel message in a way that is interesting and relevant. But to do this we need to specialize and know the language of today's youth."

Glendon is currently a professor at Harvard Law School and president of the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences and former Vatican ambassador. She has taught and written on subjects such as bioethics, constitutional law, comparative law and human rights. She is a longtime consultant to the USCCB and is on the editorial and advisory board of the journal First Things.

Last year, Glendon declined the Laetare Medal from the University of Notre Dame at the school's graduation ceremony in the midst of the debate that ensued at that time over President Barack Obama serving as a keynote speaker and receiving an honorary degree.

Notre Dame awards the Laetare Medal to an American Catholic who has an outstanding record of service to the Church and society.

Glendon refused the award over concerns about the university honoring a president who openly supports legal abortion and embryonic stem cell research.

"She certainly exemplifies a Catholic who's well known and also because she has, especially in her choosing not to accept the award at Notre Dame, was very gracious," said Sister Christine Setticase, of the Daughters of St. Paul. "This is a woman who has written numerous books and countless articles, but it was that five minutes of fame that brought her national attention."

"It showed everyone she knew who she was as a contemporary Catholic," Sister Setticase added.

During the afternoon, Glendon will also give a talk entitled "The Lay Vocation in a Media Culture: New Challenges."

"As a prominent Catholic and as a former ambassador, she has always spoken up for the Catholic faith and the defense of human life," Sister Setticase said. "She's certainly an example of someone who has mirrored the Holy Father's teachings."

The tea will also include a special auction, highlighted by the chance to win clubhouse seats to the New England Patriots game at Foxboro on Sept. 26 against the Buffalo Bills.

For more information about the event please contact Sister Christine at 617-921-0228 or

Catholic News Service materials contributed to this report.