Cheverus Awards to be presented Oct. 2 after two-year pause

BRAINTREE -- After a two-year pause due to the coronavirus pandemic, the archdiocese will once again hold the annual Cheverus Award ceremony at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on Oct. 2, resuming a tradition of recognizing laypeople, deacons, and religious for their service to the Church.

Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley instituted the Cheverus Awards in 2008 at the close of the archdiocese's bicentennial year. Named after the first bishop of Boston, Bishop Jean-Louis Lefebvre de Cheverus, the awards have been presented every year except for 2020 and 2021, when pandemic restrictions prevented large gatherings.

"We're all very excited to once again be able to hold these awards in person at the cathedral," said Judy Haglof, executive assistant to the cardinal, in a July 28 interview.

The Cheverus Awards are presented by the cardinal in recognition of service to the Church over an extended period of time, in a quiet manner and often in an unseen capacity.

"It's really for the 'unsung hero,'" Haglof said.

Each year, one-third of the archdiocese's parishes are asked to nominate a Cheverus Award recipient. This means that most parishes have one honoree every three years. Additionally, the regional bishops and episcopal vicars are each asked to nominate a religious and a deacon, and the archdiocese's Central Ministries can nominate those who serve on archdiocesan committees or lead key ministries. The cardinal can also select additional recipients.

Haglof explained that this year's recipients will be nominated by the parishes that would have had their turn in 2020.

"No one will miss out. It will just pick up where we left off," she said.

Nominees receive a silver medal bearing the image of Bishop Cheverus and his coat of arms and episcopal motto "diligamus nos invicem," "let us love one another."

In past years, the award ceremony traditionally has been held around the feast of Christ the King, which falls in late November, the last Sunday before Advent. Haglof said it was decided to hold the celebration earlier this year to avoid Thanksgiving, a time when many recipients or their families may be traveling.

Haglof described the Cheverus Awards ceremony as "an extremely uplifting experience." She noted that multiple generations of families come, and some parishes bring busloads of people to support their nominated parishioners.

"It's wonderful to see that kind of support within a parish," she said.

Haglof said the cardinal's office should receive nominations in late August. The nominees will receive letters and protocol sheets with information about attending the ceremony and the names of the award recipients will be publicly released in early September.

The Cheverus Awards ceremony will consist of a daytime prayer service at 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 2 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. A reception in the Cathedral High School gymnasium will follow.

More information about the Cheverus Awards can be found at