Cardinal O'Malley presents the Cheverus Award Medals for service to the Church last November. Pilot file photo/Gregory L. Tracy
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BRAINTREE -- Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley will present 127 Cheverus Award Medals to laypersons, deacons, and religious during a 3 p.m. Vespers service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Nov. 29. Inaugurated in 2008 at the close the archdiocese's bicentennial year, the annual award ceremony recognizes Catholics for their dedicated service to the Church.
Each year, one-third of the parishes of the Archdiocese of Boston are asked to nominate a parishioner for the award. Most recipients are nominated by their pastor and approved by their regional bishop or episcopal vicar and Cardinal O'Malley.
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 fashion.
Cardinal O'Malley has previously said that one of the main the purposes of the award is to "put a spotlight on those people whose hidden contributions to the life of the Church often go unnoticed."
The regional bishops and episcopal vicars each year are asked to nominate from their respective regions a religious and a deacon of similar qualifications to be honored with the Cheverus medal. The Central Ministries of the archdiocese also make nominations from among religious, deacons and lay persons who serve on archdiocesan committees or lead key ministries. Some additional recipients are personally selected by Cardinal O'Malley.