An Outside Sign of What’s Already in their Hearts

“Wear this medal with our gratitude and recognition as an outside sign of what is already in your heart and soul. The medal simply allows the world to know that what they see on the outside already exists on the inside,” said Bishop Frank J. Caggiano to the 160 St. Augustine Medal recipients this afternoon at St. Augustine Cathedral.

See full list of award recipients
With the cathedral filled to capacity for Midday Prayer and the award service, Bishop Caggiano said that he was happy to “give voice” to what so many other people already knew about the recipients, that they were “distinguished by mercy, generosity, love, fidelity and witness to Christ” in their concern for others.

On a sparkling October afternoon, friends and family joined by pastors and deacons came forward to stand alongside the recipients as Bishop Caggiano presented the St. Augustine Medal of Service.

They were honored for their selfless service to schools, parishes, Catholic Charities, and other diocesan ministries. Some have spent a lifetime in service to their parishes, while other recipients were young enough to hold newborn and young children in their arms.

Al Barber, President of Catholic Charities called forth the men and women from the pulpit, while Patrick Turner, Director of Pastoral and Strategic Plan, led the congregation in the recitation of psalms and antiphons.

“Thank you for being such remarkable people of faith,” said Bishop Caggiano in his homily.

He told the men and women that their service makes them “missionary disciples” who have answered the call of Pope Francis to be “people of mercy make God’s love concrete in so many ways.” He said one of the great challenges for the 21st century is the “need to for an army of new leaders to bring the Church to every human heart looking for hope.”

The Bishop also issued a challenge to this year’s medal recipients “to become a Holy Reproach” through their humility and service that will inspire others to “work with you side by side and hand in hand to renew the earth.”

Noting that we live in a world where so many people, including those in Church, are willing “to let someone else worry about and let someone else do the work,” the Bishop thanked the medal recipients for their leadership and witness.

After the recessional hymn, the recipients walked out into the bright mid-day sun proudly wearing their medals. A reception followed at Kolbe Cathedral High School, which share the cathedral campus.

The St. Augustine Medal of Service was instituted in 2005 to recognize the “unsung heroes” who unselfishly give of their time and talents to build up parish communities and diocesan ministries. On one side of the medal is an image of St. Augustine of Hippo, patron saint of the diocese. The reverse features the coat of arms of the diocese.