GREENSBURG — Bishop Lawrence E. Brandt will preside at a prayer service Sunday at 3 p.m. at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Greensburg where he will bestow honors on 41 diocesan parishioners, clergy and a religious woman.
Brandt will honor eight people who are entering the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem and two others who are being promoted in rank. Brandt will present The Bishop’s Medal of Honor and The Bishop’s Medal of Honor with the Rank of Golden Merit to 31 people.
Thomas and Alice Zaucha, of White Township, who attend St. Thomas More University Parish in Indiana, will be awarded the Knights and Ladies of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.
This is a chivalric order that can be traced to the First Crusade in 1099 and had specific responsibilities of guarding the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre and the city of Jerusalem in defense of Christianity.
After the knights were driven out of Jerusalem in 1244, the order went through several transformations. It was re-established in 1847 by Pope Pius IX, and its most recent constitutions were approved by Pope Paul VI in 1977.
The order’s objectives today are to strengthen the Christian life of its members, to support the Latin-rite Patriarch of Jerusalem and to support the Christian presence in the Holy Land by rendering material aid and offering prayers for peace.
Candidates must be practicing Catholics in good standing who frequently receive the sacraments, have a longstanding record of excellent service and fidelity to the church and are known to their pastor; must be personally known by their nominator; must be worthy of recognition for service to the church, community and others; and should exemplify charity, courtesy, loyalty, largess and gentility in their conduct.
The honor recognizes meritorious service to one’s parish and the diocese, and it is awarded at the discretion of the bishop following a nomination and review process and consultation with the nominee’s pastor.
The Bishop’s Medal of Honor was instituted by a decree of Bishop Brandt on March 10, 2011, the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the Diocese of Greensburg by Pope Pius XII.
The Bishop’s Medal of Honor will be bestowed on Jerry Bertig at Our Lady of the Assumption Parish in Lucernemines; Gloria Kanick at St. Bernard of Clairvaux; and Thomas Pearson and Hollie Uccellini of St. Thomas More University Parish.
The Bishop’s Medal of Honor with the Rank of Golden Merit is for people who “have served the Diocese of Greensburg and its parishes through a verily exceptional faith commitment and who have distinguished themselves by particularly significant good works which have had an especially effective breadth of outreach,” according to the diocesan decree.
The higher rank is also awarded at the discretion of the bishop following a nomination and review process and consultation with the nominee’s pastor.
Requirements for nomination for The Bishop’s Medal of Honor and the medal with the Rank of Golden Merit, include, but are not limited to: being a Catholic in good standing with the Catholic Church; having received the sacraments of initiation; if married, being in a marriage recognized by the Catholic Church; exhibiting moral integrity of character and life; exhibiting a commitment to the mission of the universal church; living a life exemplified by fidelity to the church and its teachings; providing meritorious service to the diocese and its mission; having a well-established history of support and active participation in one’s parish; and providing community service.
The Bishop’s Medal of Honor with the Rank of Golden Merit will go to Father Thomas A. Federline, VF Pastor at St. Bernard of Clairvaux Parish in Indiana.