On behalf of His Holiness Pope Francis, and at the request of His Excellency Archbishop Timothy Broglio, Archbishop of the Military Services USA and Chancellor of Catholic Distance University, the Papal Cross of Honor Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice (for the Church and the Pope) was presented to three members of the Catholic Distance University community in recognition of their outstanding commitment and service to the Church and the mission of the University:
Dr. Charles Wasaff, the first lay chairman of the Board of Trustees of CDU;
Sister Mary Brendon Zajac,SND, DMin, Board Member, CDU Instructor, Accreditation Consultant; Also Registrar and Assistant Academic Dean, Professor of Pastoral Theology, and Accreditation Liaison at Saint Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology, Wickliffe.
Sister Mary Margaret Ann Schlather, SND, Dean of Catechetical Programs and Accreditation Liaison.
The Papal Medals were presented at the annual CDU Gala on Thursday, November 18, 2021, at the Saint John Paul II Shrine, in Washington, D.C.
The medal, awarded in gold, is officially known as Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice (literally “For the Church and the Pope”). It is one of the highest honors that the Pope can bestow upon the laity and religious. The medal depicts the Apostles Saint Peter and Saint Paul. On the left arm of the cross is the inscription Pro Ecclesia, on the right arm of the cross is Et Pontifice. At the point of the bottom arm of the cross is the coat of arms of the Pope. At the points of the other armsare small Greek crosses.
The Medal is accompanied by an authenticated certificate from the Holy See with the Latin inscription:
“The Holy Father, Francis, deigns to decree and bestow the distinguished cross For the Church and the Pope to (name) for distinguished works and zeal. (Date)
In his remarks Archbishop Broglio acknowledged the influence of the Sisters of Notre Dame (Cleveland) on his own priestly ministry as well as the founding of Catholic Distance University.