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Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk receives 2012 Cardinal Bernardin Award

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July 31, 2012

On June 26, retired Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk was honored with the 2012 Cardinal Joseph Bernardin Award.

Sister of Mercy Doris Goettemoeller, left, Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr and Sister of Mercy Sharon Evart pose with retired Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk. (CT/Father Steve Angi)

Sister Doris Gottemoeller in the citation depicted Archbishop Pilarczyk as an extraordinarily well-educated man, earning a licentiate and doctorate in sacred theology from the Pontifical Urban University in Rome, a Master’s degree in the classics from Xavier University, and a doctor of philosophy degree in the classics from the University of Cincinnati. His education prepared him to serve as a faculty member and vice-president of the Athenaeum of Ohio, and rector of Saint Gregory Seminary. His pastoral commitment is revealed in the titles of the almost two dozen books he published which include: Twelve Tough Issues─And More, Bringing Forth Justice, Thinking Catholic, Sacraments, Forgiveness, The Parish: Where God’s People Live, Living in the Lord; Building Blocks for Christian Spirituality.


Other than his years of study in Rome, Archbishop Pilarzcyk has lived his entire life in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, serving in numerous administrative roles before becoming Archbishop in 1982. At the time of his retirement in 2009 he was the longest tenured archbishop in the United States. However, his talents were widely recognized beyond the archdiocese. He chaired the Committee on Doctrine of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB), the Committee on Education, the Ad Hoc Committee on the Conference Mission Statement, the Planning Committee for General Meetings, the Committee on the Liturgy, and the Committee on Personnel and Administration.


In addition to the Committees he chaired, he served on several others and served as the conference liaison to the Joint Committee of Catholic Learned Societies and Scholars. In 1986 Archbishop Pilarczyk was elected vice president of the Conference of Bishops and he served as president from 1989 to 1992. Subsequently, he chaired the ad hoc committee for the revision of the NCCB Statues and Bylaws.  Numerous other national and international organizations have profited from Archbishop Pilarczyk’s rare blend of scholarship, administrative skill, and pastoral sensitivity.


He has served as a trustee of groups such as the Pope John Center, the Catholic Health Association, and the Pontifical College Josephinum. He chaired the board of the Catholic University of America and the International Commission on English in the Liturgy. His unstinting service has been recognized by numerous awards and honorary degrees. But it is his service as a member and chair of the Catholic Common Ground Initiative that honors him with the 2012 Cardinal Joseph Bernardin Award.  Before becoming the leader of the Cincinnati archdiocese, Bishop Pilarczyk served as an auxiliary bishop with then Archbishop Bernardin, the founder of the Catholic Common Ground Initiative.


Since its inception he has been a wise and steady supporter of its goal of enhancing communion in the church. With deep appreciation for his lifetime of ecclesial leadership, the Catholic Common Ground Initiative bestowed its 2012 Cardinal Joseph Bernardin Award on Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk at the Queen City Club on June 26, 2012 by Sister of Mercy Sharon Euart, executive director of the Canon Law Society of America.

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