February 19, 2010

Benedictine monks to be honored for distinguished service in multicultural ministry

Two Benedictine monks from Saint Meinrad Archabbey will be honored for their distinguished service by the Office of Multicultural Ministry in the Archdiocese of Louisville.

Benedictine Fathers Cyprian Davis and Boniface Hardin will be recognized during the 23rd annual African-American Catholic Leadership Awards Banquet, which begins at 6 p.m. on March 6 at the Galt House Hotel and Suites, 140 N. Fourth St., in Louisville.

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville will present the keynote address during the awards banquet, which recognizes African-American Catholic leadership in northern Kentucky.

Proceeds from the event benefit a scholarship fund for African-American youths to pursue secondary and post-secondary education.

Thirteen youth scholarships will be given to young men and women that have demonstrated leadership in their parish and school communities in the Archdiocese of Louisville.

Also during the banquet, the monks and six other adults will be honored for their extraordinary leadership in the African-American Catholic community.

Father Cyprian and Father Boniface will receive the Acacia Award, the highest honor, for their many years of service to the Church community at large.

Both monks are alumni of Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology, and have earned the seminary’s Distinguished Alumnus Award.

The author of numerous articles and books focusing on the history and spirituality of African-American Catholics, Father Cyprian continues to be one of the most important leaders in historical studies of the African-American Catholic Church. His books include The History of Black Catholics in the United States.

Father Boniface has been a champion for social justice and the advancement of society. The Louisville native has dedicated his life to human relations, education, and the health and welfare of all people.

The founder of Martin University in Indianapolis, Father Boniface remains active as a member of the Tuskegee Airmen, and is affiliated with many boards and social groups.

Although the monks do not reside in the Archdiocese of Louisville, the awards recognize their efforts to “educate, inspire and uplift many [people] of all denominations worldwide.”

(Tickets are $40 per person and must be purchased in advance. For more information, call the Office of Multicultural Ministry in the Archdiocese of Louisville at 502-636-0296.)

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