Archbishop Henry J. Mansell distributed 206 St. Joseph Medals of Appreciation to volunteers from 162 parishes during a ceremony March 20 at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford. The award ceremony was initiated in 2002 by then-Archbishop Daniel A. Cronin as a way of giving back to the laity. Since the first ceremony, a total of a total of 1,615 distinguished men and women from all corners of the Archdiocese of Hartford have been recognized for outstanding service to their parishes. Archbishop Mansell praised the recipients for bringing food to the sick and homebound; for volunteering at schools; and for working in soup kitchens, food pantries and home-less shelters. “This is a great Church, and you make it so,” he said. It is the work of volunteers that help make the Catholic Church in Connecticut the largest provider of social services after government, he said.
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