Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Randy Sly

8/6/2010 (5 years ago)

Catholic Online (

The Knights of Columbus Presented its Gaudium et Spes Award to Cardinal Jaime Ortega y Alamino

During the States Dinner, Tuesday evening, of the Knights 128th Supreme Convention, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson presented the order's hightest award, the Gaudium et Spes Award, to Cardinal Ortega of Havana for his tireless witness to the Gospel and his persistent defense of religious freedom.

Supreme Chaplain Bishop William E. Lori and Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson congratulate Cardinal Jaime Ortega y Alamino of Havana, Cuba, Gaudium et Spes Award honoree.

Supreme Chaplain Bishop William E. Lori and Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson congratulate Cardinal Jaime Ortega y Alamino of Havana, Cuba, Gaudium et Spes Award honoree.


By Randy Sly

Catholic Online (

8/6/2010 (5 years ago)

Published in U.S.

WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - At the States Dinner, Tuesday evening, for the Knights of Columbus 128th Supreme Convention, the order awarded its eighth Gaudium et Spes Award to Cardinal Jaime Ortega y Alamino of Havana, Cuba.

Cardinal Ortega, 74, was born in Jaguey Grande, Matanzas, Cuba. After studying at seminaries both in Cuba and Quebec, Canada, he was ordained a priest in 1964. Like many of his fellow-priests, he was arrested and spent a period of time in prison for his faith.

He was appointed as the Bishop of Pinar del Rio and received episcopal consecration in 1979. Appointed Archbishop of Havana, in 1981, he was named to the Sacred College of Cardinals in 1994.

The citation read at the dinner stated, "For nearly 30 years as archbishop, our honoree has guided the Cuban Church through often rough waters. But in January 1998, a new era of hope dawned when he welcomed Pope John Paul II to his country. During that apostolic visit, Pope John Paul II asked for Cuba to open itself to the world and for the world to become more open to Cuba, as he underscored the central place that the Catholic faith has played in the lives of the Cuban people."

In his acceptance speech, Cardinal Ortega said it was "a duty to publicly say special words of gratitude for the services rendered by the Knights of Columbus in favor of our Church in Cuba. You, dear Knights of Columbus, have actualized the motto of this year's convention, I am My Brother's Keeper.

"Regardless of the distance and the differences in our social or political systems, you have been brothers to the Cuban Catholics and have shown us your solidarity."

Reflecting on the fact that the Knights of Columbus founded its first Cuban council in 1909, the Cardinal brought an optimistic report concerning the current work among the laity.

"I must say that the laymen of Havana are already organizing groups of men who wish to join the Knights of Columbus in the various parishes. I now convey to you an entreaty on their behalf and a very especial invitation from the Archbishop.

"I can assure you that nowadays the situation is more favorable for the action of charity services characteristic of the Knights of Columbus in the Cuban Church.

"Plenty of social works for the elderly people, for disabled children, parochial workshops to help those with learning difficulties, for youngsters and adults who wish to learn humanities or the Church Social Doctrine, etc., are some of the possibilities for a social presence of the Church in Cuba, which is exceeded by these efforts also carried out by numerous Mission Houses that gather communities of 60, 70 or even 100 people in family homes.

"Many times, these communities are looked after by catechist laymen who prepare the faithful to evolve from evangelized communities to Eucharistic communities. In my Archdiocese several of these communities have turned into parishes. Now we must build parish churches. We have already achieved some permits to build them, but our Church is poor and needs help."

Cardinal Ortega also indicated a new level of cooperation desired by the Cuban government with the Church.

"Lately, the Cuban government, responding to our request, has asked us to mediate between the political prisoners' relatives and the government authorities in order to know their proposals. In this way a process began, which has led to the recent announcement that fifty-two convicts, considered prisoners of conscience by Amnesty International, will be released in a period of three to four months. More than twenty of these prisoners have already traveled to Spain.

"These discussions conducted by the Church have been unprecedented, and they bring about a new situation of social appreciation for our Catholics. We hope that this process of dialogue, in which we are immerged now, ends successfully. We ask you to pray for this cause and for our Church in Cuba."

According to the Knights of Columbus Supreme Headquarters, the Gaudium et Spes ("Joy and Hope") Award was named for the landmark 1965 document that was released as part of Second Vatican Council. It is the highest honor bestowed by order and is awarded only in special circumstances to individuals of exceptional merit. The award recognizes them for exemplary contributions to the realization of the message of faith and service in the spirit of Christ.  The Award comes with an honorarium of $100,000.

First given in 1992, when the late Mother Theresa of Calcutta was named as the recipient, the award has only been given eight times. Others who have been honored include Cardinal John O'Connor, former Archbishop of New York; the late Cardinal James Hickey, former Archbishop of Washington DC; Cardinal William Baum, former Archbishop of Washington, D.C. and Major Penitentiary of the Vatican; and Archbishop Michael Sabbah, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem.


Randy Sly is the Associate Editor of Catholic Online and the CEO/Associate Publisher for the Northern Virginia Local Edition of Catholic Online ( He is a former Archbishop of the Charismatic Episcopal Church who laid aside that ministry to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church.


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More U.S.

What it was like to fly Pope Francis around America: American Airlines crew speaks out Watch

Image of The Pope blessed the crew, their families, and the plane during his tour.


Pope Francis' American Airlines flight crew has opened up about the spiritual experience, claiming the papal meeting was "like seeing God." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Pilot George Griffin, his co-pilots and 15 cabin crew members were picked from a pool of ... continue reading

New ISIS video features a 'cub of the caliphate' directly threaten US President Barack Obama Watch

Image of A young ISIS member delivers a threat to US President Barack Obama (YouTube).


A young ISIS jihadi was featured in an ISIS video dressed in army fatigues and holding a rocket launcher as he  delivered a threat to US President Barack Obama. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A young boy who looks to be no more than 10-years-old was recorded ... continue reading

Did Clinton hide the discovery of the Khobar Towers bombers? Watch

Image of Former US President Bill Clinton (Brothersoft)


In order to reestablish diplomatic ties with Tehran, former U.S. President Bill Clinton hid the discovery of Iran's involvement of the Khobar Towers bombing which killed 19 U.S. servicemen in 1996. The allegations are not new, but in a recent report, heavy evidence ... continue reading

Terrorists can easily enter the U.S. through Texas/Mexico border Watch

Image of


Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, Steve McCraw, warned the U.S. was vulnerable in terms of infiltration through the country's southern border. McCraw reported some people coming from countries flagged to have "terrorism presence."  LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading

STUDY: Arabic, Urdu the fastest growing secondary languages in the United States Watch

Image of The most recent census study shows that the fastest-growing foreign languages are languages spoken by immigrants from Muslim-majority countries.


The Census Bureau's 2014 American Community Survey reports that between 2010 and 2014, there was a 29 percent increase in Arabic spoken in the United States. There is also a 23 percent increase in Urdu, and a nine percent jump in Persian, the language spoken in ... continue reading

California mother punched in the face by police files lawsuit Watch

Image of The police officer allegedly pulled over Cindy Hahn moments later on an alleged seat belt violation and arrested Hahn as her children watched.


The one sure thing about cell phone technology is that authority figures will not be able to slip easily from the law. A 40-year-old mother is suing the city of Carlsbad, California after being physically assaulted by police officers in July of 2013. It was all ... continue reading

Cargo ship missing after sailing into Hurricane Joaquin Watch

Image of Katie and Keith Griffin (Facebook).


El Faro, a cargo ship, was caught in Hurricane Joaquin, leaving several American crew members missing. Worried friends and family of the missing staff members continue to hope for survivors. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The US Coast Guard announced that they ... continue reading

Oregon shooting hero still in recovery: Donations for his medical expenses surpass $700,000 Watch

Image of Chris Mintz.


Chris Mintz left a happy birthday message for his nonverbal autistic son on Thursday before going to his classes at the Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. Later, he reportedly set off fire alarms as a gunman opened fire. Mintz charged the shooter, was ... continue reading

Two farmers in Michigan unearth woolly mammoth remains Watch

Image of Because of the tight harvest schedule, the farmers gave researchers a single day to unearth the find. Excavators worked intently last week until sundown.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Two farmers in Michigan made a momentous find while they dug a drainage ditch. The remains of a woolly mammoth, enormous tusks intact, was unearthed. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - James Bristle of Lima Township was digging in a soybean field early last week ... continue reading

President Obama shares how Pope Francis's visit to the U.S. makes him want to be better Watch

Image of President Obama with Pope Francis during the pontiffs visit to the U.S.


It has been a week since Pope Francis' historical visit to the U.S. However, his presence and inspiration continues to linger as President Obama revealed he wants to become better after his meeting with the Pope. WASHINGTON D.C. (Catholic Online) - The pope is back in ... continue reading

All U.S. News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Joel 1:13-15; 2:1-2
13 Priests, put on sackcloth and lament! You ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 9:2-3, 6, 16, 8-9
6 the enemy is wiped out -- mere ruins for ever -- ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 11:15-26
15 But some of them said, 'It is through Beelzebul, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 9th, 2015 Image

Sts. Denis, Rusticus, and Eleutherius
October 9: The first mention we have of these three martyrs who died around ... Read More