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Little Sisters of the Poor to Receive Franciscan University's Poverello Medal

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September 12, 2014 - 8:01 PDT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEDIA ADVISORY

STEUBENVILLE, OH (September 12, 2014) - The Little Sisters of the Poor will receive the Franciscan University of Steubenville Poverello Medal for their dedication to the poor and elderly, and for their courageous stand for Catholic values and religious freedom despite challenges from government authorities.

The University's highest non-academic honor, the Poverello Medal honors organizations and individuals who imitate St. Francis of Assisi, "Il Poverello," (the little poor man) by their strength of character, practical Christian charity, and love for and service to the poor.

Franciscan University President Father Sean O. Sheridan, TOR, will present the Poverello Medal to Mother Loraine Maguire, LSP, of the Baltimore Province, who will accept on behalf of the Little Sisters of the Poor. Sister Constance Veit, LSP, will give a talk on the call to serve the poor. The award ceremony will be on Friday, October 10, 2014, at 7:00 p.m. in Franciscan University's Christ the King Chapel. The public is invited to join the University community, including members of the University's Board of Trustees, for the presentation.

The Little Sisters of the Poor were founded in 1839 and have homes for the poor in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, South America, and Oceania. They are dedicated to serving the neediest elderly of every race and religion, offering them a home, care, and loving respect through the end of their earthly lives. In the United States alone, the Little Sisters operate 29 elderly-care facilities. In their Vision Statement, the Little Sisters vow to "nurture communities where each person is valued."

Their ability to do so was challenged in 2012 by the Department of Health and Human Services' mandate requiring all employer health insurance plans, including those provided by religiously affiliated non-profit entities, to cover contraceptives, sterilizations, and abortion-inducing drugs. The Little Sisters have steadfastly refused to comply with the mandate, which violates the clear moral teaching of the Catholic Church, instead holding fast to their religious convictions even in the face of fines that could amount to millions of dollars a year.

On January 24, 2014, the United States Supreme Court granted the Little Sisters and their fellow plaintiffs an injunction, temporarily shielding them from compliance with the contraceptive mandate while they prepare their case before the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.

The Poverello Medal, cast in steel to signify the ideals of Franciscan simplicity and poverty, bears on the front an image of St. Francis giving money to the poor. On the back are the words, "In recognition of great benefactions to humanity, exemplifying in our age the Christ-like spirit of charity which filled the life of St. Francis of Assisi." Past recipients include Blessed Teresa of Calcutta and the Honorable Rick and Karen Santorum.

For more information on the Poverello Award Ceremony, please contact the Franciscan University Office of Advancement at 740-283-6447.

Contact

Franciscan University of Steubenville
http://www.franciscan.edu
OH, 43952 US
Tom Sofio - Associate Director of Public Relations,

Keywords

Franciscan University, Little Sisters of the Poor, Poverello Medal, HHS Mandate

Category

Catholic Schools & Religious Education

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