Plans are underway to revive the Keys and Sword Annual Event in conjunction with the observance of the Parish Feast, the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul on June 29th. The Parish Pastoral Council is exploring ways for this celebration to assist our Parish financially and also involve the participation of the whole Archdiocese as an additional way to support the Mother Church. As plans develop for the 2017 observance they will be announced on this website and in the Parish Bulletin.
For several years in the past, the Cathedral Parish acknowledged a member of our religious or civic community with the Keys and Sword Award, named after the symbols of Saints Peter and Paul, which recognizes extraordinary commitment and selfless dedication in service to others. It acknowledges one whose actions reflect the Gospel values of faith, valor, selfless service, personal sacrifice and respect. The Award was designed by Robert F. McGovern. Honorees are nominated and selected by a process of consultation involving the parish priests, parishioners and members of the Archdiocesan community.
The Keys and Sword Award was first presented in 2008 to the Cathedral’s longest-tenured rector, Monsignor James J. Howard. In 2009, the Cathedral recognized Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. In 2010, in recognition of the universal observance of the Year of the Priest, the Award was presented to the Priests of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Cardinal Justin Rigali,then Archbishop of Philadelphia, accepted the award on behalf of the Priests. 2011 marked the first time there were dual recipients of the Award, Dr. Rosalie Mirenda, President of Neumann University, and Mr. Robert Sims, dedicated leader within the Archdiocese for many years.
The 2012 recipients were the Missionaries of Charity, a religious congregation founded by Mother Teresa of Calcutta in 1950. The Missionaries of Charity have been active in the Philadelphia Archdiocese for many years with homes in Chester and Norristown. Mother Teresa will be canonized a saint this September 2016 in Rome.
View videos of the Award’s previous recipients: