Fifty-five years ago the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Papal Award was obtained by Francis Cardinal Spellman for Mother Angeline
Just as the Second Vatican Council began its great work of rejuvenating the Church, Pope John XXlll honored Mother Angeline with the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice medal (For Church and Pope), bringing worldwide recognition to Mother’s work with the elderly as an example of the innovative care and service the Church needs to provide to its flock.
Seventeen years later Mother was again recognized by a Pope. This time it was Pope Paul Vl who granted her the Benemerenti medal (To a well-deserving person) to honor a life time of service to the elderly and to the Church. This award came just before the 50th anniversary of the Congregation, and it is the same year that Mother stepped away from the day to day management of the Congregation.
These experiences drew the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm closer to each of these Pontiffs because they reached across the globe to single out the Congregation with these gracious papal honors. The Sisters returned to them their gratitude, loyalty and prayers.
For Venerable Mary Angeline Teresa, being recognized by the Holy Father was an honor she treasured. Fifty-five years later, we are sure that she is smiling on her daughters as we honor the wishes of our present Holy Father, Pope Francis, by participating in the Holy Year of Mercy. Having so many people pass through the holy Doors at our Motherhouse has been an honor and a privilege.