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Current Society News: Meetings/Conventions

Msgr. Ricardo Bass Awarded Role of Law

Thursday, October 14, 2010  
Posted by: Katie Richards
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Last night during the Convention Banquet, Fr. Lawrence Jurcak awarded Msgr. Ricardo Bass, a priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit, the prestigious Role of Law Award. Fr. Jurcak highlighted Msgr. Bass' active involvement in the Society, including his term as President in 1993 and membership on several committees (currently, Msgr. Bass is the Chair of the Committee on Clergy).

Click here to view Msgr. Bass' Acceptance Address

Role of Law Introduction by Fr. Lawrence Jurcak, President

Each year the Canon Law Society of America presents its distinguished Role of Law Award to an individual considered to be outstanding in the field of canonical science. The By-Laws of the Society directs the Board of Governors to select a person who demonstrates in his or her life and legal practice the following characteristics:

Embodiment of pastoral attitude, commitment to research and study, participation in the development of law, response to needs or practical assistance, facilitation of dialogue and the interchange of ideas within the Society and with other groups.

These qualifications are merely a concise re-statement of the constitutionally-expressed purposes of the Society.

The person to whom this award is given is viewed by us as one who embodies all that we, as members of the Society hold dear, as one to whom we can look for guidance and inspiration. Such an official statement alone is, perhaps the greatest honor that can be bestowed on anyone – to be selected by one’s friends and peers as outstanding among them.

The 2010 honoree is a priest who was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1947. He was educated in the public school system of Detroit, and having completed his years of priestly formation, was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit in 1974. Active in his archdiocese, he has served many capacities: as associate pastor and pastor in various parishes in the archdiocese. He has taught in local colleges and seminaries, held various offices in the archdiocesan tribunal, and assisted as called upon be it for the cause of the canonization of Father Solanus Casey, OFM, Cap., moderator for various archdiocesan organizations and causes, including dealing with cases of clergy sexual misconduct.

In addition to involvement with his archdiocese, this year’s recipient of the Role of Law Award has been an active member and representative of our Society for almost thirty years. He served as a member of the Task Force on Due Process in 1985, Consultor in 1988-1990, Vice-President in 1992-1993., and President in 1993-1994. He has been a presenter at conventions and contributed generously to the ongoing formation of canonist in various aspects of the law – most recently as Chair of our Regional Workshops in Penal Cases. Accessible is a word used by many canonists to describe this year recipient – a shepherd and a mentor for younger canonists.

This year’s recipient of the Role of Law Award is well know to all as a committed churchman who serves his parish community with the heart of a shepherd, a dedicated teacher, and a person convinced of the pastoral nature of the Church’s law as it is grounded in service to the people of God. Yet he knows how to take care of himself – as his parish secretary indicated when I called to inform him of our desire to award him this honor. "If you knew our pastor, you would know that when he’s on vacation, not much interrupts his time away – so understand that he won’t be calling you until he gets back.” Yet another lesson some of need to learn, the importance of maintaining a healthy balance in life!

Tonight we honor a friend, a colleague, an educator, a pastor, and a fellow canonist. It my privilege to present the 2010 Role of Law Award, on behalf of the Canon Law Society of America and the Board of Governors, to Reverend Monsignor Ricardo E. Bass.

(l-r) Incoming President, Fr. Michael Joyce, CM, Role of Law Awardee, Msgr. Ricardo Bass, and Outgoing President, Fr. Lawrence Jurcak

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