Msgr. Ricardo Bass Awarded Role of Law
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Posted by: Katie Richards
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
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
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