ROLE OF LAW AWARD
Rita F. Joyce
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 direct the Board of Governors to select a person who
demonstrates in his or her life and legal practice the following
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 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
This year’s recipient of the Role of Law Award was ordained
a priest in 1977.
Our honoree has generously served the Canon Law Society of
America in many capacities. He was born in Buffalo, New York and had his final
profession on August 15, 1976.
He holds a JCL from The Catholic University of America, a
JCD/Ph.D from St. Paul University and the University of Ottawa—so both schools
can claim him. He has been a member of the CLSA since 1982. This year’s awardee
has been the Promoter of Justice and the chair of a commission for the canonization
for two individuals. He served diligently as a consultor, and before that as a
member of the Clergy Committee. He is a prolific writer and editor, a frequent
presenter, an author of at least seven advisory opinions, editor for CLSA Advisory Opinions 1984-1993 and
various other publications, as well as five books in the canonical field. He is
currently an associate pastor. In his religious community he served as the
Associate Director of the Ecumenical Institute and as Postulant and Novitiate
Formation Director. He has taught on the faculty of Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary
in Emmitsburg, Maryland, as well as on the faculty of St. Paul University as
Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Canon Law. He has served as the Chair of
our Convention Planning Committee that has brought you such fine programs for
the past several years. He served as the Executive Coordinator of our Society
for seven years. He is the editor of Canon
Law Digest Volumes 13 and 14, and he is a professed member of the Atonement
Tonight we honor a friend, a colleague, an educator, a
parish priest, a past executive coordinator, and a fellow canonist. He is truly
a Renaissance man of the Church. It my privilege to present the 2012 Role of
Law Award, on behalf of the Canon Law Society of America and the Board of
Governors, to Reverend Patrick J. Cogan, SA.