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2012 Role of Law Citation
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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 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 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.

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 Friars.

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.

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