CANON LAW SOCIETY OF AMERICA
2015 Role of Law Citation
Rev. Msgr. Michael A. Souckar
Since 1973, it has been the practice of the Canon Law Society of America to confer its highest honor on someone who has contributed in a particularly positive manner to the high ideals of this scholarly society, at service to the Church's mission to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to exercise justice in accord with the truth and tempered by mercy.
As the Universal Church observes the Year of Consecrated Life, this year's Role of Law recipient has given faithful witness to the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience for 49 years.
Our honoree, a native of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, was taught by religious Sisters in secondary school and later entered religious life with the same community. Her vocation has led her to roles of service in the Church that she never could have anticipated, even after earning both the licentiate and doctorate in canon law at The Catholic University of America. Going beyond the usual works undertaken by women religious, our honoree was repeatedly called upon to serve the Church in ever more challenging and significant roles. Becoming the first woman religious to have to this or that job became so common that it was, I dare say, no longer exceptional. Her talents, skills, knowledge and dedication to the mission of the Church were her credentials. And that was enough.
As a teacher, our honoree has been a professor of canon law at CUA (where she taught religious law to my JCL class, the class of 1994). We were only one small group of many whom she has taught, whether in the classroom, at convention seminars for the CLSA or other Societies -canonical and non-canonical - in published scholarly articles, or simply by a friendly word of instruction, guidance or counsel.
As an executive, our honoree has held roles of responsibility at the diocesan level, within her religious community, for groups of religious communities, and for the conference of bishops. With determination and with grace she has guided these respective authorities, even during turbulent times, to make decisions in accord with the Gospel and the law of the Church, and she has most ably assisted in the implementation of those decisions. She has been a loyal and active member of this society since 1984, and has served on several committees, the Board of Governors, has been Executive Coordinator and President.
Dear friends, during this Year of Consecrated Life, please join me in congratulating the 2015 recipient of the Role of Law Award, a Sister of Mery and a daughter of the Church, Sister Sharon Euart, RSM.