Bishop Crosby Distinguished Service Award

An Evening of Honour: Bishop Douglas Crosby Recognized for Distinguished Service to Catholic Education
Posted on 12/08/2023
An Evening of Honour: Bishop Douglas Crosby Recognized for Distinguished Service to Catholic Education

On the evening of Tuesday, November 28th, 2023, guests embraced the warmth of the Cathedral Basilica of Christ the King, seeking shelter from the winter chill. The Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board Student Council Presidents and Student Trustees, present to honor the occasion, warmly greeted attendees.

Inside the church, guests settled into their seats, eager to acknowledge and honour the Most Reverend Douglas Crosby, OMI, Bishop of Hamilton. His profound contributions to Catholic education have left an indelible mark.

The annual awards program, established in 1989, recognizes commitment to excellence in Catholic education, exemplary service, and the fostering of faith among faculty, students, and parents. Over the past three decades, HWCDSB has honoured 104 individuals and 26 institutions and groups, contributing in extraordinary ways to the promotion and development of Catholic education.

In early September, the Board of Trustees announced Bishop Crosby as the recipient of the 2023 Award for Distinguished Service to Catholic Education.

The ceremony commenced with warm greetings and the Celebration of the Eucharist. The atmosphere exuded reverence and gratitude as the congregation offered prayers and hymns in celebration of Bishop Crosby.

Father Wynen, a concelebrant alongside Bishop Crosby, shared, "Tonight, we have the privilege of praying with our Bishop as he is honoured by the Catholic School Board for his commitment to Catholic education in our community."

In his homily, Father Wynen underscored the deep significance of Catholic education. "Our Catholic schools today are great classrooms for learning the lessons of this love," he remarked. This followed his reflection on the blessing of Catholic education rooted in the evening’s Gospel, where Jesus calls his disciples to love one another.

Following the celebration, the Presentation Ceremony began. Patrick Daly, Chairperson of the Board, chronicled Bishop Crosby's remarkable journey from humble beginnings in Marathon, Ontario, to his ordination as a priest in 1975. The narrative wove through decades of dedicated service, culminating in his appointment as the Ninth Bishop of the Diocese of Hamilton in 2010.

Daly's presentation described Bishop Crosby's multifaceted contributions to Catholic education. "At all times, and in all areas of his vocation, as the shepherd of the Diocese of Hamilton, Bishop Crosby has encouraged, supported, and strived to unite."

Daly continued, "In a particular way this evening, we give thanks to God and recognize Bishop Crosby for his extraordinary contribution to publicly funded Catholic education."

Daly described Bishop Crosby’s significant impact on publicly funded Catholic education, saying, "In particular, his attendance and participation in school graduations, new school blessings, school anniversaries, Catholic Education Week, and the Annual Walk with Christ Pilgrimage, has enriched these events."

Underlining the invaluable support provided by Bishop Crosby, Daly expressed, “His support in so many ways has been of invaluable assistance to our school communities. Most especially, his tremendous Christian witness, goodness, and gift of self has served to inspire all associated with our Catholic school system.”

Following the recognition of this year's recipient, Bishop Crosby stepped forward to receive the award. "In serving the Church and our students, I have found fulfillment beyond measure,” he began.
Bishop Crosby spoke of the transformative power of education rooted in faith, the responsibility of shaping young minds, and the enduring influence of Catholic teachings. He shared anecdotes from his own journey, emphasizing the importance of community, collaboration, and unwavering faith in the face of challenges.

Acknowledging the collective commitment to Catholic education, Bishop Crosby shared, "I'm very aware that my contribution pales in comparison to the service all of you have given by the gift of your own lives today in your own remarkable life, dedicated to Catholic education, here in Hamilton, Ontario, and across Canada."

As he concluded his speech, Bishop Crosby looked out at the sea of faces before him. "This award is not just mine; it belongs to the entire community that has shaped me and supported me throughout my journey," he declared. The standing ovation that followed underscored the truth of his words – a recognition that the impact of one individual extends far beyond personal achievements.

Bishop Crosby and Chair Pat Daly

Bishop Crosby Bishops and Chairperson Daly