CARA AwardeesWashington, D.C. – The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University presented two awards to noted leaders of Catholic research on Wednesday, October 20, 2010. The awards were presented to Most Reverend William B. Friend, Bishop Emeritus of Shreveport, and Sister Miriam D. Ukeritis, CSJ, Chief Executive Officer of the Southdown Institute, at CARA 's annual Mass, dinner, and awards ceremony at Georgetown University.

Bishop Friend received the Cardinal Cushing Medal for the Advancement of Church Research. The medal is named in honor of Richard Cardinal Cushing, one of the principal founders of CARA, and is awarded annually to a person or an organization that has advanced Church research through their active support of research and their understanding of its uses.

Bishop Friend was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Alexandria-Shreveport in 1979 and then Bishop of the Diocese in 1982. He became the first Bishop of Shreveport in 1986 when the diocese was created from territory carved from the Diocese of Alexandria-Shreveport. He served as Chair of CARA's Board of Directors from 1997 to 2003. In 2004, the Board unanimously conferred upon him the title of Board Member Emeritus.

A native of Miami, Bishop Friend attended Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, MD, and was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Mobile-Birmingham in 1959. After ordination, he completed studies in education and psychology at The Catholic University of America and in management at the American Management Institute in New York. During his active ministry as a priest and bishop, Bishop Friend served in many different roles in parish ministry, education, research, and administration, including Director of the Office for Educational Research at the University of Notre Dame.

A strong proponent of adult education and faith formation, Bishop Friend established the Institute of Catholic Studies, later named the Greco Institute, in 1982. The Institute provides college-level courses in theology, Scripture, liturgy, morality, and spirituality to men and women in the Diocese of Shreveport, which has no Catholic colleges or universities. Bishop Friend is the co-author or co-editor of three books: Evangelizing the Cultures in A.D. 2000 (1990), The Culture of Bible Belt Catholics (1995), and Evangelization, Culture, and Catholic Identity (1996) - as well as many other works in the fields of education, management, and religion.

Previous recipients of the Cardinal Cushing Medal include Mr. Robert Lockwood, Dr. Francis J. Butler, Rev. Paul Philibert, OP, Mr. Fred Hofheinz, Rev. Msgr. Philip J. Murnion, the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism, Sr. Mary Peter Traviss, OP, Rev. Virgilio P. Elizondo, Rev. Msgr. Francis J. Maniscalco, Rev. Mario B. Vizcaíno, Sch.P., and Br. Bernard F. Stratman, SM.

Sister Miriam Ukeritis received the Rev. Louis J. Luzbetak, SVD, Award for Exemplary Church Research. The award, named for CARA's first executive director, is given annually to a researcher who has distinguished himself or herself in the conduct of Church research.Sr. Miriam

Sister Miriam leads the Southdown Institute, a residential treatment center for clergy and religious near Toronto, Canada. She previously served as the Director of Research at Southdown from 2003 to 2008 and as a consultant to the Carter Centre, an educational conference center on the grounds of the Southdown Institute, since it was founded in 2001. As Director of Research, Sister Miriam was responsible for coordinating efforts to translate the extensive clinical experience of the Southdown Institute into knowledge informing both clinical practice and Church life.

Sister Miriam has worked extensively with religious and clergy in both therapeutic and educational settings for more than three decades. Since 2000 she has also served as principal in Carondelet Consultants, a group that offers consultation services for religious communities. From 1991 to 1996, Sister Miriam served as Director of the Institute for Leadership of Religious Organizations and as Research Associate and Acting Director for the Center for Applied Social Research at DePaul University. While at DePaul, she was co-researcher for the Religious Life Futures Project, funded by the Lilly Endowment. With Fr. David Nygren, CM, Sister Miriam is perhaps best known for the FORUS (Future of Religious Orders in the United States) study that resulted from the project.

Sister Miriam is a member of the Albany Province of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and has served two terms on the Province Leadership Team. She earned a B.A. in mathematics from the College of St. Rose and an M.S. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. She was also a post-doctoral fellow in clinical psychology with the Harvard Community Health Plan and a participant in The Leadership Institute in the School of Management at Boston University.

Previous recipients of the Luzbetak Award include Dr. Ruth Narita Doyle, Rev. John A. Coleman, SJ, Rev. Raymond H. Potvin, Sr. Marie Augusta Neal, SNDdeN, Dr. Dean R. Hoge, Dr. Ruth A. Wallace, Sr. Katarina Schuth, OSF, the Glenmary Research Center, Dr. James D. Davidson, Dr. Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo, and Dr. William V. D'Antonio.

"We are delighted to honor Bishop William Friend and Sister Miriam Ukeritis at CARA's annual celebration of Church research this year. Both of them have helped to increase the Church's self-understanding and have advanced Catholic scholarly research. By means of these awards we not only recognize their achievements but we also thank them for their many years of service to the Church," said Father Stephen Fichter, interim executive director at CARA.

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