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May 8, 2008


The Office for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is pleased to announce that Sister Josephine Kase, IHM, Assistant Director for the Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs Office, was the recipient of the James Fitzgerald Award, the highest ecumenical recognition in the United States. The award was presented to Sister Josephine at the Catholic Association of Diocesan Ecumenical and Interreligious Officers (CADEIO) annual meeting in April.

Sister Josephine said of receiving the award, "I am grateful for this award as it is a tribute to the commitment of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to the work of ecumenism. It also acknowledges the importance of working for Christian unity and fostering interreligious harmony on the diocesan level." Sister Josephine has worked 22 years at the diocesan and national level as a passionate voice for ecumenism. Ecumenical refers to inter-Christian relations, efforts to bring about unity among the various Christian traditions (Orthodox, Episcopal, Lutheran, etc.) Interreligious refers to relations with the other world religions: Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc.

Father Gregory J. Fairbanks, Director of the Office for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, said of Sister Josephine's honor, "I congratulate Sister Josephine on this recognition of the years of dedicated service for unity, both in the Archdiocese and on the national level. Her faithful service has been a great blessing for the Archdiocese as it seeks better relations with people of varied faith traditions." Last year's award winner was Cardinal William Keeler, retired Archbishop of the Diocese of Baltimore.

Since 1981 the Catholic Association of Diocesan Ecumenical Officers and the Bishops' Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs have cosponsored training and professional development institutes for ecumenical and interreligious officers and others serving the Catholic community in this increasingly important area of concern - diocesan commission members, diocesan education personnel, members of religious communities that have ecumenical/interreligiuos apostolates, and seminarians. For more information about CADEIO please visit

Meredith Wilson
Communications Specialist

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