Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, an aide of the Vatican State Secretariat, conferred the honors at a ceremony Thursday at the Church of Our Savior in Manhattan.
Those invested in the Order of St. Gregory the Great were Dr. Jude T. Barbera, Shim Wai Lew, Berta McCann and Sho Okagawa, all of New York; Amelia Massimi, Claire Mulholland and Francesco Totino, all of New Jersey; Daniel Meehan of Wisconsin; and Drs. Alfonso Andria, Ugo Carpinelli and Augusto Strianese, all of Italy.
Five of the honorees were promoted in the order: Florence D´Urso, Martin J. Moran, Mary Therese Moran and E. Lisk Wyckoff, all of New York; and Mrs. Frederick Massimi of New Jersey.
The papal honor was instituted by Pope Gregory XVI in 1831 after his predecessor, Pope St. Gregory the Great, and is most frequently bestowed as a mark of favor of the Holy See upon people who diligently serve the Church at the local level.