This is what you get for spending a lot of time around Saints

New Orleans Saints Owner Tom Benson and his wife, Gayle Benson have received from Pope Benedict XVI the highest papal award granted to a layperson.

Details, from the New Orleans Clarion Herald:

This special papal recognition was granted by the pope at the request of Oblate Bishop Michael Pfeifer, O.M.I., of the Diocese of San Angelo, Texas, who points out that he recommended the Bensons for this highest award for their long, constant and most outstanding generosity and service to the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, especially in the San Antonio area for almost 50 years, and the wider church.

The special papal recognition that will be bestowed upon the Bensons is the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice award – for outstanding service to the Church and the Pontiff (Pope).

Bishop Pfeifer points out that this award is unique and given to very few people, and that the Bensons truly deserve this special recognition for their constant and generous long service of promoting the mission, the ministries of the Oblates, and helping many individual Oblates for five decades.

“Tom and Gayle are longtime friends and benefactors of the Oblates who bring out the best in us,” stated Bishop Pfeifer. “They are true friends who not only make many of our good works possible, but they help make us be our best: courageous and daring, generous and forgiving, determined and faithful – good Oblate missionaries. I find this true of them on a personal level and a corporate level. Their friendship has been life-giving personally to countless Oblates.” The Bensons have been the most generous givers to the building project an Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio which provides theological preparation for many seminarians and future lay leaders.”

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  1. Meanwhile, Obama Decides to Require Religious Institutions to Cover Free Contraception

    This via the far-left Democrat site ThinkProgress

    ” Today, in a huge victory for women’s health, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that most employers will be required to cover contraception in their health plans, along with other preventive services, with no cost-sharing such as co-pays or deductibles. This means that after years of trying to get birth control covered to the same extent that health plans cover Viagra, our country will finally have nearly universal coverage of contraception.

    Opponents of contraception had lobbied hard for a broad exemption that would have allowed any religiously-affiliated employer to opt out of providing such coverage. Fortunately, the Obama administration rejected that push and decided to maintain the narrow religious exemption that it initially proposed. Only houses of worship and other religious nonprofits that primarily employ and serve people of the same faith will be exempt. Religiously-affiliated employers who do not qualify for the exemption and are not currently offering contraceptive coverage may apply for transitional relief for a one-year period to give them time to determine how to comply with the rule.”

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