John O’Connor presented Francis Medals to Robert Hazlett and Martha O’Reilly Keener at St. Bonaventure Church in Paterson, N.J., on May 21.
Robert Hazlett was presented the medal for sharing his professional experience with the HNP sexual misconduct compliance board during the past four years. He has been willing to travel, host board meetings, lead working groups and guide the board’s thinking and knowledge in a truly caring and respectful manner. His contributions have been invaluable, especially considering the sensitivity and importance of this work in the contemporary life of the American Church.
Martha Keener was also awarded the medal for her work on the HNP sexual misconduct compliance board. She was the first lay chairperson of the board, and provided invaluable service in that capacity. She was a firm – but always gentle and respectful – leader. On top of her task at all times, she was able to elicit in-depth conversation, as well as effectively bring them to an appropriate close. Her personal level of professionalism pervaded the meetings of the board and its interactions. She was a collaborative and “from within” leader, seeking advice at every step. She always saw her membership on the board as her lay ministry within the Church. Having come to know – and love – the friars in Hartford, she said it was her honor to assist the Province that supplied these good ministers to the Church of Hartford.