Dolores R. Leckey will accept the St. Elizabeth Seton Medal on Wednesday, Oct. 17, at the Mater Dei Chapel at the College of Mount Saint Joseph at 12 p.m.
The award is named in honor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, founder of the Sisters of Charity, which is the religious congregation that established the College of Mount St. Joseph in 1920 and continues to sponsor it to this day. In 1966 the College established the Seton Medal in honor of the Mount’s 75th anniversary to recognize distinguished women in theology.
According to the College’s website, in order to be selected for this prestigious award a theologian must make contributions to fields such as scriptures, systematics, spirituality, ministry and historical theology. She also must hold a doctorate in a related field and must be distinguished by a career in higher education for excellence in teaching and/or making a major contribution to scholarship within the field.
“Thanks to her contributions to the field of ministry, lay men and women have embraced professional leadership positions in Catholic dioceses and parishes in all facets of ministry, including religious education, youth ministry, social justice, bereavement, chaplaincy, liturgy and pastoral care,” said John Trokan, Chairperson of Religious and Pastoral Studies Department at the College. “She has been a voice of empowerment of the Christian call to baptism as the shared call to minister to the good news of the gospel.”
Leckey started off her career as a producer for WNVT, Channel 53, in Northern Virginia, and as a faculty member of the DeSales School of Theology. She then worked for 20 years with The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) as the Executive Director of the Secretariat for Family, Laity, Women and Youth. Currently she is a Senior Research Fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center. Leckey has been an official advisor to the American Catholic bishops at two Roman synods.
According to Leckey’s homepage, she has been awarded 12 honorary doctorates, three of them the doctor of divinity. In November 1997 Bishop Anthony Pilla, then president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, awarded the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice medal to her. St. John’s University in NYC presented her with the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Medal in Jan. 2000. She has held many different positions and also has been presented with many other prestigious awards. She lectures widely throughout the United States as well as in Europe and Australia.