It isn't every day someone receives a papal honor, which is why the Communications staff here at the USCCB was thrilled to learn that Mar Munoz-Visoso, assistant director of media relations, was recently awarded the Benemerenti Medal by Pope Benedict XVI.
This recognition, which comes directly from the Holy See, is one of the highest honors the pope can bestow on an individual. It's given in gratitude for sustained and exemplary service to the Catholic faith.
In the case of Mar (pictured above with Archbishop Charles Chaput, OFM Cap., of Denver and USCCB secretary of communications, Helen Osman), the service was rooted in her time working for the Archdiocese of Denver. Mar, who worked in Hispanic ministry, was responsible for founding the archdiocese's Spanish newspaper, El Pueblo Catolico, and the Centro San Juan Diego. For this and the rest of her ministry to the Hispanic community in Denver, Archbishop Chaput conferred this papal honor on Mar. At the USCCB, Mar's serves as a gatekeeper between the bishops and the media, specializing in divine worship, migration, cultural diversity and other areas. She also writes a column, Entre Amigos, on Latino affairs in the Church.
The Benemerenti Medal was created by Pope Gregory XVI in 1832.