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UD auditor receives medal from pope

Vincent DiLeonardo
4:01 p.m., Jan. 6, 2006--Vincent DiLeonardo, a UD internal auditor, was one of 11 persons presented with the Benemerenti Medal from Pope Benedict XVI by Bishop Michael A. Saltarelli, Nov. 27, at a ceremony at the Church of the Holy Child in Wilmington. The medal is awarded for exceptional accomplishment and service to the church.

“It was an overwhelming but humbling experience. There are many others worthy of the award, and I felt very honored to receive the medal,” DiLeonardo said.

The Benemerenti Medal, meaning “good merit” medal, was created in 1791 by Pope Pius VI and depicts Christ on a gold Greek cross.

The ceremony had other UD connections. Father Michael F. Szupper, pastor of St. Thomas More Oratory, serving UD students, faculty and staff, was named a monsignor, and UD President David P. Roselle was present for the ceremony, DiLeonardo said.

DiLeonardo is a Eucharistic minister of St. Mary of the Assumption in Hockessin. In 1980, he joined the Knights of Columbus, an international, Catholic, family-oriented fraternal organization, where he held several offices, leading to becoming the state deputy of Delaware from 1994-95. In 1996, DiLeonardo was the first Delawarean elected to the Knights of Columbus international board of directors, where he served three terms, retiring last August.

In 1998, DiLeonardo, his wife and daughter joined 25 members of the international board of the Knights of Columbus and their families for a pilgrimage to the Vatican, where they were granted a private audience with Pope John Paul II. It was, DiLeonardo said, an “overwhelming and inspiring experience” he will never forget.

Since 1999, DiLeonardo has led the Delaware campaign to support the cause of sainthood for Father Michael J. McGivney, who founded the Knights of Columbus in 1882 in New Haven, Conn.

Article by Sue Moncure
Photo by Kathy F. Atkinson

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