Sister Teresa-Joseph Pegus
Sister Teresa-Joseph Pegus, O.Carm., of the Corpus Christi Carmelites has been awared the highest honour the Pope can bestow to lay people.
Sister Teresa-Joseph has been presented with the Holy Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice ("For the Church and the Pope"), in recognition of her service of God's Kingdom, especially in ministering to young people. The Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Cross is a rarely-bestowed recognition of distinguished service to the Church.
In 2008 sister was presented with the MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of her contribution to Church and Society.
Sister Teresa-Joseph's nomination for the award was organised by friends and former colleagues at YOI Glen Parva, a prison for young offenders near Leicester where sister Joseph was in ministry for many years. Her colleagues felt that, whilst her work had been recognised officially by the State there had been no similar recognition by the church community. They decided to bring her to the attention of the church authorities in Rome who then made this rare award.
Sister Teresa-Joseph is a member of the Corpus Christi Carmelite community in Leicester.
As Sister is currently in hospital the award was conferred on her there on behalf of the Holy See by her parish priest on 25 October. It is hoped that a proper ceremony involving the Bishop can take place when she is well enough.
The Corpus Christi Carmelites were established in Leicester in 1908 where they still have a convent, as well as in Birmingham and York. The Congregation was affiliated to the Carmelite Order in 1927, and in Britain works closely with friars and Lay Carmelites.
Teresa-Joseph's sisters in Carmel are delighted that her contribution to the Church has been recognised, and ask well-wishers to keep her in their prayers.