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Pope Francis Confers Papal Honors on Four Laypeople

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May 8, 2017

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Pope Francis Confers Papal Honors On Four Laypeople

(MANCHESTER, NH) The Most Reverend Peter A. Libasci, Bishop of Manchester, announced today that His Holiness Pope Francis has conferred the title of Knight of Pope St. Sylvester upon Mr. Guy D. Chapdelaine and Dame of Pope St. Sylvester upon Mrs. Constance M. Chapdelaine, and conferred the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Medal upon Mr. David A. Gabert and Joseph Pepe, M.D. Bishop Libasci nominated the four for the honors late last year, in recognition of their exemplary personal character and extraordinary service to the Church and to the Diocese of Manchester.

“With profound gratitude to our Holy Father and great joy I announce the Papal Honors recently conferred by Pope Francis,” said Bishop Libasci. “I hope that Catholics and people of good will throughout New Hampshire will join me in congratulating the honorees and in thanking them for their continuing service to our Lord and His Church.”

A special ceremony for the formal conferral of the honors will be held during Vespers in the Abbey Church at Saint Anselm College on Tuesday, June 6, at 6:00 PM, with Bishop Libasci presiding. A reception will follow in Davison Hall, starting at 7:00 p.m.

Brief biographies of each recipient and information about the honors follow.

Mr. Guy David Chapdelaine was born in Manchester, New Hampshire. Mr. Chapdelaine received his A.B. Economics-Accounting from the College of the Holy Cross and earned his MBA from Dartmouth College. He was appointed by the Bishop of Manchester to serve as Finance Officer shortly after his retirement as a partner from the accounting firm of Ernst & Young in 2004. In his capacity as Finance Officer and Cabinet Secretary for Temporalities, Guy oversaw the Diocesan Finance Office, the Office of Human Resources, the Office of Risk Management and Insurance, the Office of Information Technologies, and the Office of Real Estate until his retirement in 2016. Guy is a member of the Board of Directors and of the Supervisory Committee of St. Mary’s Bank and past member and chair of the Board of Directors of Catholic Medical Center. As a man of faith and a man of exceptionally high experience, Guy embraced the ministry of good stewardship for the good of the Church and the furthering of the Church’s mission. He and his wife Coni are parishioners of Saint of Anthony of Padua Parish in Manchester, and the parents of two children, Alex Chapdelaine and Leah Beauchemin.

Mrs. Constance Marie Chapdelaine was born in Lowell, Massachusetts. She earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education with a Minor in Music from Rivier University in Nashua, New Hampshire. Mrs. Chapdelaine started her teaching career in 1973 in the Milford School District in Milford, NH as a second grade teacher. While employed by the Milford School District, she served as Chairperson of the Career Education Committee. She also taught at Kids College in Manchester, NH and in 1991, accepted a position as a second grade teacher at Saint Anthony School in Manchester where she taught until her retirement in 2015. While at Saint Anthony, she volunteered as a teacher for the Parish’s Religious Education Program, preparing students for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and first Eucharist. On two occasions, she served as interim principal at St. Anthony. As one of the most experienced teachers at St. Anthony, she served as mentor to many student teachers. She conducted many special prayer services and liturgical celebrations with the children and enriched the classroom with her love of music and theater. In addition, she served as a member of the St. Anthony of Padua Parish Pastoral Council, including a term as Chair.

Mr. David Albert Gabert was born in Manchester, New Hampshire. Mr. Gabert began working part-time for the Diocese of Manchester as a Youth Minister at Emmaus House. In July 1995, he was hired by the Diocese of Manchester and served in several capacities until 2006 when he was named the Diocese of Manchester Director of Parish and School Financial Services. While employed by the Diocese, Mr. Gabert earned his Masters of Science in Accounting from Southern New Hampshire University. Since then Mr. Gabert has overseen the financial matters of parishes and schools, while helping bookkeepers and business managers understand that their role in the Church is a form of ministry that reaches beyond the day-to-day business matters of a parish, school, or cemetery. David and his wife Susan live in Manchester with their two children, Bethany and Kathryn, and are parishioners at St. Pius X Parish in Manchester.

Joseph Pepe, M.D., was born in Boston, Massachusetts. As President and CEO of Catholic Medical Center, he is recognized as one of the top physician hospital leaders in the country. He graduated from Saint Anselm College before earning his medical degree at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. Prior to taking the helm at CMC in 2012, Dr. Pepe was the hospital’s Chief Medical Officer. He also maintained an internal medicine practice in Manchester for many years. Dr. Pepe is the founding CEO of GraniteOne Health and serves on the Boards of: Saint Anselm College, NH Hospital Association, Granite Health, NH Guild of Catholic Healthcare Professionals, St. Peter’s Home, Bedford Ambulatory Surgical Associates, LLC, the Regional Policy Board of the American Hospital Association, and the Bishop’s Charitable Assistance Fund. Devoted to his faith, Dr. Pepe has been instrumental in upholding the Catholic identity of CMC by enhancing and strengthening the role of the Director of the Office of Catholic Identity at the hospital, establishing the only pro-life Women’s Wellness and Fertility Center in New England, and ensuring that its affiliations with other hospitals preserve CMC’s Catholic identity. He and his wife Anne-Marie reside in Manchester. Their son, Joseph Jr. is a resident physician in emergency medicine.

The Pontifical Order of Pope St. Sylvester is one of five Orders of Knighthood awarded by the Pope in his dual role as Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church and Head of State of Vatican City. It is given to honor Catholic lay people who are actively involved in the life of the Church, particularly those who have demonstrated excellence in the exercise of their professional duties.

The Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice (“For Church and Pontiff”) Medal is an award conferred by the Pope for long and distinguished service to the Church. It can be bestowed to either the clergy or laity, and is the highest medal that can be awarded to lay people by the Pope.

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The Diocese of Manchester is the Roman Catholic Church in New Hampshire, serving the needs of 255,000 Catholics. For more information, please visit www.catholicnh.org/overview.