On Charter Day Seton Hall University presents the Bishop Bernard J. McQuaid Medal for Distinguished Service. This year, the medal was bestowed upon Reverend Paul A. Holmes, S.T.D., Distinguished University Professor of Servant Leadership and Kathleen Matta, Senior Associate Athletics Director for Recreational Services.
Named for the first president of Seton Hall, who throughout his life was dedicated to Catholic education, the medal is awarded to long-time employees for outstanding service and commitment to the University's mission. The medal is awarded by nomination of the University President and expresses the University's grateful appreciation and high regard for members of the Seton Hall community who have served beyond measure with selfless dedication and high distinction.
The medal is in the shape of a shield, forged in bronze with a gold finish. The recipient's name, along with the date of award and the name of the school or office they serve, are inscribed in cursive script on the reverse side. The front features a shamrock, which signifies Bishop McQuaid's Irish ancestry and the Holy Trinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit on the triangular tip connecting the medal to the ribbon. The legend "Bishop McQuaid Distinguished Service Medal" adorns the outside border of the medal.
The inside features the Cross of Saint Andrew, Patron Saint of Scotland and the Diocese of Rochester in Great Britain, which Bishop McQuaid adopted as part of on his own coat of arms when he became leader of the Diocese of Rochester, New York from 1868 to 1909. Within the center is the Seton Hall University crest, featuring the school motto Hazard Zet Forward, that translates "In Spite of the Hazards, Go Forward," in Old English. James Roosevelt Bayley, the first Bishop of Newark who named Seton Hall after his aunt, Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first American-born saint, adopted the motto.
Bishop Bernard J. McQuaid Medal for Distinguished Service, 2019
Reverend Paul A. Holmes, S.T.D. Distinguished University Professor of Servant Leadership
Ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Newark in 1981, Father Paul Holmes is Distinguished University Professor of Servant Leadership at Seton Hall University. A native of New Jersey, he graduated Seton Hall with a B.A. in Sociology and, in five years of study at the North American College in Rome, Father Holmes earned an S.T.D. magna cum laude from the Gregorian University and an S.T.L. summa cum laude in moral theology from the Lateran University’s Academia Alfonsiana.
While ministering at Newark's cathedral parish, he received an S.T.M. at Yale University. He also earned a doctorate magna cum laude from Rome's University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum.
In 1992, Father Holmes helped inaugurate Clergy Consultation & Treatment Service, an interdisciplinary outpatient treatment program for priests at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Harrison, New York, and recently returned (2010–2015) to serve once again as the program’s Spiritual Director.
Father Holmes was invited to be the first Carl J. Peter Chair of Preaching at the North American College in Rome (1999–2000). Returning to Seton Hall, he was named Associate Provost for Academic Administration, continuing to teach courses in moral and sacramental theology. As the University's first Vice President for Mission and Ministry, he led the efforts to obtain a $2 million award from Lilly Endowment, establishing the Center for Vocation and Servant Leadership. He then served as Vice President and Interim Dean of Seton Hall's School of Diplomacy and International Relations and, later, as the University's Executive Vice President.
Teaching in the Department of Religion, Father Holmes has published articles in numerous journals and was invited to create This Sunday's Scripture, the first homily service of Twenty–Third Publications. He has also offered a number of "authentic preaching" practicums to priests, deacons and seminarians from around the English–speaking world. In collaboration with the National Leadership Roundtable, he developed the Toolbox for Pastoral Management, teaching pastors the administrative skills needed to lead a vibrant Catholic parish in the 21st century. He also edited the award–winning two–volume A Pastor's Toolbox: Management Skills for Parish Leadership (2014 and 2017) from Liturgical Press.
Kathleen Matta, M.P.A. Senior Associate Athletics Director for Recreational Services
Kathy Matta, a veteran member of the Seton Hall athletics staff, currently serves as the Senior Associate Athletics Director for Recreational Services after receiving a promotion in September 2018. She previously was Associate Athletics Director for Recreational Services from 2004-18. Matta began as a student worker, then graduate assistant in the department before earning the title of Assistant Athletics Director for Recreational Services in 1990. In her current role, she oversees all of Seton Hall's recreation programs, including intramurals, the university's six club sports and instructional programming.
A 1987 Seton Hall graduate with a B.S. in Finance, Matta was a three-year member of the Pirates fencing team. In 1989, she completed her Master of Public Administration at Seton Hall. Matta has two daughters, Shea and Madeline (currently a Seton Hall sophomore).