Father Jan Michael Joncas, artist-in-residence and fellow of St. Thomas’ Center for Catholic Studies, was honored with a Touchstone award by the National Federations of Priests’ Councils. Joncas received the award April 29 at the NFPC’s annual convocation in Atlanta, where he also was a plenary speaker.

The award is presented annually to a Catholic priest “whose service in the Gospel of Jesus Christ exemplifies the purposes and goals of the Federation.” In announcing the award, the NFPC, which represents 26,000 priests nationwide, praised Joncas for enhancing the ministry of others through his leadership and supporting the life and ministry of priests in his words and deeds, adding, “thus he is, as it were, a touchstone for genuine, quality priesthood.”

On winning the award, Joncas said, “I was both deeply humbled and encouraged by receiving the Touchstone Award from the NFPC: humbled because the list of previous recipients (Rev. Msgr. George Higgins, Rev. Virgil P. Elizondo, Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, Rev. Msgr. Phil Murnion, Rev. J. Cletus Kiley, Rev. Msgr. Stephen J. Rossetti, Rev. Donald Senior, CP, and Rev. John R. Gilbert from our own archdiocese to name just a few) reads like a roll call of my ‘hero priests,’ and I would in no way place myself in their ranks; encouraged because a national body of my fellow priests has recognized my work in liturgy and music as helpful to our common ministry. To say that I don’t think I deserve such recognition is an understatement.  To commit my scholarly and pastoral work anew in and for the ministry of priests is the least I can do to respond to such an award.”