Sister Patricia Burkard was one of 13 distinguished leaders in the Diocese of Syracuse, N.Y. who received papal honors from Pope Benedict XVI on Feb. 3. The honors were bestowed on the Holy Father’s behalf by Bishop Robert Cunningham during a vespers service at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse. The presentation honored individuals from various regions and ministries of the diocese.

Sister Patricia recently completed her term as general minister of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities. Under her leadership, four communities of Franciscan sisters merged to form one community. She had previously served as major superior of the Third Order Franciscan Sisters of Williamsville.

Bishop Cunningham said that the ceremony that day created “a chain of loving devotion that binds the priest, religious and laity of our diocese to the Holy Father.”

Photo: Charles Wainwright, The Catholic Sun photographer