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Sunday, September 19, 2021 - Vice President of Mission Mark Dickson recognized by Pope

For 18 years, Mark Dickson, vice president of mission for Roper St. Francis Healthcare, has forged relationships with area churches, worked to keep teammates engaged and strengthened the healthcare system’s culture of spirituality.

Dickson’s reputation of patient advocacy and community service is appreciated throughout the Lowcountry.

It’s appreciated by the Vatican as well.

On Sunday, Dickson was given the Benemerenti Medal, awarded by the Pope to members of the clergy and laity for service to the Catholic Church. Originally established as an award for soldiers in the Papal Army, the Benemerenti Medal is now a highly regarded civil decoration.

Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone commended Dickson during a ceremony on Sunday at St. John the Baptist Cathedral on Broad Street for his years of visiting the sick, providing pastoral education and continuing the Catholic ministry.

“Mark has gained the knowledge and the ways of the ministry as a lay person, working in the church and with Catholic health care today,” the bishop said.

Ever humble, Dickson referred to the award as recognition from Pope Francis himself for the extraordinary role the entire healthcare system carries out in our community.

The current version of the Benemerenti medal was designed by Pope Paul VI. The medal is a gold Greek Cross depicting Christ with his hand raised in blessing. On the left arm of the cross is the tiara and crossed keys symbol of the papacy. On the right arm is the coat of arms of the current Pope. The medal is suspended from a yellow and white ribbon, the colors of the Papacy.

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