By Lou Baldwin
Special to The CS&T

The Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul will present its 2011 Keys and Sword Award to Dr. Rosalie M. Mirenda, president of Neumann University and Robert Sims, chairman of Sims Financial, Wayne.

The award ceremony will be held Sunday, June 26 at an 11 a.m. Mass at the Cathedral with a reception and luncheon to follow at the Union League of Philadelphia on South Broad Street. Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia Daniel E. Thomas will be the principal celebrant at the Mass.

“Dr. Mirenda is a leading president of a university and strong in the Catholic faith,” said Msgr. Arthur Rodgers, rector of the Cathedral. “Bob Sims is a man ready to serve the Archdiocese in so many ways.” {{more}}

Mirenda has been president of Neumann University since 1996 and during her tenure enrollment has climbed from 900 to more than 3,000. The campus has been expanded and residence halls have been added to what was formerly a commuter college. In 2009, the university opened the Mirenda Center for Sport Spirituality and Character Development named for Mirenda and her husband, Tony.

Robert Sims, in addition to his busy financial career and service on various archdiocesan committees, is a lector at St. Katherine of Siena Parish in Wayne, a 50-year member of the Men of Malvern Laymen’s Retreat League, a member of Legatus and the Catholic Leadership Institute. He is also a Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre and a Knight of St. Gregory.

The Keys and Sword Award, now in its fourth year of presentation, takes its name from the symbols of the two patron saints of the Cathedral. The keys represent the Keys to the Kingdom given to St. Peter by Jesus, and the sword represents the means of St. Paul’s martyrdom.

“The award is presented in recognition of extraordinary and selfless dedication to service to other inspaniduals as well as the community at large,” Msgr. Rodgers said. “It acknowledges those whose actions reflect the Gospel values of faith, valor, selfless service, personal sacrifice and respect.”