Archbishop Nelson J. Perez received the American Catholic Historical Society’s (ACHS) 2021 Barry Award Friday evening, Dec. 3 at the Union League of Philadelphia. In a post on his Facebook page, the archbishop said he was “honored and humbled” to receive the annual award and to “celebrate all the good work the society, its members and benefactors have done” since the founding of the ACHS in 1884 “to preserve the historical significance and countless contributions of the Church to society, throughout the Philadelphia region.” Learn more at Watch three videos of the gala event here.

John Barry (1745-1803), for whom the award is named, was an Irish immigrant of humble birth and Philadelphia’s most distinguished Catholic participant in the American Revolution. Commissioned a captain in the fledgling Continental Navy, he led several successful battles against British warships, was wounded but never lost a battle and lived to receive from President George Washington in 1794 the first commission as commodore in the new United States Navy. He is buried in the churchyard of Old St. Mary Church, located just across the street from the historic building occupied by the ACHS on Fourth Street in Old City. (Photos by Sarah Webb)