Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch will receive the eighth annual St. Edmund’s Medal of Honor for Service to the Church and Community for his civil and social contributions.
His legacy of civic duty has spanned decades, Edmund's church officials said, beginning with his role as the head of the council on aging soon after his senior year at North Quincy High School.
Koch then became the city’s parks commissioner, working for a building named after his father, Richard Koch, Sr.
Between the beautification efforts he began during his tenure as parks commissioner, and the establishment of the Quincy Arts Fest, he has had a tremendous impact on his community, church officials said.
“Mayor Koch is a very deserving recipient of the St. Edmund’s Medal of Honor,” Father Thomas F.X. Hoar, with the St. Edmund’s Church, said in a release. “One of seven children, he learned very early on from his parents the responsibility they had to people in need.”
According to Hoar, even after Koch took office as mayor in January 2009, he has continued his mission towards social and civic good.
His commitments have not distanced Koch from the church either, Hoar said. Despite his commitments, Koch remains an active member at Sacred Heart Church.
“Mayor Koch began a men’s prayer group at Sacred Heart Church that he says keeps him grounded spiritually,” Hoar said.
According to Diane Kinney, the Development Director for St. Edmund’s Retreat, the award is given to those who exhibit the values and spirit of St. Edmund, Archbishop of Canterbury.
“[The archbishop] was a person who was a deep spiritual life, and served as a role model to his contemporaries, both in service to one’s community and to the church,” she said.
Although Koch has been known in the community for establishing the annual Charity Golf Tournament, “it was more his work with serving the city of Quincy as mayor and his work as parks commissioner and starting the Quincy Art Fest,” that won him the recognition, Kinney said.
Koch will be the eighth recipient of the award, also given to Sister Georgette Lehmuth, president and CEO of the National Catholic Development Conference in New York, Brother Sean Sammon, former superior general of the Marist Brothers, and Mr. and Mrs. Henry Nardone of Westerly, Rhode Island.
Former Boston Mayor and Ambassador to Rome, Raymond Flynn, and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia have also received this honor.
Although Koch is not a member of St. Edmund's church himself, "he was nominated by the Board of Trustees and the President of St. Edmunds retreat. One of the members of the Board of Trustees knows Mayor Koch,” Kinney said.
"I am humbled and grateful by this honor," Koch said in an email.
The award will be given to Koch in a ceremony on Oct. 7 at the Mystic Marriott in Groton, CT, beginning with a 6:30 reception followed by a dinner at 7:30.
A 5 p.m. votive Mass in honor of the recipents will be held at Our Lady of the Assumption Chapel at Enders Island in Mystic CT, presided over by Reverend Michael Cote, Bishop of Norwich.
For more information or for tickets, contact Karen Maloney at 860-536-0565, ext 115 or email@example.com.