Cardinal Tauran is surprise guest at Franciscan Sports Banquet

Pictured with Cardinal Tauran are (left) Mother Rosemae Pender, FSE, Mother Foundress, and Sister Catherine Mary Clarke, FSE who had worked with Cardinal Tauran at the Vatican Library for several years. Click here to see a slideshow of the Franciscan Sports Banquet on the Franciscan Life Center web site.

MERIDEN, CT (06-08-2011) - Jean-Louis Cardinal Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialog at the Vatican, accepted Mother Shaun Vergauwen's invitation to pray the invocation at the 26th Annual Franciscan Sports Banquet during his visit to the Community in Meriden. His presence was welcomed warmly as an unexpected delight for the crowd of over 500 supporters of the Franciscan mission. Jim Calhoun, Head Coach of University of Connecticut Men's Basketball, teasingly suggested to His Eminence that he not make travel plans in late March and early April - Final Four time - since the Franciscan Sisters had turned down Coach Calhoun's invitation to the Final Four in 2009 when the Cardinal visited the Community. It was the only time the UConn team was in the Final Four, but lost the championship. Mr. Calhoun spoke of his admiration for the work Cardinal Tauran does for the Church and for the world in his efforts to bring about peace and dialog to those of differing views and religious persuasions.

Honorees of the event which helps supports Franciscan Life Center and Franciscan Home Care and Hospice Care were:

St. Francis Award - Tom Moore, Head Basketball Coach, Quinnipiac University
St. Clare Award - Luisa Kuhn, Wife of Bowie Kuhn
Jim Calhoun Community Service Award - Kevin Ollie, Assistant Basketball Coach, University of Connecticut
Corporate Sponsorship Award - Central Connecticut Acoustics, Inc.
Special Recognition - Central Connecticut State University Football Team and Coaches
Special Recognition - Athletes, Special Olympics Connecticut