Bishop Joseph A. McNicholas Award

ImageThe Bishop Joseph A. McNicholas Award is awarded annually to a Catholic High School or Parish Youth Group exemplifying a consistent ethic of respect for all human life through educational, spiritual, pastoral and public policy efforts.   

Click here for the Nomination Form. Nominations due Friday, September 15, 2017.


Bishop Joseph A. McNicholas, was a priest and auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of St. Louis who exemplified the consistent ethic of respect for human life, which is part of our Catholic heritage.  It was with the blessing of then Auxiliary Bishop McNicholas and Cardinal John J. Carberry that the Archdiocesan Pro-Life Committee, now the Respect Life Apostolate, was created.  It was the first of its kind in the nation and served as a model for dioceses across the country.

This award was established in 1983 to recognize the high school whose Respect Life programs and activities best reflect the ideals of Bishop McNicholas’ dedication to life and the mission of the Respect Life Apostolate.


Bishop Joseph A. McNicholas, a St. Louis native, matriculated at the St. Louis Preparatory and Kenrick seminaries and was ordained a priest in June 1949. He was ordained a bishop by John Cardinal Carberry in 1969 and became Auxiliary Bishop in the Archdiocese of St. Louis and later became the leader of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield.


This award is to recognize a Catholic high school or youth group which exemplifies a consistent ethic of respect for all human life through educational, spiritual, pastoral and public policy efforts.  Thus, the recipient too demonstrates success in areas of pro-life activism, recruitment, and community involvement. 


  • Must be a Catholic high school in the Archdiocese of St. Louis OR  a Catholic Parish youth group for high school aged youth in the Archdiocese of St. Louis.
  • Must call upon all the resources of the Church—its people, services, and institutions—to pursue its mission with renewed energy and commitment in four major areas.
    • Education to deepen understanding of the sanctity of human life and the humanity of unborn children, the moral evil of intentionally killing innocent human beings—whether at the beginning of life or at its end—and the mission of the Church to witness to and serve all human life.
    • Spiritual efforts directed to participation in the sacramental life of the Church and in programs of communal and individual prayer, that the culture of death that surrounds us today will be replaced by a culture of life and love.
    • Pastoral Care for women with problems related to pregnancy; for all who have been involved in abortion; for those who are disabled, sick, and dying, and their families and caregivers; for those who have lost loved ones to violent crime; and for those in prison sentenced to death.
    • Public Policy efforts directed to restoring legal protection to the lives of unborn children and those vulnerable to pressures to end their lives by assisted suicide, and to providing morally acceptable alternatives to abortion and assisted suicide. (Excerpted from Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities: A Campaign in Support of Life. Copyright © 2001, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc., Washington, D.C. All rights reserved.)

Nominations are due by Friday, September 15, 2017.

E-mail Nomination to: with subject as “McNicholas Nomination”

Mail Nomination to: Respect Life Apostolate, Attn: McNicholas Nomination, 20 Archbishop May Drive, St. Louis, MO 63119

SUBMIT PHOTOGRAPH(s) WITH THE APPLICATION, IF POSSIBLE.  Digital photos are preferred.  Photographs of the award recipient(s) are subject to be published in the St. Louis Review and/or on the Respect Life Apostolate website at  Please include a caption with the event name, date taken, and names of those pictured from left to right.