Bogdan Bosak of the Chicago Region shares in common an honor previously bestowed upon George W. Bush, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Grace Kelly, as well as our own Ted Makarewicz and Jack Shine.
What do Grace Kelly and Bogdan have in common, you ask? One of the highest honors bestowed within the Order of Malta: The Order Pro Merito Melitensi. This award, established in 1920, recognizes individuals, members and nonmembers, whose activities have conferred honor and prestige to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and promoted Christian values.
The award was conferred upon Bogdan by Federal Association President Fra' Thomas Mulligan at the pre-pilgrimage Mass in August of 2021, coming as a complete surprise to him and his family. Befitting his humility and purity of spirit, Bogdan somehow made this award less about himself and more about the Order—a trait that all who know Bogdan admire and aspire to emulate.
Before Fra' Tom bestowed the Ribbon and Cross of the Order Pro Merito Melitensi upon Bogdan, Rick Klein shared excerpts from paperwork submitted to Rome for Bogdan's name to be considered for this honor:
Mr. Bosak has unselfishly contributed of himself and his personal resources to help the poor and sick while also
defending the faith in many ways. He has been actively involved in the Order's projects at the Mission of Our Lady
of the Angels, the House of the Good Shepherd, St. Denis Parish and St. Thomas of Canterbury. He not only
provided hands-on assistance, but also many times involved his family.
What is most impressive is that at many of these projects he personally helped to underwrite the rehabilitation
and the infrastructure at each of these locations. The roof over the chapel at the House of the Good Shepherd;
the roof over the various buildings at Our Lady of the Angels; the tuckpointing at St. Denis parish, and, most impressively,
the new auxiliary worship and administrative center at Our Lady of Good Help. In most, if not all, of these
examples, this was done without asking for any acknowledgement and many times anonymously. Often
things just got fixed, the associated expenses somehow being met.
In the years that Bogdan has been a member of the Federal Association, he has not only participated in our
service projects locally, but also in his native Poland, on pilgrimages to Lourdes and Our Lady of Good Help,
and recently has brought back relics of St. Faustina to be housed in the Divine Mercy Chapel at
Our Lady of Good Help.
This selfless and humble approach is a common thread through the entire Bosak family. Bogdan is the epitome
of the passage in our daily prayer that says, "...to carry out this my resolve, forgetful of myself, learning ever from
Thy Holy Gospel a spirit of deep and generous Christian devotion."
After reading aloud the excerpts, Rick concluded, "Bogdan Bosak is truly deserving of this honor."