Father Thomas Maikowski Honored with Cardinal Stritch Alumni Award

Cardinal Stritch Alumni Award pic
Cardinal Stritch Alumni Award
Image: stritch.edu

Father Thomas Maikowski served as a United States Air Force Academy admissions liaison officer for more than two decades, offering guidance to aspiring cadets at 43 northwestern New Mexico high schools. A scholar of both divinity and education, Father Thomas Maikowski holds two doctorates and four master’s degrees, including a master of arts in special religious education from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Since 1987, the Cardinal Stritch University Alumni Association has maintained an annual Alumni Awards program, which serves as an opportunity for the institution to recognize the professional and personal achievements of its alumni and friends. The association seeks to honor individuals whose values and character are worthy of widespread recognition, as well as those whose professional accomplishments have greatly impacted their fields. In 2010, the Cardinal Stritch University Alumni Association honored Father Thomas Maikowski with its Distinguished Alumni Award for Professional Achievement. This award recognizes Cardinal Stritch graduates who have honored the university with their professional leadership and accomplishments, and whose career achievements have garnered the admiration and respect of their peers.

In addition to recognizing professional success, the alumni awards program also recognizes alumni civic contributions. Collectively, it acknowledges individuals whose works exemplify the mission and values of Cardinal Stritch University, including compassion, a reverence for all creation, the creation of a caring community, and a dedication to facilitating peace.

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Father Thomas Maikowski and Other Distinguished Members of Armed Forces Recognized with Meritorious Service Medal

Meritorious Service Medal pic
Meritorious Service Medal
Image: afpc.af.mil

By granting its Meritorious Service Medal, the United States Armed Forces honors select servicemen and servicewomen such as United States Air Force Chaplain and Lieutenant Colonel Father Thomas Maikowski. Since the medal’s introduction in January 1969, outstanding members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard, including Father Maikowski, have received this distinction, in recognition of their outstanding noncombat military accomplishments. Designed by the Institute of Heraldry at the behest of President Lyndon B. Johnson, this bronze medal features images of an eagle standing upon laurel branches in front of a star, symbolizing the honor of serving the nation with excellence.

Alongside Father Thomas Maikowski, high-profile members of the U.S. military, including Corporal Pat Tillman, General Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr., Captain John McCain, and Major General Wendy M. Masiello, have all been recipients of this rare honor. Additionally, international military figures such as Australian Lieutenant General Brian Power, British General Sir Nick Parker, and French Divisional General Vincent Desportes have each been decorated with this award, in acknowledgment of their noncombat achievement on behalf of United States interests.

The Active Sisters of the Missionaries of Charity

A Catholic priest, Father Thomas Maikowski has served in diocesan and parish ministry, as an educational administrator, and as a teacher of preschool thru college students for nearly four decades. He also spent many years as an Air Force chaplain. Father Maikowski also serves Sisters of the Missionaries of Charity by providing seminars and supporting the Sisters with pastoral ministry.

The active Sisters of the Missionaries of Charity family have a twofold apostolate. First of all, they strive to love Jesus and adore Him every day through attending Mass and Eucharistic Adoration. Secondly, they go out to the poorest of the poor and provide for their material and spiritual needs in order to recognize in them God’s image and likeness. While fulfilling this mission, they rely entirely on God’s Divine Providence for their own needs and those of the people they serve.

Founded in 1950 by Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, the Missionaries of Charity take public vows of perpetual poverty, chastity, and obedience, and also pledge to dedicate their lives to serving the poorest of the poor. They have houses across the Americas, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Oceania. For more information about the Sisters or to volunteer with them, visit http://www.motherteresa.org.

National Catholic Educational Association – Career Education

An experienced educator and U.S. Air Force veteran, Father Thomas Maikowski is a Catholic priest who currently serves as an administrator church in the southwestern United States. For his work over the course of his career, Father Thomas Maikowski also has earned various accolades, including the Secondary Schools Department Award from the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA).

Among its many programs and services, the NCEA offers a variety of career education opportunities to help educators in Catholic elementary and secondary schools. The organization’s online courses are designed for busy educators who are interested in both affordability and flexibility. For example, NCEA members can engage in the Catholic Distance Learning Network (CDLN), an independent online course with workshop curriculum for secondary school educators.

The CDLN features specialized certification courses that are developed by leading experts in Catholic education. Through the NCEA’s certification course in online teaching, members can access resources and modules that demonstrate how to create an online learning environment. The course was generated by CDLN’s program director Dr. Mary Beckman, who received input from an instructional designer at Holy Apostles College & Seminary. Along with an online teaching course, the CDLN includes a certification course in teaching research design.

Pentecost – A Christian Holiday Celebrating the Holy Spirit’s Arrival

Father Thomas Maikowski serves as the administrator of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, a Catholic church dedicated to spiritual growth, located in northern Arizona. Catholic clergy such as Father Thomas Maikowski celebrate two major religious holidays in the spring: Easter and Pentecost.

Pentecost celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit to the disciples after Christ was crucified and resurrected and is generally accepted as the birthday of the church, although it is not widely recognized or celebrated by all members of the Christian community. In general, only those in Catholic and Eastern Orthodox liturgical church communities observe it.

The celebration of Pentecost occurs 50 days after Easter and originally involved a feast to commemorate the beginning of the spread of the gospel message throughout the world. Today, churches and religious groups that recognize Pentecost tend to celebrate the holyday with a special mass or worship service.

The history of Pentecost stems from passages in the Bible’s New Testament that detail the birth of the church as a foundation for the building of the Kingdom of God on earth. According to biblical passages, the Holy Spirit visited the apostles of Jesus Christ 50 days after the resurrection and granted them the ability to speak in a way that was understood by people who spoke languages different than those spoken by the apostles. The apostles then used the gift to begin sharing the gospel message on a much greater scale.

Origins of the Meritorious Service Medal

Former Catholic military chaplain Father Thomas Maikowski of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church retired from the United States Air Force in October 2009. Before retiring with the rank of lieutenant colonel, Father Thomas Maikowski received several awards and medals, including three Meritorious Service Medals, for his performance. Established in 1969, the medal recognizes members of the Armed Forces of the United States for outstanding achievement or meritorious noncombat services.

President Lyndon B. Johnson authorized the Meritorious Service Medal per Executive Order 11448 following a discussion at the 1968 Tri-Department Awards Conference concerning the need for an additional meritorious award in order to honor noncombat achievements. Prior to 1968, no comparable award to the Bronze Star Medal existed for noncombat achievements. For a time, the Legion of Merit award served as a solution. However, the increasing frequency of its usage below its intended standard resulted in a decline in its prestige.

An ad hoc committee formed by the Secretary of Defense to name the award agreed upon “Meritorious Service Medal” in November 1968. Lewis J. King, Jr., sculpted the medal based on a design by Jay Morris. President Ronald Reagan later amended Executive Order 11448 through Executive Order 12312 to authorize presentation of the medal to armed forces members from friendly foreign nations.

In rank, the medal sits below the Legion of Merit, but above the Commendation Medal. It is presented to those who demonstrate exceptional performance of duty and employment of expertise and exhibit the qualities of professionalism and leadership. Father Maikowski first received the award in June 2000.

Father Thomas Maikowski on Entering the Priesthood

Father Thomas Maikowski has been a Catholic priest for more than 35 years. The calling to join the priesthood is a powerful one, and the process of entering it is a sacred and transformative one, not to be taken lightly. Although the steps and considerations involved in becoming a priest are myriad, there are a few principal, defining characteristics expected of those entering the priesthood:

A true and pure faith in Jesus: The faith and piety expected of priests go above and beyond that expected of the layperson. Those who join the priesthood are men for whom prayer is a way of life, and for whom love of God and a true relationship with Jesus Christ are concrete facts, rather than abstract notions. Additionally, a candidate for the priesthood should be reasonably familiar with Catholic doctrines and positions and should hold a firm belief in them.

A well-rounded personality: As representatives of the church, priests are expected to be whole and balanced people who understand and embrace life even as they embrace their calling. Candidates for the priesthood should be kind, generous, and respectful of all people, and their words and actions should reflect these qualities. Furthermore, those interested in the priesthood should be intelligent enough to understand the foundations and responsibilities of the position so that they can preach, teach, and continue to learn and grow.

A patient nature: Getting from the beginning point of studying and practicing to the endpoint of being ordained as a priest requires great patience, as well as a willingness to focus inwardly and contemplate things deeply, rather than simply looking for the “right answer” and moving on to the next question. This is just as important for those who have not yet begun down the path but are considering it. As the priesthood is a sacred calling not to be undertaken lightly, a great deal of personal reflection and discussion with church figures are highly recommended before taking the first official steps.