Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology

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Saint Meinrad monk honored with three awards

November 08, 2012

Fr_Cyprian_Davis.jpgFr. Cyprian Davis, OSB, a monk of Saint Meinrad Archabbey, St. Meinrad, IN, has been named the recipient of three honors.

The National Black Catholic Congress (NBCC) gave its Lifetime Achievement Servant of Christ Award to Fr. Cyprian on July 21, during its conference in Indianapolis. Also receiving the award were Beverly A. Carroll of Baltimore, MD, and Jacqueline Wilson of Washington, D.C.

The Servant of Christ Award is a new award developed by the leadership of NBCC to recognize those who personify Christian servant leadership in the African-American community.

On December 3, Fr. Cyprian will receive the 2012 Eli Lilly Lifetime Achievement Award from the Indiana Historical Society (IHS).

The Eli Lilly Lifetime Achievement Award is given to an individual who has made extraordinary contributions over an extended period of time to the field of history and/or the affairs of IHS.

The American Catholic Historical Association will honor Fr. Cyprian with the Distinguished Teaching Award on January 5. The honor is given annually to a college or university professor who has demonstrated a high commitment to teaching beyond the expected requirements of the position and, through his or her influence and skill, has promoted Catholic studies from one generation of scholars to another.

One of Fr. Cyprian's major projects, his 1990 publication The History of Black Catholics in the United States, resulted from his search for the documents and stories of African-American Catholics. In 1991, the book received the prestigious John Gilmary Shea Award from the American Catholic Historical Association.

In collaboration with others, he wrote or edited many other notable publications, such as Taking Down Our Harps: Black Catholics in the United States and Stamped with the Image of God: African Americans as God's Image in Black.

Fr. Cyprian has traveled internationally, giving presentations on the development of monastic archives at monasteries in Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Togo. He also taught Church history at abbeys in Senegal and Nigeria. His commitment to historical education in Africa represents an effort to nurture the roots from which has grown the community whose life he has chronicled.

Fr. Cyprian is professor emeritus of Church history at Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology.