Mount St. Mary's University President Thomas H. Powell recently expressed the delight of the University community at the news of the elevation of Mount St. Mary's Seminary Rector Msgr. Steven P. Rohlfs, S.T.D. to the rank of Protonotary Apostolic. The title is the highest honor bestowed upon priests.
President Powell said of Msgr. Rohlfs, "His vision in guiding the Seminary's mission of intellectual, human, spiritual and pastoral formation, and the continued success of our seminarians, is a direct result of his leadership and priestly ministry."
Pope Benedict XVI bestowed the honor last month before retiring on February 28. Msgr. Rohlfs was also named a Prelate of Honor in 1993, a Knight Commander of the Holy Sepulchre in 1997, and a Knight of the Sovereign Military Order in 1999, according to the University.
Here's more about the honor of Protonotary Apostolic from the Mount:
The original seven Apostolic Protonotaries were appointed by the Pope in the fifth century and were members of the immediate Papal household. By the 19th century, the Papacy had extended the honor to senior priests outside of Rome who were given exceptional ecclesiastical responsibilities at the diocesan, regional or national levels.
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