Saint Meinrad Archabbey

A catholic monastery devoted to the teachings of St. Benedict

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Fr. G. Nicholas Rice named Distinguished Alumnus

August 03, 2016

Fr .-Nick -Rice -2016-DAAFr. G. Nicholas Rice, a priest of the Archdiocese of Louisville, KY, was honored on August 2 with the Distinguished Alumnus Award, at the annual Saint Meinrad Alumni Reunion. He is a member of the ordination class of 1967.

The award, given by the Saint Meinrad Alumni Association, was begun in 1990 to honor alumni who exemplify the Gospel values and who have provided exemplary service in their lives or professions. The association's board of directors reviews nominations for the award annually and makes the recommendations.

Fr. Rice is a native of Lebanon, KY. He came to Saint Meinrad in 1961 as a college student and received a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Saint Meinrad College in 1963.

He then earned his Master of Divinity from Saint Meinrad School of Theology in 1967 and was ordained that year for the Archdiocese of Louisville. He is in his 50th year as a priest.

He went on to study at Boston College, receiving a Master of Education in 1980. He also participated in two sabbatical programs, one in 1984, at the University of Louvain in Belgium, and the other in 2005, at the North American College in Rome.

In the Archdiocese of Louisville, Fr. Rice has served as pastor of two large suburban parishes - at St. Margaret Mary Parish from 1987 to 1994 and at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish from 1998 to 2011.

He has also held various positions in the Archdiocese, including the director of the archdiocesan offices for vocations, permanent diaconate, religious education, and communications.

He has served two terms as president of the Council of Priests and chair of the College of Consultors for the Archdiocese. And he has also shared his leadership skills with three national organizations, serving as president of the National Conference of Catechetical Leadership, the National Directors of the Permanent Diaconate, and the National Federation of Priests' Councils.

Fr. Rice is also a certified trainer for the Stephen Covey Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

Nearly 40 years ago, Fr. Rice - after visiting with his bedridden father - saw a need for a Catholic Mass on television. He launched the weekly "Mass of the Air" in 1977 and has been personally involved in this ministry ever since.

His leadership has not been confined to the Archdiocese. He has been a 20-year panelist on the Moral Side of the News, seen on WHAS-TV. And for 22 years, he has served on the panel that awards grants from the WHAS Crusade for Children.

His civic and community service extends to many areas, including his work as a member of the Board of Directors for the Boys & Girls Haven and for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

In 2000, Fr. Rice was tapped to lead a search committee for a new police chief for the City of Louisville, following the mayor's firing of the previous chief and the turmoil that surrounded that.

And just this spring, Fr. Rice was among those honored at the Archdiocese's annual Salute to Catholic School Alumni.

And though he is officially "retired," he continues to help out in parishes and he gives retreats and presentations around the country.

He becomes the 25th Saint Meinrad alumnus to receive the Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Photo: President-Rector Fr. Denis Robinson, OSB, (left) hugs Fr. Nicholas Rice after bestowing the Distinguished Alumnus Award.