All Press Releases for April 02, 2020

Virgil C. Dechant Presented with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award by Marquis Who's Who

Mr. Dechant has been endorsed by Marquis Who's Who as a leader in the religious ministry field

In 2005, Virgil C. Dechant had the privilege of escorting U.S. President George W. Bush during the funeral of Saint John Paul II in Rome.

    LEAWOOD, KS, April 02, 2020 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Marquis Who's Who, the world's premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to present Virgil C. Dechant with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. An accomplished listee, Mr. Dechant celebrates many years' experience in his professional network, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes he has accrued in his field. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.

Mr. Dechant was a retired executive for the Knights of Columbus, an international Catholic organization of nearly 2 million men and their families. A car accident saw him hospitalized at age 18, and during his recovery Dechant was visited by members of his local Knights of Columbus council. He became inspired by their ministry, and he vowed to devote more of his time to the organization and its core values, such as service to others and devotion to religious life.

Mr. Dechant joined the Knights of Columbus in 1948, and in 1967 he moved his family from Kansas to Connecticut to work full-time at the order's headquarters. After excelling as assistant supreme secretary, he was named supreme secretary, where he would serve until 1977, when he succeeded Dr. John McDevitt as supreme knight, the organization's chief executive. It was a position he would hold until 2000, making him the longest-tenured supreme knight in the order's history.

Over the years, Dechant served in various capacities to assist the Holy See, including an appointment to the Pontifical Council for the Family in 1982 and the Pontifical Council for Social Communications in 1990. In 2005, Dechant had the privilege of escorting U.S. President George W. Bush during the funeral of Saint John Paul II in Rome. In that role, Dechant served as Gentiluomo, or "gentleman of His Holiness."

The holder of the National Right to Life Award, which was bestowed in 1998, Dechant held 16 honorary degrees and numerous other honors, including being named a Knight of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, a Knight of St. Gregory the Great, and a Knight Grand Cross in the Order of Pius IX, the highest honor granted to a Catholic layman who is not a head of state. In 2012, Dechant received the Gaudium et Spes award, the highest honor bestowed by the Knights of Columbus. At the time of his death in February 2020, Dechant was serving as a Consiglieri to the Vatican City State. He is survived by his wife Ann, four children, 11 grandchildren, and 10 great grandchildren.

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