NYPD Deputy Chief Charles M. Scholl of Patrol Borough Brooklyn South, received the inaugural Bishop Thomas V. Daily Memorial Award at the NYPD Brooklyn and Queens Holy Name Society’s 98th annual Communion Mass and Breakfast March 11.
Person of the Year honors went to Assistant Chief Juanita N. Holmes, commanding officer of Patrol Borough Queens North. The society also recognized 28 Cops of the Year, service award winners and high school scholarship recipients.
More than 1,000 uniformed officers and their families began the morning by attending Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Queens Village. Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio was the main celebrant.
Concelebrants included Msgr. Robert Romano, NYPD deputy chief of chaplains; NYPD chaplains, Msgr. David Cassato and Msgr. Joseph Zammit; Father John Michael Lee, C.P.; Father Patrick Longalong, Our Lady of Lourdes pastor; and Msgr. Robert Pawson, pastor emeritus.
“What a joy today to see the NYPD here in force,” the bishop said as he looked upon the standing-room-only congregation, which included Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill and Deputy Commissioner Robert Ganley.
Front pews were reserved for family members of fallen officers, including Patti Ann McDonald, wife of Det. Steven McDonald, paralyzed in the line of duty in 1986, and Mary Williams Molloy, wife of the late Deputy Chief James Molloy, who died of 9/11-related brain cancer. Both heroes ended their watch in January of 2017.
As NYPD families know, heroes are not born, they’re formed through great effort and sacrifice, much in the same way a masterpiece comes to fruition.
In his homily, the bishop spoke of masterpieces, hewn from both stone and flesh, and likened God to a sculptor, who chisels away human imperfections so as to reveal each person as the one-of-a-kind creation that he or she was intended to be.
“We are subjected in our life to suffering, pain and difficulty. Unless we join that to the work of Jesus Christ, it becomes unbearable,” the bishop said.
“For you, the NYPD officers, you recognize that in your life you will see many twists and turns, difficulties that you never expected, because you are at the service of people,” he said. “And yet, we recognize that through them we are strengthened and we become God’s masterpieces.”
The bishop added that while no one knows what the future holds in this life, particularly the men and women in blue who put their lives on the line every day, there is hope in the promise of eternal life.
Following the final blessing, New York’s Finest assembled along Springfield Blvd. behind the NYPD’s color guard and Emerald Society Pipes and Drums. Bishop DiMarzio walked alongside Commissioner O’Neill, chaplains and officials the nearly half mile to Antun’s Catering Hall for an awards breakfast.
Sgt. Edward Conroy, president of the Brooklyn and Queens Holy Name Society, emceed the event, one of several held by the society during the year. Tending to members’ spiritual needs, encouraging them to practice their faith and receive the sacraments are the society’s aims.
Members gathered as a family last Sunday to pay tribute to the heroes in their midst, officers whose brave deeds over the past year included rescuing a woman and her grandson from a burning home, saving a baby from choking to death and being shot in the line of duty.
Posthumous honors went to Deputy Chief Molloy, Det. Chris Lindsay, P.O. Kendrah McFadden and P.O. Michael Hance, all of whom succumbed to 9/11-related cancers during the last 12 months.
“We don’t come on this job to get credit. We don’t come on it for the sense of appreciation. We certainly don’t come on it for the money,” Commissioner O’Neill said, addressing those in uniform.
“We come on this job to be police officers because we want to make a difference, and you do, each and every day.”
Deputy Chief Scholl led everyone in reciting the Holy Name Pledge, and was honored for his leadership and untiring support of the NYPD Holy Name Society with a new service award named in memory of Brooklyn’s sixth bishop, who went to his eternal reward last year.
Deacon Stanley Galazin, director of the Immaculate Conception Center, Douglaston, where Bishop Daily spent his final years, introduced the award with a reflection on Bishop Daily, whom he described as a man of fidelity and humility, dedicated to serving God’s people.
Those who know Deputy Chief Scholl could easily the same of him so it was fitting that he should be the first to receive this award named for the late bishop, whom he knew personally and admired deeply.
“He was a great man, a great leader for the Brooklyn and Queens Diocese and he is sorely missed,” said the deputy chief, a 38-year veteran of the department.
A lifelong Catholic, Deputy Chief Scholl was born and baptized in St. Mary Star of the Sea, Carroll Gardens, where he attended the parish school before going onto Bishop Ford H.S., Park Slope.
Back when he was a deputy inspector in Coney Island, he had a picture taken with Bishop Daily at the Great Irish Fair. Sometime later, he said, “I had the bishop sign it and he wrote, ‘Chief, God bless you and your family.’”
“I had to say to him, ‘Your Eminence, I’m only a deputy inspector,” and he said to me, ‘I’m a bishop. I know things.’ The rest is history,” he said with a smile.
Deputy Chief Scholl went on to say that his Catholic faith has helped him both in life and on the job to stay on the straight and narrow road.
“The Catholic education I was taught – be kind to people, be good to people – it makes me a better police officer,” he added.