Catholic Extension to Present 2008 Lumen Christi Award to Carol Cottrill, M.D.

CHICAGO, Aug. 28 /PRNewswire/ — Carol Cottrill, M.D., a pediatric cardiologist at the University of Kentucky’s Kentucky Children’s Hospital in Lexington, KY, has been named the 2008 recipient of the Catholic Church Extension Society’s Lumen Christi Award for her lifesaving ministry in the mission areas of Appalachia and her generous presence in caring for poor families in desperate need of medical care.

The national award (which means “Light of Christ”) is presented annually by Catholic Extension to recognize outstanding missionary work in America. This year marks the 31st annual Lumen Christi Award given by Catholic Extension.

Rev. John J. Wall, President of Catholic Extension, will present the Lumen Christi Award to Dr. Cottrill in Chicago Sept. 27, followed by Mass at Holy Name Cathedral. Catholic Extension will further honor Dr. Cottrill with a gift of $25,000, and the Diocese of Lexington, which nominated her for the honor, will also receive $25,000.

Over the past 30 years, Dr. Cottrill has saved the lives of hundreds of children, bringing a missioner’s compassionate heart to families with children facing life-threatening illness. Cottrill’s fourth child, Crystal, was born with a serious heart condition and died at the age of 6. Dr. Cottrill and her husband Tom have served as foster parents to more than 24 children, 19 of which had heart disease. For the past 2 1/2 years Dr. Cottrill has worked from a wheelchair because of rheumatoid arthritis.

Her Catholic Faith plays an important role in Dr. Cottrill’s professional and personal life. An active member of the Newman Center at the University of Kentucky, she is a long-time participant in parish activities, especially as a member of the Newman Foundation Board of Directors. She is committed to the health of the needy in eastern Kentucky, where she runs two monthly cardiac care clinics in Pikeville and Somerset. They have never turned away any families in need.

“We at Catholic Extension are privileged to recognize and honor missionaries like Dr. Cottrill,” Rev. Wall said. “She exemplifies the ‘Light of Christ’ in the way she has continued to reach out to offer excellent medical care and a caring, understanding empathy to folks who rely on her in the Diocese of Lexington. Having lost a child to heart disease herself, she feels deeply and compassionately what is in the hearts of the families she serves and is a real gift to them.”

“Dr. Cottrill exemplifies how the Light of Christ shines in so many ways,” said Most Reverend Ronald W. Gainer, Bishop of Lexington, who nominated her for the award. “Through her thorough and professional care of the youngest and most vulnerable cardiac patients, through her understanding and compassion for their families, through her role as a teacher and mentor to medical students, and through her tireless service to the wider community.”

Nominations for the Lumen Christi Award are put forward by home mission bishops and then judged by a prestigious panel. This year’s panel included television’s Bob Newhart, Chicago Bears owner and Board of Directors Secretary Virginia McCaskey, radio and television personality Father Albert Cutie, Sister Maria Elena Gonzalez, RSM, former president of the Board of Directors of the Mexican American Cultural Center, “Our Sunday Visitor” Associate Publisher Monsignor Owen Campion, and retired Bishop of Biloxi Most Reverend Joseph L. Howze.

For more than 100 years, the Chicago-based Catholic Church Extension Society has supported Catholic missions in the U.S. by funding church construction, religious education and seminary formation, campus and outreach ministries, evangelization, and salaries for missionaries. Catholic Extension is the leading supporter of Catholic missions in the U.S. and has distributed more than $450 million over its history.

Read more about Dr. Cottrill in the September issue of EXTENSION Magazine. Sign up to receive a full year of EXTENSION Magazine free of charge. Call 1-800-842-7804 or visit

(For high-resolution photos of Dr. Carol Cottrill for reprinting, please email Mark Andel at [email protected] or call 312-795-6074.)

    Mark Andel    Director of Communications    Catholic Church Extension Society    150 South Wacker Drive, 20th Floor    Chicago, IL 60606    Phone: (312) 795-6074    Web:    email: [email protected]  

Catholic Church Extension Society

CONTACT: Mark Andel, Director of Communications of Catholic ChurchExtension Society, +1-312-795-6074, [email protected]

Web site:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *