Notable Catholics Robert F. Comstock and Sandra Andreas McMurtrie were honored on Dec. 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, as recipients of the Patronal Medal, an award that recognizes a person’s contributions toward the advancement of Marian devotion, theology, and general appreciation of the place of Mary in the life of the Church.
The award, which is presented jointly by The Catholic University of America and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, was established in 1974. Past recipients include Venerable Fulton J. Sheen (1974), Saint Teresa of Calcutta (1979), and Mother Mary Angelica (1990).
Comstock is an attorney in private practice in Chevy Chase, Md. A dual degree holder from Catholic University, he has been involved in the National Alumni Association’s Board of Governors and the University’s Board of Trustees, where he served for 24 years as a member of the development, seminary, and finance committees. Comstock has also been involved as a member of the Board of the Basilica since 2007 and was honored with the Archdiocesan Distinguished Service Award at the 2013 American Cardinals Dinner.
McMurtrie was inspired to become involved in service after traveling extensively with Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity. Additionally, she has volunteered her time on numerous educational boards including terms on the Gonzaga College High School board, the board of Mount St. Mary’s University, as a member of the Mount St. Mary’s Seminary Committee, and the Potomac Community Resources board — an organization that provides therapeutic, recreational, social, and respite care programs for teens and adults with developmental differences.
McMurtie has served on the boards of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Catholic University, and since, 2007, the board of the Basilica. She is the recipient of the Mother Barer Award from the Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, and the Women’s Council Award from the University of Notre Dame. Additionally, she has been honored by the Sovereign Military Order of Malta with membership in the Knightly Order pro Merito Melitensi for her promotion of Christian values and charity.