By Mabell, Dave on December 21, 2017.
A former Lethbridge resident has been named to receive a rare honour from the Roman Catholic Church.
Austin Mardon and his wife Catherine are being invested in the Order of St. Sylvester, recognizing their advocacy for people living with mental illness or an intellectual handicap.
Mardon now lives in Edmonton and the award – approved by Pope Francis – is being presented there this week. Named after Pope Sylvester (who served from 314 to 335 AD) it is presented to lay members of the church as well as deserving non-Catholics.
Across Canada, Mardon has become well known for writing, speaking and advocating for people with schizophrenia and other mental disorders. While Canadians receive effective medication and medical care, he points out, many of the estimated 50 million people living with schizophrenia around the world receive little help – and some are confined to an institution.
The Mardons also urge more help for people born with fetal alcohol syndrome disorder, and have adopted children with that disability.
News of the award reached Alberta last week, Austin says.
“It’s like the Order of Canada.”
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