The Vincentian Studies Institute created the Pierre Coste Prize in 2003 in preparation for its 25th anniversary celebration. Named after Pierre Coste, C.M., the distinguished French Vincentian historian and father of modern Vincentian studies, the award is given bi-annually in recognition of distinguished achievement in Vincentian Studies.
The Institute presented the first Coste prize in April 2004 to Sr. Marie Poole, D.C., the editor in chief of the acclaimed English translation of Pierre Coste's multi-volume Vincent de Paul: Correspondence, Conferences, Documents. Sr. Marie is a member of the Southeast Province of the Daughters of Charity.
On April 27, 2006, the Institute honored the second recipient of the Coste Award, the Rev. Stafford Poole, C.M. Fr. Poole is a member of the West Province of the Congregation of the Mission, headquartered in Los Angeles, California. He was honored for his pioneering role in the promotion of Vincentian studies, especially in the English-speaking world as an author, founding member of the Vincentian Studies Institute, and as the second editor (1987-1997) of the Institute's journal Vincentian Heritage.
Rev. Poole's acceptance speech.
On February 5, 2010, the Institute honored the third and fourth recipient of the Coste Award, Sr. Louise Sullivan D.C. and Rev. Paul Henzmann C.M.
Sr. Louise is a Daughter of Charity of the Northeast Province of the United States (Albany, New York), and is a professor emerita of Modern Languages at Niagara University. She is the author of Sr. Rosalie Rendu: A Daughter of Charity on Fire with Love for the Poor, Saint Louise de Marillac: Spiritual Writings, The Core Values of Vincentian Education, and The Vincentian Mission in Health Care as well as numerous articles. She also has given talks and presentations world-wide on Louise de Marillac, Rosalie Rendu, and other Vincentian themes.
The late Reverend Paul Henzmann, C.M., who died in July 2009, served for many years as the archivist at the Maison-Mere of the Congregation of the Mission in Paris. Blessed with a photographic memory, a sense of order, organization, and the importance of the Congregation’s historical heritage; and possessing a kind and generous soul, Fr. Henzmann supported the research of a generation of Vincentian scholars who remember him with gratitude and fondness.
The Rev. Edward R. Udovic, C.M., Ph.D., the Senior Executive for University Mission at DePaul in making the award announcement noted: “Both of this year’s honorees have made unique and substantive contributions to fostering a living interest in the Vincentian heritage. Their work had helped not only to ensure that this generation of Vincentian researchers and authors is the greatest in the history of the Vincentian tradition, but that their work will help form new generations of members of the Vincentian family worldwide.”
Barbara Diefendorf, a Boston University history professor, is the 2013 recipient of the Vincentian Studies Institute Pierre Coste Prize. Named for the Rev. Pierre Coste, C.M., a 20th century French Vincentian historian known as the father of modern Vincentian studies, the award recognizes distinguished contribution in Vincentian scholarship.
“Fr. Coste was responsible for publishing the definitive French edition of ‘Saint Vincent de Paul: Correspondence, Conferences and Documents,’ 14 volumes, and an acclaimed three volume biography of the saint published in 1933,” said the Rev. Edward R. Udovic, C.M., secretary of DePaul University, where he also serves as senior executive for university mission and vice president for teaching and learning resources.
“Dr. Diefendorf is being honored for her signal contributions to the religious historiography of 17th century France, which have in turn greatly contributed to the contextualization of Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac and the foundation of the Vincentian tradition,” said Fr. Udovic, who also is an associate professor of history at DePaul.
The Rev. John E. Rybolt, C.M., is the recipient of the 2016 Pierre Coste Prize, which was presented Dec. 12, by the Vincentian Studies Institute. Fr. Rybolt, who was ordained in 1967, is a Vincentian scholar-in-residence at DePaul University. He receives the honor in part for his recently published seven-volume global history of the Vincentian community that dates back to its beginning in 1625.
Fr. Rybolt, who has a master's degree in Latin from DePaul, also has degrees in Near Eastern languages and literatures, ministry, theology and sacred scripture, and a doctorate in biblical studies. He has taught in Congregation of the Mission seminaries before initiating the Centre International de Formation, headquartered in Paris, designed for ongoing formation of members of the Congregation and the Vincentian Family. Since 2003, he has been the historian of the Congregation.
"Father Rybolt is a prolific author and traveler. He was selected for the Pierre Coste Prize for his significant contributions in advancing Vincentian studies, which includes the monumental seven-volume international history of the Congregation of the Mission plus an additional summary volume," notes the Rev. Edward R. Udovic, C.M.
Fr. Rybolt's books, articles and research on the history of St. Vincent de Paul and the Congregation of the Mission have been a part of the major renaissance of Vincentian studies in the second half of the 20th century, according to Fr. Udovic, who is secretary of DePaul University where he is a professor of history, senior executive for university mission, and vice president for teaching and learning resources.