One of the more noteworthy endeavors of the Society is the periodic presentation of a distinguished service award to individuals who have reached positions of eminence in their field.
In 1982 the Board of Managers decided to organize the presentation into a formal annual event. A rigid set of standards was established to guide the Selection Committee in determining the candidates to receive the Award.
A criteria was established which set the limits within which the qualifications of a candidate must fit. It reads in part, "...to any American who, by their character and their contributions to the church, the community and professional accomplishments, has distinguished themself."
It is named the Barry Award for John Barry, the Father of the American Navy, whose grave site is across the street from the Society's headquarters in the cemetery of Old St. Mary's Church.
After searching for an appropriate name, John Barry was agreed upon as one who by his activity, lifestyle, patriotism and achievement most properly established the ideal for which the Award is presented.