In July 2019 Fr John was awarded the inaugural Parish Marriage Resource Centre (PMRC) award. The award was presented by Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP who stated,
"It is with great pleasure that we award this inaugural PMRC Impact Award to Fr John Rate MSC for his work in supporting the Sacrament of Matrimony, most especially through his work and leadership with Worldwide Marriage Encounter in Australia and internationally.
It is not insignificant that we make this inaugural award to a priest. The Sacraments of Matrimony and Holy Orders have long reinforced each other in their respective sacramental missions. A particular charism of the Marriage Encounter Movement is its joint leadership by priests and married couples working together - in other words, bringing the graces of the Sacraments of Holy Orders and Matrimony in co-responsible leadership roles."
Further information can be found on the MSC webpage
"MSCs have always been a major support of Antioch and, not surprisingly, John became heavily involved, always having an Antioch community in whatever parish he found himself. And, as always, in giving, he received. In a recent video, he said that Worldwide Marriage Encounter and Antioch were the two major influences in the enrichment of his vocation as an MSC priest.
Over all these years, he has remained keen to support anything that impacts on the spiritual life of his parishioners and that helps him to share in his joy of spreading the Gospel. For example, he has shared his own MSC spirituality with parishioners through MSC Lay Associate groups; he has reached out to less involved people through Alpha and he has worked at moving his parish from maintenance to mission through Fr James Mallon’s programme of Divine Renovation."