Papal award for Edith


Congratulations to our sacristan, Edith Compton, who has been awarded a Benemerenti Medal by Pope Benedict XVI for her outstanding service to the Church. Mgr Dermot Clarke presented the Medal to Edith on Sunday 3rd June 2012, referring to a special Proclamation prepared for the occasion.

For over 60 years, Edith has served our parish faithfully in many different voluntary roles, including acting as door-to-door collector, church cleaner, keyholder and Eucharistic minister. In more recent years, we have all come to rely on her dedicated commitment as sacristan.


Benemerenti Medals are bestowed to individuals who have merited special recognition by the Holy See. The Medals are Pontifical decorations instituted by Gregory XVI in 1832, and are conferred to people for distinguished service to Catholic principles, the Church and society – to those who have shown an active fidelity to and love for the Church.

The medal is worn on the breast, suspended by ribbons of the papal colours. It is a gold Greek cross depicting the image of Christ, His hand raised in blessing. On the left of the transverse arm of the cross is a depiction of the tiara and crossed keys, and to the right is the shield of the Pope and his motto. On the reverse is the word Benemerenti, which means “good merit”. The award is accompanied by a certificate in Latin, which may be translated as follows:


using his power to honour by a mark of distinction,
has seen fit to bestow upon


this gold medal, established for those
exceedingly well deserving in Christian matters.

From the Office of the Vatican, April 20th 2012


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Today’s Mass Readings
The only survivor of a shipwreck washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions. But then one day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky. The worst had happened; everything was lost. He was stung with grief and anger. "God, how could you do this to me!" he cried.
Early the next day, however, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him. "How did you know I was here?" asked the weary man of his rescuers. "We saw your smoke signal," they replied.
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