Papal award for Maureen Keogh


We warmly congratulate Maureen Keogh who has been awarded the Benemerenti Medal by his Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, in recognition of her long devotion to the work of St Joseph’s Young Priests Society and her lifelong passion for the gift of priesthood in the Church. The presentation was made by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin during a Mass in Thanksgiving for Priesthood in the Church of the Holy Child, Larkhill/ Whitehall on Sunday 18th November 2012.

Among our parishioners who participated in the celebration were Fr Gerry, the Benson family and our sacristan Edith Compton, who received the Benemerenti Medal in June. To honour Maureen, there was a reception in the Pastoral Centre on Sunday 9th December after the 10.30am Mass.

Maureen Sean

Maureen Edith


St Joseph’s Young Priests Society is a Catholic lay organisation which exists to help student clerics on their journey to priesthood. The Society fosters vocations to the priesthood and religious life. It assists students for the priesthood both financially and by prayer. It promotes the vocation of the laity and fosters a greater understanding and love of the Mass. The Harold’s Cross branch of the Society meets at 10.30am on the first Tuesday of the month in the Parish Pastoral Centre. New members are welcome.

Dominic Dowling, Vice-President of St Joseph’s Young Priests Society, spoke about the Society at the International Eucharistic Congress in June 2012.


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, 2012


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Pilgrim God, we give you thanks and praise.
You constantly journey with us even in our darkness and doubts.
We seek your way of loving kindness to walk together as one family.
Open our eyes to recognise you in the faces of one another,
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May the risen Christ sow seeds of hope and new life deep within us.
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May the Holy Spirit working in and through us do much more
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We make this our prayer through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

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