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Papal Honour Awarded in Fairlie

Pope Francis recently awarded the Benemerenti medal to Pauline Gallagher in recognition of over 60 years of exceptional service to the Catholic Church in the Mackenzie Parish.

The name Benemerenti, derived from the Latin phrase “pro bene merito,” means “for good merit,” and is awarded to the lay faithful who have made significant contributions to the Catholic Church. It is considered one of the highest honours, and is typically awarded by the Pope.

Pauline has freely given her time and energy in a variety of roles over many years. She has cleaned the church and played a crucial role in compiling the parish history. She has served on the Parish Pastoral Council, including time as the chairperson. She has been a reader at Mass for many years, and has looked after the altar linen and prepared the Advent wreath.

As an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, she has been visiting and taking Communion to the sick and housebound members of the parish for over 20 years. Pauline has always been willing to support the church and members of the parish in whatever way is needed.

Due to her health conditions, the current parish priest, Fr Tien Cao, presented the Papal Medal and Certificate to her in her home, in the midst of her gathered family and friends. Fr. Tien Cao expressed gratitude to Pauline for her many years of service, and the entire parish joins in celebrating this rare joy with her and her family.