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Sunday 15 September 2019

Mary is presented with papal Bene Merenti medal

Mary Gannon with her husband Richard, sons Martin and Richard, grandchildren Adam and Grace, Bishop Denis Brennan, Fr Odhran Furlong and Fr Billy Swan
Mary Gannon with her husband Richard, sons Martin and Richard, grandchildren Adam and Grace, Bishop Denis Brennan, Fr Odhran Furlong and Fr Billy Swan

An Enniscorthy woman has been acknowledged for her contribution to life in the church with a prestigious Bene Merenti medal.

The papal medal was presented to Mary Gannon by Bishop Denis Brennan at a ceremony in St Aidan's Cathedral where she was joined by her husband, Richard, sons, Martin and Richard, grandchildren, Adam and Grace, family members and friends.

Fr Odhran Furlong and Fr Billy Swan were co-celebrants at the presentation.

Fr Furlong highlighted to this newspaper how Mary is deserving of such an accolade.

'One of her greatest contributions is the effort she puts into organising the coordinating parish trips and pilgrimages,' he said.

'There is a considerable amount of work involved in this, in a parish of this size, and Mary's contribution is immense.'

Mary organises the parish pilgrimage buses and in recent years she also organised buses to the Eucharistic Congress and to all events associated with the recent Papal visit.

Mary is also the current leader of the Parish Adoration Group.

Fr Furlong said she is a leading member of the local Legion of Mary and is 'very active within the group'.

'She also takes charge of selling religious articles and promotes the church during social and cultural events in the town,' said Fr Furlong.

Mary is also well known as one of the leaders of the recitation of a public rosary during May and in the cemetery in November.

She is a Eucharistic minister in the cathedral and is a member of the cathedral choir.

At the ceremony it was highlighted that Mary's dedication to her faith is one of the most important things in her life.

'Her incredible witness and her devotion to the life of the church and the life of the parish are exemplary,' said Fr Furlong.

'She is constantly at the service of the church in a manner that is marked with great gentleness and by a genuine attitude of service.'

He said the occasion of her receiving the Benemerenti medal was wonderful for the parish community.

Her award was sanctioned by Pope Francis following recommendation from the Papal Nuncio.

The Benemerenti Medal was instituted by Pope Gregory in 1832 and is conferred on those who have exhibited long and exceptional service to the Catholic church, their families and community.

Enniscorthy Guardian

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