Roscrea Parishioners Presented With Benemerenti Medals

Thursday, 8 June 2017

TWO Roscrea parishioners were recently presented with Benemerenti medals in recognition of their contribution to Christian life in the parish.

Eileen Moloney and Gary Morrissey were presented with the medals at a ceremony in St Cronan's Church, Roscrea.

In his homily on the occasion, Fr Tom Corbett, said 'this evening we gather in celebration and thanks as our parish honours two very worthy parishioners who have made such a significant and lengthy contribution to our Christian life. The parish is honoured that Pope Francis considered Eileen Moloney and Gary Morrissey worthy of the Papa medal Benemerenti.

'The word "benemerenti" means well deserving and is conferred on people for their distinguished service to their parish, diocese or other activities in the Church. It was first awarded by Pope Pius VI to recognise military service. In 1925 the medal began to be awarded to the laity and clergy for significant service to the church,' said Fr Corbett.

'The current version of this lovely medal was designed by Pope Paul VI. It is in the form of a Greek Cross, depicting Jesus with his hand raised in blessing. On the left arm of the cross, there is a symbol of the papacy and on the right arms, the coat of arms of the present Pope.

'The Lord loves a cheerful giver and to give is the best way to love,' he said.

Fr Corbett outlined the contributions that both Eileen Moloney and Gary Morrissey have made to the parish.

'Eileen Moloney has given herself, her time and gifts to our Parish choir and community for a life time. A Roscrea woman, she joined the choir of St Cronan's in 1948 (almost unbelievable for one who looks so well now). Your voice filled our church and your presence enhanced our choir.

She served under seven organists and is still a vibrant and powerful voice in the gallery. Eileen was for many years a prominent and faithful member of the parish liturgy group and read frequently at Mass. Eileen also contributed her talents to the Roscrea Musical Society, which is closely linked with the parish, and served as its President over a long period.

She lived her life as a loving wife and mother with her husband, Paddy who was also an active member of the parish and together they contributed greatly to the life of our community.

'Gary Morrissey was born in Dungarvan but arrived in Roscrea in 1959 to spend his life here. On his first day in Roscrea he met the love of his life Anne, whom he married in 1964 and lived a fruitful family life for years on Convent Hill. He joined the Parish Council at its inception after Vatican 11 and remained a very active member until retirement in 2013, serving for many years as the faithful Secretary of the Council and a motivating force for good.

Gary played a leading role in the financial affairs of the Council; he was a main participant in the organising of a very successful draw in the early seventies. He worked so hard with many others that they were able to pay school bills and presented 84,000 to Dean Cuddy: some achievement indeed. Gary served as a reader at Mass for many years and read in the Monastery for 30 years.

Gary is very proud of his outstanding contribution to the Scouts, he entered the Catholic Scouts at age 10 and is still a proud and active member. He helped establish 12 new scout troops; he was a scout leader and looked after them for many years. He was awarded Founder's Medal in 1993.

As a tribute to him two priests he introduced to the Scouts are concelebrating this Mass with us.'


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