Papal honours for three Lucan Parishioners
Three parishioners of St. Mary's Parish have been honoured by Pope Francis for their service to the church. Ewan O'Flynn, Billy Birnie, and Don McDonald are to receive the Benemerenti medal at the 12.15 pm Mass in St. Mary's on Sunday January 28th. The Mass will be said by the Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo who will present the medals during the Mass.
Archbishop Okolo - Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland
The Benemerenti which translates as well deserved, was introduced by Pope PiusVI (1775-1799) and was initially a military award, it was later extended to members of the clergy and laity in recognition of exemplary service to the church.
Ewan O'Flynn was for many years the sacristan of St. Mary's and also a tremendous support to the many priests who have passed through Lucan. His late wife Joan was well known through her writings and her involvement with the Lucan Newsletter, she also contributed a great deal to the liturgical life of the parish. Ewan's organising skills meant that anything he was involved in was done to a very high standard.
Billy Birnie is the second member of his family to receive the Benemerenti, his late brother Laddie was the recipient some years ago. Billy and his late wife Nancy have played a huge role in the life of St. Mary's through the years and thanks to them the new generation of the family continues that tradition. Billy himself has been involved for very many years and his practical and inventive skills have been a Godsend through those years. He works away quietly without fuss and can solve any maintenance problem. He is the Mr. Fixit of Lucan. He brings to his work a bright and cheery disposition.
Don McDonald has been a volunteer sacristan for many years. After the death of his late wife Riet he was invited by Fr. Philip Bradley to assist in the church and has been most generous and obliging in his work through those years. Don was asked some years ago to take part in a passion play one Holy Week, and what was to be a silent role turned into a speaking and singing part which ensured his membership of the Folk Group to this day. He is very much a man of faith and prayer whose quiet witness speaks volumes.
We congratulate all three and hope that many will come to the presentation Mass and afterwards for a cuppa in the Parish Centre. Sunday January 28th 12.15pm
Fr. Philip Curran