Papal Honours for 3 Ladies in Kilmaley Church

Bene Merenti Medal Presentation Kilmaley Thursday 13thof June 2019, Kilmaley Church

Benemerenti Medals – Kilmaley

Today, on thisjoyful occasion of the feast of St. Anthony of Padua we gather to celebrate the generosity of 3 outstanding witnesses to faith and generosity and spirit of giving in the parish.

In total we are marking a phenomenal 120 or so of service.  The feast of St. Anthony, the Patron Saint of the Lost and Found is a celebration of an abundance and overflowing measure of God’s goodness. Today in this celebration we celebrate the good fortune this parish had in finding three unique individuals with an abundance of kindness, selflessness, generosity, dedication, service and outstanding work.


In the world we live in we often mark the achievements of outstanding sports people – with the All Star of Hall of Fame awards.  In the World of Acting we have the Oscars or the Grammies.  In the musical world we have all sorts of similar events and we have various different people of the year or rehab awards.  In the Bene Merenti Awards we honour from the religious point of view unsung heroes like these three outstanding ladies who turned up day in day out to have things ready and keep the place in order. Tonight they are no longer unsung, but we rightly and deservedly sing their praises.

Bene Merenti

I have the privilege today of presenting the Papal Award Bene Merenti, the Latin for Well Meritedor well deserved.


Mary FitzGerald

  • Mary FitzGerald – St John the Baptist Church, Kilmaley
  • 89 years young!
  • Parish Sacristan, Kilmaley 37 years
  • Treasurer – Apostolic Work Society
  • Prepared the Church for every celebration- faithful commitment
  • Kind disposition towards everyone
  • Enabled everyone to feel welcome


Bridget Slattery

  • Bridget Slattery – Our Lady of the Wayside Church, Inch
  • 86 years young
  • Member of Apostolic Work Society
  • Parish Pioneer Committee
  • Organiser of Prayer Services
  • Distribution of Holy Communion at Parish Day Centre & preparation of the Altar
  • Envelope distribution group


Nóirín Uí Cheallaigh

  • Nóirín Uí Cheallaigh – St Michael the Archangel Church, Connolly
  • 83 years young, the baby of this group, a threesome of muskateers!
  • Primary Teacher
  • Kinturk NS 1964-1969 Half Gaelscoil
  • Connolly NS 1969-1990
  • Conductor of Choir Connolly Church 1971-1990
  • Member of Parish Apostolic Work Society
  • Member of Conradh na Gaeilge & Féile na hInse
  • Love of Irish language, tradition & culture
  • An Ghaeilge, teanga, ceol, cultúr, tradisiúin agus oidhreacht na hÉireann
  • Continues to join the choir members who enhance the liturgy on first Thursday of each month at the local day centre


Trinity Sunday

This Sunday we celebrate Trinity Sunday.  The celebration of God’s love for us in the threefold expression of Love of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  In the three people we make presentations to – we have an echo of the Trinitarian love of the blessed Trinity in their love for their community, the Church, the faith, the love of God the families and people they have served so faithfully and with outstanding generosity for well over a century of years combined!


Thanks, Well done, blessings

On behalf of the parish, on behalf of the diocese, I thank Mary and Bridget and Nóirín for their long serving work, their labour of love.  Thanks also to their families and friends who must be so proud of them on this evening, the evening in which we mark their great efforts of so many decades. May you all be blessed in abundance from the Well Spring of God’s abundant goodness and grace and I have the happy duty of presenting you now with a token of gratitude and thanks from Pope Francis.

Comhgairdeachas libh ar fad.  Go gcúití Dia bhur saothair libh agus go maire sibh ar fad an céad agus níos mó!