A LIFETIME of swinging a hammer in the upkeep of the Catholic Church's property on the Lower Clarence has not gone unnoticed in Rome.
On Sunday, in St Mary's Church, Maclean, Mick O'Reilly received the “Benemerenti Medal” for more than 60 years of dedicated service to St Mary's parish and community.
The Benemerenti Medal was instituted by Pope Gregory XVI in 1832.
The word “benemerenti” – meaning “to a well deserving person” – is inscribed on the back of the medal and is surrounded by a crown of oak leaves. The ribbon is in the papal colours, gold and white.
St Mary's parish priest Fr Peter Padsungay presented Mr O'Reilly with the medal and scroll and spoke of his 60 years of service in building and maintenance of churches in the parish as well as pastoral works throughout the parish.
He thanked him for his support of the many parish priests, including fathers Cranney, Kelly, Doyle, Dacey and Fitz-Walter.
A local parishioner, Rex Wiseman, also spoke of Mr O'Reilly's years of building and maintenance work and commented on the “untold savings” his work has brought to the parish.
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