Papal awards celebrate long service

A number of people in the diocese have received Papal honours for long service in their parishes.

Honours at Halstead

Parish priest, Mgr Gordon Read, recently presented Benemerenti medals to two Halstead parishioners. Connie Lauffer and Mollie Elliott have been exceptional parishioners of St Francis of Assisi, with over 80 years of service between them.  They have been active Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist taking communion to the sick and housebound, visiting people in the local care homes and hospital. Mgr Read highlighted the many aspects of parish life both have been involved in, and their commitment as fund raisers, cleaners, charity workers, prayer group co-ordinators, pilgrimage attenders, refreshments providers, bazaar organisers – the list goes on. At a reception after Mass, people spoke passionately about the excellent role models that Connie and Mollie have been.


Benemerenti for Wickford’s Chris Tisi

Parishioners of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Wickford, were delighted when Chris Tisi received the Papal Benemerenti medal from Fr John Corbyn for exceptional service recently. Chris has been active in the parish for 40 years, leading church music and liturgy preparation. With his wife, Joan, he has been active in organising the social life of the parish. Chris has been a prominent member of the Parish Pastoral Council, the Parish Finance and General Purposes Committee and in 2011 he and Joan started the Wickford group of the Hosanna House and Children’s Pilgrimage Trust which supports parishioners on a pilgrimage to Lourdes. As group leader, Chris organised the pilgrimage and the fund raising that supported it. More recently, Chris has taken on the roles of parish site manager, project managing a major redevelopment and Steward of the Gospel, holding open meetings with parishioners and sharing his experiences with Stewards across the diocese.

Lexden organist honoured

Dr Michael Vernon (above), organist for 40 years at the 11am Mass in St Teresa of Lisieux parish, Lexden, has had his special ministry honoured and applauded with a papal blessing, which was presented to him by parish priest, Fr Tom Lavin.