Fr. Albert McDonnell, Christy O'Connor and Fr. Michael O'Grady.

Fr. Albert McDonnell, Christy O’Connor and Fr. Michael O’Grady.

Christy O’Connor from Churchtown Road, Newcastle West has been awarded a Benemerenti medal by Pope Francis for his outstanding service to his parish and to the Church.

Christy has been living in the parish of Coolmeen in Co. Clare for the past thirty years and has served as a member of the Coolmeen Cranny Pastoral Council for many years and has also looked after parish finances and the maintenance of St. Benedict’s Church, Coolmeen. The medal was presented to Christy during 8pm Mass celebrated in St. Benedict’s Church, Coolmeen on Friday May 27th. The Mass was celebrated by Fr. Albert McDonnell and Fr. Michael O’Grady and attended by members of Christy’s family and circle of friends, in addition to the local parish community.

Benemerenti medals are conferred on people for distinguished service to their parish or diocese and to the faith.

The medal is accompanied by a parchment in Latin, issued by the Pope which states “The Supreme Pontiff, Francis using his power to honour by a mark of distinction, has seen fit to bestow upon Christopher O’Connor, the gold medal Benemerenti, established for those exceedingly well deserving in Christian service”.