by Fr Francis Wadsworth
As a former Parish Priest of St Marie and St Joseph’s Parish I have had the privilege of being part of an application to the Holy Father that resulted in Jim Hyndman, one of the parishioners, being awarded the Bene Merenti Medal by Pope Francis for his services to the Parish, Catholic Education and the local Community.
It was a great joy for me to celebrate Mass with Jim and his family as he received this well-deserved accolade. Literally translated ‘Bene Merenti’ means ‘well merited’, or person of ‘good merit.’
Most of our parishioners will know Jim through his ‘meet and greet’ ministry as people arrive for Mass at St Marie’s. In addition to this he serves the parish as a Minister of the Word. I have also witnessed his care and concern for the sick and housebound members of the parish by faithfully taking Holy Communion to them in their homes, thus enabling them to feel part of our parish community.
Jim has also served the local community as a Governor of our local Catholic Schools for many years as well as a Justice of the Peace being appointed Chair of the Bench in 2009.
We offer Jim and his family our congratulations!