Medal from The Pope for church helper

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A HELPER at St Bride’s RC Church, Monifieth, has been presented with the prestigious Bene Merenti medal.

It was handed over to Brian McEwan at a mass attended by people of all ages on Sunday by Bishop Vincent Logan on behalf of Pope Benedict.

Members of the congregation congratulated the recipient warmly as he received this well deserved award.

When Father Romeo Coia arrived in the parish of St Bride’s, Brian McEwan offered his services to help in any way he could.

There began his many years of service to the parish, principally as sacristan, but in a host of other ways also.

He has masterminded the organisation of the daily adoration of the Blessed Sacrament programme, and been a willing point of contact for all who call by the church with a myriad of requests.

He has been on hand to open and close the church at the beginning and end of the day, and has taken on roles of caretaker, polisher of brass, magazine and bulletin writer, launderer of altar linen, to mention just a few.

He has set up the altar for Mass, seen to visiting priests, led Liturgies of the Word in the absence of a priest or deacon, assiduously taken Holy Communion to the sick and housebound, and has generally been a first class member of the lay faithful serving in many practical ways to ensure the smooth running of the parish.

Father Kevin Golden stated: “Brian has been a constant support to me over the seven years I have been parish priest at St Bride’s.

“He is completely reliable, always willing, and consistently cheerful. He has carried out the duties of Sacristan with a reverence and devotion which are an example to us all.

“The bestowing of the Bene Merenti medal on Brian by Pope Benedict is an honour which he would not seek himself, but which is richly deserved.

“The parishioners and myself rejoice that this recognition of Brian’s devoted service has been made.”