Congratulations to ICN contributor Leela Ramdeen, from the Catholic Commission for Social Justice in Trinidad and Tobago, who was one of four women who received a special award from Pope Francis on Friday, for their years of "long and exceptional service" to the Catholic Church.
The Benemerenti Medal was presented to Rhonda Maingot of the Living Water Community, Deborah de Rosia of the Eternal Light Community, St Joseph of Cluny Sister Ruth Montrichard, Chair of Servol (Service Volunteered for All) and Leela Ramdeen, by the Papal Nuncio Archbishop Fortunatus Nwachukwu, in a private ceremony at Archbishop's House in Port of Spain.
Archbishop Jason Gordon and the Vicar General Fr Martin Sirju were also present. Archbishop Gordon told the recipients that they were "gifts to the local Church." He said the medals showed that "the Church recognises you, appreciates you, and thanks you for what you have done for the people of God." He thanked them for their "long and tireless service" in different ministries of the Archdiocese.
Archbishop Nwachukwu said that since he arrived in region two years ago, he had learnt about their work, not only in the Archdiocese but in other dioceses around the Caribbean.
The Benemerenti Medals were very well deserved, he said. The Nuncio went on to note that the medals were coming personally from Pope Francis who represented Jesus Christ on Earth and also as "an expression of gratitude on the part of the universal Catholic Church."
Leela told ICN the award was "a wonderful surprise for us all ... We had no idea...Please pray for us as we continue to serve humanity; using the gifts that the Lord has bestowed upon us, to build the common good."
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