Published: 10 December 2013
Doing their bit in a Waratah parish has won Newcastle volunteers Carl and Judy Nolan one of the Catholic Church's highest honours from the Pope, reports The Newcastle Herald.
The Blackbutt North parishioners, 81 and 79, received the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice medal at a Mass acknowledging parish and school volunteers in Waratah on Sunday night.
The medal, also known as the Cross of Honour, is the highest papal honour available to lay people and recognises distinguished service to the Church. It marks the Nolans' dedication to filling the gaps in their church, school and broader community for almost half a century. Mr Nolan has volunteered with St Vincent de Paul Society making house calls for 40 years while his wife organises the church choir and plays the organ. The pair also offer communion to those unable to reach the church, teach scripture classes and put their hands up whenever offered an opportunity.
Mrs Nolan said she was 'totally embarrassed' by the honour, believing her contribution was simply part of belonging to the Church. 'I don't know who instigated it, to be honest,' Mrs Nolan said.
FULL STORY Pope awards couple high Church honour