Papal praise for wonder woman

Eileen receiving the award

Eileen Nelson is a one-woman wonder. Even Pope Francis thinks so, recently awarding the 82-year-old St parishioner from Patrick’s Murrumbeena in Melbourne the Benemerenti medal.

- Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne
The medal was presented on behalf of Pope Francis by Bishop Peter Elliott on Sunday 26 August at the parish’s 9am Mass, in front of Parish Priest Fr Barry Tobin and Eileen’s fellow parishioners, family and friends.
The Benemerenti medal is awarded to Catholics in good standing who have provided long and exceptional service to the Church.
Eileen was nominated for this rare honour by Fr Barry. “At the age of 82, Eileen continues to contribute to the life of the local Church with zeal, enthusiasm and genuine humility. She is a loyal and faithful daughter of the Church. She is an absolute marvel for a woman her age and an inspiration for all those who know her.”
Eileen was informed of her award in a letter from Archbishop Denis Hart.
“I am honoured to convey to you the fact that, in recognition of your sterling service over many years to the Parish, the Holy Father has awarded you the Papal Benemerenti Medal as an indication of gratitude for the service to the Church which you have rendered with such distinction,” Archbishop Hart wrote.
“I personally thank you for all that you are and do, for your very real faith and love of the Church, and of your Parish.”
Eileen’s papal honour came just days after St Patrick’s Parish celebrated the 50th anniversary of the blessing and opening of the Church in 1963.

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