Awards recognise servants of the Church

Sr Mary Shanahan (Supplied)

Queen’s Birthday honours have been bestowed upon several leading Catholic lay and religious leaders, recognising their decades of work as servants of the Church in Australia. Source: ACBC Media Blog.

Among the many Queen’s Birthday honours awardees are Sr Mary Margaret Shanahan RSCJ, Fr Robert (Bob) Sheridan and Sr Patricia Caroline Bailey OP. Justice Neville Owen, the former chair of the Truth, Justice and Healing Council, who currently serves on the Pontifical Council for the Protection of Minors, has also been recognised in the awards.

Sr Patricia, from Belfield in Sydney, was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for her service to education, particularly for deaf and hearing-impaired children.

Surprised by the recognition, and initially thinking it was a joke, Sr Patricia is hoping her honour will put the needs of deaf and speech-impaired children in the spotlight.

During her 42 years in education, Sr Bailey said she had seen numerous changes in the teaching of deaf children.

“If the OAM can help give deaf children a bit of profile, then it will be good,” she told The Canterbury-Bankstown Express.

Fr Sheridan, who at 86 years of age is still celebrating Mass at Sacred Heart Parish, Blackheath, NSW, yesterday said receiving the Order of Australia Medal had been a surprise to him.

“The four words that sum me up about who I am and what my approach as a priest here in Blackheath has been are, and Jesus himself said it, ‘love God and love neighbour’,” he said.

Sr Shanahan, from Vaucluse in Sydney, received her Order of Australia Medal for service to tertiary education and as a mentor of young students. She is currently away on retreat.

Sr Shanahan’s connection with Sancta Sophia College spans more than 60 years. From 1955, she was a resident of Sancta while obtaining her undergraduate degree. She later served as principal from 1983 to 1992. Today, she remains college chaplain.

Justice Owen was named an Officer of the Order of Australia. In addition to his contribution to the Truth, Justice and Healing Council and Pontifical Council for the Protection of Minors, he served on the Supreme Court of Western Australia following a distinguished legal career and has held a number of roles at the University of Notre Dame Australia.


Queen’s Birthday awards recognise servants of the Church (ACBC Media Blog)

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