Marie Donovan wearing her Benemerenti Medal fromPope Francis.
At St Mary’s Taihape on 14 June, Marie Donovan was awarded the Benemerenti Medal for her service to the Catholic Church in Taihape. A group of local people gathered to celebrate this occasion for Marie. During the Church Service the Anointing of the Sick and Elderly was provided for those who requested it. As the anointing began, the interior of the Church was bathed in brilliant sunlight, after an otherwise grey day. Afternoon tea was served following the service. The Taihape church continues to amaze people with its architecture and use of natural lighting.
Marie and her sister, Jo, have been assiduous in caring for the altar and vestments used in the Church Liturgy. A resident of Taihape for all her 90 years, Marie made sure floral decorations and clean linen were all correct and ready for Church services. Her involvement in the Floral Art Society was taken naturally to the beautification of the Church. With the departure of the Josephite Sisters from Taihape, Marie continued their work. As a Nurse Aid in the Hospital, and heavily involved in the Floral Society, she made great contributions to the Taihape community. The bunches of flowers given to Marie on the day, including one from St Joseph’s School, were very emotional for her.
This is an honour for the Taihape Community. The Medal is only awarded sparingly. The last Medal awarded in Taihape was to Noel Byford.
Soon after Marie was presented with her papal medal, she sadly passed away.