Maria Barlett, a parishioner at St James’, Kinross, was presented with a Papal Award byher parish priest, Fr Martin Pletts, following Sunday Mass on 22nd December 2019.
The award of a Benemerenti Medal comes as a recognition of Maria’s great contribution to the life of the Church. Fr Pletts commented, “It is a great service and it is right that it should be celebrated in this way.”
“It is good to rejoice in and give thanks for the way in which God works in and through us, and good to recognise the achievements of His grace in our lives – because God has touched and is touching many lives through you and your desire to be open to Him and responsive to the call of His Holy Spirit.”
Last year the parish celebrated 35 years of the Prayer Group in St James’ parish, and, whilst not failing to acknowledge the continued contributions of many others who have kept the group alive and vibrant, Maria has played an important role in its success.
“You have been a spiritual friend and confidante to many, and a tower of prayer, and your door is always open to those who need your counsel and spiritual support.”
“I know, too, that from the time of Mgr Donnachie who became your spiritual director, that you have prayed with and supported many of the parish priests who have served here – including me… and you have offered practical support and kindness, hospitality and compassion. You have served as a reader, Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist, member of the R.C.I.A. group, and engaged in prayer ministry, healing, and deliverance work. The work that you are doing has now even taken you to represent our Diocese on the National Service Team of Catholic Charismatic Renewal which falls under the new umbrella CHARIS – recently established by the Holy Father.
“As we recognise the work of God in your life, Maria, we also rejoice in how God works in our lives too. We know that you have not done any of this to receive a medal and a parchment or any formal recognition, but you have done what you have done in an effort to love God and love your neighbour as Christ commands. Today’s celebration, whilst recognising what God has done for you, and how you have responded, is also a poignant reminder to each one of us of how the Lord is asking us to respond generously to His grace working in our lives in order that we may please Him, show His love to our neighbour, and receive the ultimate reward – the crown of eternal glory – when we pass from this life into the next.”