John McKay has been presented with the Papal Medal, Benemerenti, at a ceremony in his home parish of St Joseph’s, Dundee. Although a native of the nearby Ss Peter and Paul’s parish, he has spent most of his adult life in the West End of the city. John has been a parishioner of St Joseph’s, Dundee, for many years and through that time he has committed himself to serving the parish in many different ways.
Making the presentation after Sunday Mass, Bishop Stephen said, “John’s first love, of course is his family, his wife Irene, his sons Graham and Michael, their wives and his five grandchildren. St Joseph’s comes a close second and John not only attends the church, he has, in the past, helped to rebuild it. When St Joseph’s was being renovated in the early 1980s, the parish was blessed with quite a number of ‘consultants’ and there was no shortage of advice to the parish priest. However John not only advised but he was ‘hands on’, ‘walking the walk’ as they say today. The outcome of the renovations is this beautiful church that we are in today. John played an important part in making this happen.”
John has fulfilled many roles in the parish over the years. Some have been roles that parishioners are aware of, for example as Master of Ceremonies at Mass up until last year, and also as a Eucharistic minister.
However he has also chaired the parish council, organized rotas, he has been, and continues to be, the parish’s Safeguarding Officer and he has looked after the fabric of the church, lovingly, for more years that he would care to remember.
St Joseph’s parish priest, Fr Leszek said that John had, “Golden hands! Our parish has benefitted greatly from these hands as John has quietly gone about tasks, great and small, without fuss or attention.”