St Mary's, Inverness


Miss Winifred Kelly, a retired school teacher, who taught at St. Joseph’s Primary School, and a lifelong parishioner at St. Mary’s Church, Huntly Street, Inverness, received the highest medal of honour for a lay person in the Catholic Church, at 11am Mass on Sunday morning.

Miss Kelly of Bruce Gardens, Inverness is a Consecrated Member of the Servite Institute, and in the last twenty years of her service with that Institute, she has been world Vice President, with the responsibility for formation and continuing formation.

She was awarded the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice. ( Translated from Latin, as, ‘For the Church and for the Pope’). This papal award is also known as ‘The Decoration of Honour’.

Presenting her with the award on behalf of Pope Francis, was Fr. James Bell, parish priest at St. Mary’s Inverness and Dean of the Highland Deanery. He said that, “Miss Winifred Kelly was an inspiration to all parishioners for her devotion to the church and her example of many years of dedicated voluntary service to the St. Mary’s Parish”. He went on to wish her, “a well deserved, long and happy retirement from her parish secretary duties”, and thanked her for, “her many years of dedication to the church, its parish priests, and its smooth running for the benefit of all its parishioners”. Fr. Bell went on to say,

“Miss Winifred Kelly is already a recipient of the Bene Merenti papal medal, which she received in 2003. So this additional, highest papal medal award for a lay person, came as a completely unexpected, yet wonderful surprise to her”.