Bishop Moriarty presented Mrs Jenny Cummins and Mrs Tess Blanche with Papal honours in Ballon on Sunday 23rd November 2008.

Mrs Jenny Cummins and Mrs Tess Blanche pictured above with Bishop Moriarty along with Fr Brendan Howard PP and Fr Edward Whelan former PP of Ballon.

The Benemerenti Medal was instituted by Pope Gregory XVI in 1832 and is conferred on those who have exhibited long and exceptional service to the Catholic Church, their families and community. It has the word benemerenti (to a well deserving person) on its face, surrounded by a crown of oak leaves; the ribbon is made of Papal colors.Recipients are also presented with a scroll recording the honour bestowed upon them.

Jenny Cummins, aged 74, (pictured above) joined the church choir when she was just ten years old and remained a stalwart supporter up to three years ago. Jenny served as Sacristan for thirteen years taking the keys of the church in 1988 when the original Bull Tree was chopped down.

Tess Blanche, aged 85, (pictured above with her family) has been very active in church matters and joined the choir when she was just seven years old and gave a record breaking service of 76 years. Tess was an early member of the Apostolic Work Society and still continues with this good work and fundraising. She was also a founder member of The Evergreens, now the Senior Citizens.

The Bishop gave an amusing but pointed note on how so few people actually got on and contributed to society. And how so many agreed on what should be done within the society. The medals are a way of saying thank you to the doers.

The church choir, which is re-establishing itsel,f put on a great performance with three part melody and plenty of volume.

Practically the whole congregation gave their congratulations to the pair accompanied by a great round of applause. Be proud Ballon, you deserve it.