Two members of an Inverness congregation have been awarded Benemerenti papal awards from Pope Francis.
Parishioners Ewen MacDonald and Helen MacGilp of St Columba’s Roman Catholic Church in Culloden have been praised by parish priest Father Domenico Zanre and Pope Francis for their extensive efforts in helping to create, nurture and grow the church community over the years.
The Benemerenti Medal is an honour awarded by the Pope to members of the clergy and laity for outstanding service to the Catholic Church.
Mr MacDonald, a solicitor and senior partner of law firm Anderson, Shaw & Gilbert has served over the years at the church as the secretary and chairman and is currently the parish’s treasurer.
The solicitor also serves as the lead for the weekly children’s liturgy and has done since 1998.
Mrs MacGilp is the principal Catechist of the parish, and she and Mr MacDonald have shared the preparation of candidates for the sacraments of first confession, first communion and confirmation.
In the past year, the church has grown in numbers and stature with a new private nursery added to the church estate.