faith | service | social justice

The Benemerenti Medal Awarded to CWL Member Anne Benson

Aug 29, 2023 | In the News, Media, News Releases, Spotlight

The Benemerenti Medal is a medal awarded by Pope Francis to members of the clergy and laity for long and exceptional service to the Catholic Church.  

Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish Council (Kamloops, BC) is proud of longtime member Anne Benson who, along with her husband Pat, was recently presented with the Papal Benemerenti Medal by Bishop Joseph Nguyen. 

Anne and Pat Benson witness their Catholic faith to their family and their parish community by following the Lord’s example in serving others.   

There have been leaders in all aspects of parish life:  Cursillo, Marriage Encounter, Catholic Education, Light of the World, Serrans, youth ministry, Parish Council, church and St. Ann’s Academy maintenance, and liturgical ministries including music ministry, eucharistic minister, ushering and reader of the Word. 

Anne has been a member of the Catholic Women’s League since she arrived in Kamloops. She has been on the CWL Executive most of her adult life.  She has worked on the CWL archives for more than 15 years, and has meticulously prepared a beautiful Book of Life celebrating deceased members.   Anne was president of Sacred Heart CWL from 1986-1989 and from 1994-1996.  She has been Treasurer of the Council for many years, and also served a term as Diocesan CWL Treasurer.  

Anne has been the lead person in the parish kitchen since it was built in the 1990s.  She faithfully and joyfully organizes funeral receptions (building relationships with families), cooks and serves priest day meals and parish activity socials.  She is always present, encouraging others by her example.  

Anne chaired the receptions following the episcopal ordinations of the last three Bishops of the Diocese of Kamloops – Bishop Lawrence Sabatini, Bishop David Monroe and Bishop Joseph Nguyen; and the receptions following the priestly ordinations of most of our Diocesan priests. 

Kamloops Diocese has twice hosted the BC & Yukon CWL provincial conventions and Anne has chaired the food committee each time. 

Pat and Anne have spent many weeks over time cleaning, painting and maintaining the Sisters’ residence, including plumbing and electrical work, sewing draperies, and hanging blinds.  

Anne and Pat are the driving force behind Friday coffee social following morning Mass as they recognize the importance of parish family. 

Anne and Pat never stop helping others and serving the Church.  If someone is in difficulty, Anne, Pat or both are there to offer help.  During the Covid pandemic, they faithfully cleaned the pews following Mass to ensure the virus didn’t spread.  

Anne and Pat have serve the Church as a married couple, always constant in their dedication.  They are an inspiration and example to others. 

The Catholic Women’s League congratulates and thanks Anne & Pat Benson, worthy recipients of the Papal Benemerenti Medals for exceptional service to the Catholic Church.  

Submitted by Dianne Barker