Recognising the spirit of Christian service in the Diocese of Parramatta

By Christina Gretton, 9 August 2022
Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta with recipients of the 2022 Diocese of Parramatta Medal of Honour and the 2022 Citation of Merit for Youth. Image: Diocese of Parramatta.


As parishioners in the Diocese of Parramatta marked the feast of the Diocese’s patron saint, St Mary Mackillop, Bishop Vincent Long, OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta presented the following members of our faith community with Diocesan Awards at St Patrick’s Cathedral Parramatta.

The Awards, the Diocesan Medal of Honour and the Citation of Merit for Youth, recognise dedicated service within the Diocese of Parramatta. They are an acknowledgement not only of what the recipients have done, but also the spirit of Christian service. This is the first time in three years the awards were presented.

The presentation of the awards followed Vespers led by the St Patrick’s Cathedral Scholars and Choir, featuring From Penola’s Plains, and motet Sicut cervus desiderat.

RELATED: ‘Dear friends’ – Bishop Vincent’s address at the presentation of the Diocesan Awards

The Diocese of Parramatta thanks and congratulates the following parishioners on their awards:

Diocesan Medal of Honour

 The Medal of Honour seeks to encourage and recognise outstanding contribution and service by members of the Parramatta Diocesan community in work on behalf of the Church and society. It is awarded for outstanding services to parishes, the Diocese and the community.

Sylvia Belsey, Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, Kellyville

Sylvia’s ministry has cared for the psychological and emotional wellbeing of parishioners. In creating the Parishes’ ‘Widow Group,’ Sylvia was able to bring both a professional and faith-filled compassion to supporting those in need.

Juan Caceres, St Nicholas of Myra Parish, Penrith

For over 10 years Juan has tendered, nurtured, and created the gardens and environment surrounding the Church. Juan’s commitment to creating a welcoming and peaceful environment is appreciated by all.

Vincent Connelly, St. Bernadette’s Castle Hill

For over 30 years, Vincent has lived out his deep faith across multiple ministries including, lector, Acolyte, extraordinary minister of the Eucharist to the sick, as well as serving on the Parish Council and Finance Committee.

Joseph Doyle, St Andrew the Apostle Parish, Marayong

An active member of the parish for over 30 years, Joseph was instrumental in the commissioning of St. Vincent de Paul in Marayong. He has always believed in the need to support those on the margins and the need to provide rapid and sustained support. Joseph has also served on the Parish Council, as well as being a Eucharistic Minister and Acolyte.

Enrico Enriquez, St Andrew’s the Apostle Marayong

For over 30 years Enrico’s deep faith has been shared with some many through a variety of ministries at St. Andrew’s the Apostle. Enrico has lived out his faith through the Ministries of Acolyte, Baptismal preparation classes, Sacramental facilitator and founding member of the ‘Jesus and Mary prayer group.’

James Eves, Mary Immaculate Parish, Quakers Hill

James has used the deep faith and knowledge gained through many years of teaching to develop and expand the Sacramental programs at the Parish of Mary Immaculate Quaker’s Hill.

Maureen Fearnside, St Bernadette’s Parish, Castle Hill

Maureen has been involved in many ministries including, Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist, and Communion Minister to the Sick. Maureen has also ensured the development of the Parishes’ book shop. Maureen’s ‘love for one another,’ is fully lived out in the Care Group, supporting elderly parishioners.

Annette Hartman, St Patrick’s Cathedral Parish, Parramatta

Annette serves the Diocese of Parramatta in a dedicated and faith filled way.  The length of Annette’s service to the St. Patrick’s Cathedral has facilitated the mentoring and sponsorship of young men and women who seek to serve in lay ministry at the altar.

Norman Heffernan, St Nicholas of Myra Parish, Penrith

Norman was recognised for his service to Marriage and Engaged Encounters, Parent Representative in Antioch and for his involvement with the RCIA program for over 15 years in the Parish of St. Nicholas of Myra, Penrith.

Rod Hilliker, St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta

Described as the ‘Good Samaritan,’ Rod was recognized and acknowledged for his commitment to St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta and its parishioners. For many, Rod brings a sense of wellbeing and safety. Rod’s deep faith and love for the other is lived out in the way he cares for those in need.

Dudley Littlewood, Holy Spirit Parish, St. Clair

During the more than 35 years Dudley has served the parish, he has embraced leadership roles that have covered various Ministries and Commissions including, Parish Pastoral Council, Cultural Commission, Anglo-Indian Choir and Ministry of the word, as well as other ministries.

Deidre Said, Diocese Development Fund, Diocese of Parramatta

Deidre has been recognized for her continued service to family and community, and particularly her role as Customer Consultant Operations with The Diocesan Development Fund for over 10 years. Deidre’s high level of support and professional advice has been appreciated by all.

Helen Steyns, Diocesan Development Fund, Diocese of Parramatta.

In 1995 Helen commenced her work with the Diocesan Development Fund. She was particularly acknowledged for her role as Head of Lending and Operations. Helen’s continued support and professional advice has been appreciated by all. She has been described as “a person who, ‘never lost sight of the Churches’ mission”.

Annette Tan, Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, Kellyville

Annette has shared her love of the faith by preparing upward of 250 children each year for Sacraments of initiation, as well a supporting those in the RCIA program. Annette is described as having a quiet and gentle spirit, which is of great inspiration to all in the Parish.


Citation of Merit of Youth

The Diocesan Citation of Merit for Youth seeks to encourage and recognise youth between the ages of 18 and 25 who have shown outstanding contribution and service to the parish, the Diocese and the community.

Mindy Mercado, St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta

Mindy was recognized for her committed and dedicated leadership of ‘Credo Youth,’ within St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta. Mindy also serves the Diocese through her roles in the Diocese Youth Council and the Deanery Youth Council. Formation is the cornerstone for the Credo Movement and Mindy ensures a strong level of support for each of its members.

Patrice Moriarty, Holy Spirit Parish, St Clair

Patrice was recognized as an outstanding member of the Holy Spirit Parish, who contributes in a unique way to the liturgical and spiritual lives of all its members. Patrice has been a member and leader of the Parish Youth group for over 15 years and has served on the Parish Council.

See photos from the presentation here.



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