Bene Merenti Joy!
"The Parish of St. Columba’s Church Culloden celebrated the awarding of Bene Merenti papal awards to two extremely dedicated and devoted parishioners.
Although the new church building at Culloden only celebrated its 10th anniversary on 1st November 2018, the growing congregation had been gathering for over 30 years prior to that in a nearby school gym hall.
Ewen & Helen have been most generous of their time and abundant talents, in their devotion of helping to create, nurture and encourage the growth of the church community over many years at Culloden near Inverness.
They are instantly recognisable to visitors and parishioners alike, as they’ve both been Eucharistic Ministers, Catechists, Readers, and dedicated volunteers in all church-related matters, too numerous to cover on one page. Helen is a busy young grandmother and has recently moved house across the city, and as a result, is now stepping down from her many dedicated years of volunteering and being the church Sacristan and main key-holder. She saw her role at St. Columba’s as part of her ‘lay vocation’. Helen is intimately involved in the Secular Franciscan movement, as the former local ‘General Minister’ for Scotland. She organised and chaired monthly meetings of the Secular Franciscans in the Highland region, and still attends conferences and workshops throughout the UK and Europe. In addition she volunteered with the Citizens Advice Bureau for several years.
Ewen is a local solicitor and senior partner in a family law firm; he’s has served as Secretary, Chairman and is currently Treasurer to the parish, and involved in the Fabric and Finance committee over many years. He was invited to be Deanery team Advisor for Finance, by Bishop Peter Moran. Ewen is a Catechist and has lead the weekly Children’s Liturgy since 1998. Helen is the principal Catechist of the parish, and she and Ewen share the preparation of candidates for the sacraments of First Confession, First Communion, and Confirmation.
During the past year, the church estate at Culloden has been developed further, with the building of a new private nursery, and the sale of two house plots in nearby woodland. The net proceeds of these sales have resulted in the funds to help build a presbytery for the parish priest.
Ewen has expertly guided the parish through the entire legal process, with the parish priest Fr. Domenico Zanre just moving into the newly completed house on Hogmanay.
(Prior to that, since his appointment as parish priest over three years ago, he had been living at St. Mary’s Presbytery in Inverness, occupying the guest room).
Fr. Domenico Zanre thanked Helen and Ewen for their years of outstanding dedication and transmitting the Catholic Faith to the next generation, and for all their many contributions to the wellbeing of the church and its growing parish community.
He hoped that their examples of faith and generous volunteering, along with the many other helpers at the church, would inspire others to give off their talents and spare a few hours of their skills, to help with the weekly and monthly smooth running of a busy and vibrant church.
(Inverness Courier, Friday 11 January 2019)
RC Diocese of Aberdeen Charitable Trust. A registered Scottish Charity Number SC005122.