by NZ Catholic staff
Two parishioners of Our Lady Help of Christians Church, Fitzroy, New Plymouth, have been presented with Benemerenti medals by Emeritus Bishop Owen Dolan.
Denis and Bernadette Garcia have worked and supported the parish for 60 years. Mrs Garcia has worked as parish recorder of finance and also been involved in the St Vincent de Paul society and worked in the op shop for many years. She was also in the Legion of
Mary, a special minister of the Eucharist and initiated and led the Rosary before every Mass. For more than 10 years she and her husband have been sacristans.
Mr Garcia has been a reader and special minister of the Eucharist and taken Communion to the sick and elderly in their homes and in resthomes. He even became a babysitter for a parishioner’s twins while she taught CCD in state schools. This was possible because Mr
Garcia was the editor of the local paper, The Taranaki Daily News, and didn’t start work until midday.
Mr Garcia has been involved with St Vincent de Paul for more than 20 years and during that time has been the secretary and editor of the St Vincent de Paul magazine and is still secretary and involved in the local conference.
The couple are at every Mass, funeral and wedding, they welcome visiting priests, and prepare the sacred vessels and altar linen. All these things are done for the love of God in the service of his people.