A papal honour has been bestowed on Josephine Eynon of Upper Hutt for services to the Catholic Church.

On July 30 at Sunday Mass at Our Lady of Grace church, Heretaunga, Cardinal John Dew presented Mrs Eynon with the Benemerenti Medal and a parchment from Pope Francis.

Mrs Eynon served as cantor in her church for more than 20 years and has been responsible for most of the liturgical music worship in that church in that time.

On July 30, many past parishioners of the church music group came from near and far to play again at the award Mass.

Mrs Eynon was noted for her great warmth and generosity of spirit. Her leadership skills gave capable guidance, which attracted the loyalty and love of the musicians over the years.

For 13 years Mrs Eynon was engaged  in Catholic chaplaincy work at Victoria University, Wellington.

Students recalled, with much affection, how she brought help, encouragement, and prayer to the struggles of student life.

Students described her efforts as “yeast in their life, where a little given went a long way and achieved much”.

Mrs Eynon was also instrumental in founding a women’s support and prayer group, open to all, as a “Circle of Friends”.

Some 30 to 40 women meet, to this day, for companionship and to raise funds for the Catholic Mission, El Pozen, in South America.

Mrs Eynon has been an active participant and leader of various prayer groups in her parish over the years. Parishioners celebrated her achievement after Mass at a lunch given in her honour.