After our Easter vigil Mass this year, Father Tom had the great joy of presenting Dr. Francis Carter with the papal award Bene Merenti. Frank is our choir master and was sitting at the organ with his hands poised to play the final hymn, after a packed Triduum, during which he had led the choir, as always, through some fine music, when Father Tom made the announcements.
The service Dr. Carter has continually given to the Church goes back a lot of years – before he went to medical school he served daily Mass in St. Joseph’s Preston, his native parish. After qualifying as a doctor and marrying Betty, he became a GP in 1961 in Garstang where he took great care of the community, including the parish priests, until his retirement in 2003.
The service Dr. Carter has given this parish over those years has been second to none. The devotion he and Betty have given in so many ways – most of which are known by only the Lord – could not be left unnoticed.
Bene Merenti – well deserved. The applause which resounded in SS Mary and Michael church, Garstang, demonstrated the affection in which Frank and Betty are held in the parish and the joy we all felt when the Holy Father honoured him.