On two occasions recently, Bishop Hugh Gilbert OSB presented the Papal Award, the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice . They were to David McLaughlin for his work as Chairman of the Diocesan Finance Sub Committee and Dave Blackwood for his work as Chairman of the Diocesan Fabric Sub Committee.
Both men have given many years of voluntary work for the Diocese and their respective parishes.
Bishop Hugh said- “The Church, like its Lord, is not something disembodied. It has buildings and it needs money. And so, like many dioceses and parishes, the diocese of Aberdeen has Fabric and Finance Committees. These are areas where lay expertise is precious and often given with great generosity. It is only right to acknowledge the superlative, voluntary contribution of two people, Dave Blackwood and David McLaughlin, to these aspects of diocesan life over some five years. Their competence, energy and patience have been of immense benefit to the whole diocese. I was delighted to confer upon each of them recently the highest papal award for the laity: the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice medal. We are now looking for worthy successors. ”
David McLaughlin said – “For the last 36 years when I have lived in the Aberdeen Diocese, It has been my pleasure to assist Priests whenever and however I could, but mainly in Parish financial matters. In the Early 1990’s and in the last 10 years, I have also given my support to the Diocese; in the first instance to Bishop Mario and the second, to Bishop Hugh.
“However, in early June when Bishop Hugh presented me with the papal award it came as a complete shock. A mixture of emotions – Stunned, surprise, happiness, pride, joy, unworthiness and humility- all came at once. I feel I have had a lot of reward already, and that, for simply using the talents God gave me to help my church. I pray that the parishes can continue to use the talents of many of their parishioners to support the Church in the future.”
Dave Blackwood said – “I was completely surprised and humbled to have received this award. I was invited to St. Mary’s House for dinner by the Bishop as a thank you for the time I spent as Chairman of the Diocesan Fabric Committee. After a bit of diary juggling a date was set for July 4th and my wife and I arrived to find a reasonably large gathering of people involved in the Diocese. After a lovely dinner Bishop Hugh then emerged and presented me with the Papal Award, much to my surprise. It is an award which I am very fortunate and very grateful to receive.”