Benemerenti Award for Thomas (Arthur) Hopkinson
We read in 1 Corinthians 11:1: “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” This is a bold and daring declaration from St. Paul. But this is also a declaration of an honest person. Paul knows that he has followed Christ faithfully and unreservedly. Hence, he asks the Corinthian community to imitate him as he has imitated Christ. Paul is thus a model for all Christians, who are called to imitate Christ in virtue of their Baptism and Confirmation. Like St. Paul, the life of every Christian should be rooted and grounded in Christ.
In recognition of his imitation of Christ tireless efforts, significant impact and outstanding contributions to the Catholic Parish of Conwy, Llandudno Junction, Llanfairfechan and Llanrwst, and particularly to St Mary of the Angels community, the Holy Father Pope Francis has awarded the Benemerenti Award to Thomas (Arthur) Hopkinson.
The event commenced with a Holy Mass by Bishop Peter Brignall, who eloquently expressed the importance of recognizing individuals like Mr. Hopkinson, whose selfless actions embody the core values of compassion, dedication and altruism upheld by the Church. Bishop Peter emphasised the significance of active dedication to the service of God and humanity and commended Arthur for his outstanding contributions.
Presenting the award on behalf of the Holy Father, Bishop Peter recounted specific instances of Mr. Hopkinson's selfless initiatives, referring to his support and dedication to the maintenance of the church, and commitment as the parish sacristan, reader, and Eucharistic Minister. The Bishop praised Arthur’s ability to inspire others and highlighted the positive changes he has brought to the parish community.
The presentation of the Benemerenti Medal and certificate to Arthur was met with resounding applause and admiration from Mgr Michael Quinlan, Arthur’s long-time friend, Fr Ebuka the parish priest and the parishioners. The event served as an inspiration to everyone present, reminding them of the importance of selfless service and the profound impact it can have on society. The cutting of the Benemerenti award cake and light refreshment concluded the joyful ceremony.
The Benemerenti Medal, which translates to "well-deserving," is a distinguished honour awarded by the Catholic Church to individuals who have displayed exceptional dedication, selflessness, and generosity in their service to the Church and society. It is a testament to the recipient's unwavering commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of others.