Archbishop Malcolm McMahon has been made a Member of Honour of the Knights of St Columba – an honour conferred on him at the Liverpool province's annual dinner at the Adelphi Hotel.
The Archbishop, who is the national spiritual adviser of the KSC, received a certificate of installation from Supreme Knight Charlie McCluskey at the dinner on 12 February (the pair are pictured with the Provincial Grand Knight, Pat Foley). There were also silver jubilee certificates and medals issued to two long-serving members of the Order, Brothers Peter Cherry and Albert Smart (pictured holding their certificates).
Brother Bernard McGuigan from Council 413 relates a small act of kindness which illustrates the strength of the KSC's nationwide ties.
Sister Marie Clare was parish sister at St John the Evangelist, New Ferry for many years. This is my home parish and it meant she was there to give me tremendous support after the death of my dear wife, Eleanor, in February 2012 followed six weeks later by the death of my daughter, Aileen, aged 47, after a long battle against brain cancer. Many parishioners found it difficult to talk but Sister Marie would just throw her arms around me on every opportunity.
Sadly, Sister Marie's health deteriorated subsequently and she went to live in St Joseph's Convent in Hackney. I was able to call on her when visiting London and we kept in touch by phone as she enjoyed text messaging. Last year she told me that she had cancer and was receiving her final chemotherapy treatment.
I considered sending Sister Marie some flowers through Interflora but then thought of the Knights and found that Brother Bill Tomlinson from Council 392 lived near the convent. He called in to see Sister Marie with a beautiful bouquet and refused any recompense. I received a text from Sister expressing her gratitude saying, "You are truly amazing." I think it is the KSC that is truly amazing.
Sadly, Sister Marie died some weeks later. Brother Bill represented me at the Requiem Mass and sent me a copy of the order of service. This was placed on the altar at St John's when her Memorial Mass was held and was circulated afterwards to other Sisters of Charity and parishioners.
I know that the good deeds of Brother Bill are replicated throughout the United Kingdom. Here in Liverpool province, for instance, brothers and their families from the Isle of Man are visited when they are receiving treatment at the various specialist hospitals in our area. Long may the good works of our great Order continue.