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51- xSt Aidan's Benemerenti 03

Teacher receives well-deserved medal for service to the Church

A retired Catholic headteacher who continues to assist in a Wishaw primary school through Missio Scotland and the Pope Francis Faith Award has been rewarded for services to the Church. By Colette Cooper

Mrs Anne McCrossan was presented with a Benemerenti medal after Mass at St Aidan’s Church on Sunday November 17, where three priests and Bishop Joseph Toal of Motherwell Diocese congratulated her.

Anne, who retired from fulltime teaching in 2010, has been a stalwart of St Aidan’s Church for almost 30 years and was given the award for serving the Church in a number of ways during that time.

Parish contribution

Parish priest Fr Liam O’Connor said: “Anne has made contributions to the parish in being involved in RCIA, preparing the bulletin and readings, she helped with the Pope Francis award [and] works for Missio Scotland.

“Bishop Toal mentioned how we are grateful to have many people in the parish who volunteer with their time and help the community. Christians over many years have been dedicated, so it’s important to recognise all the work.”

In her parish life Anne has been active as a coordinator for Renew during the three-year programme, a member of the Pastoral Planning team, a Eucharistic minister and reader, organiser of parish trips, church cleaner and helper with the Sunday café.

‘Taken aback’

Anne said: “I’ve been an active member of RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) for several years and in 2008 I took on the role of team coordinator, successfully leading many new members into the Catholic Church.

“I have organised excursions to Salamanca, Lindesfarne, Iona, Oban and Dunfermline among others. I am a member of the Finance Committee in St. Aidan’s, including being part of the teams who count and bank the weekly collections.”

Since 2011 Anne has also produced the weekly bulletin.

Anne added: “When Fr O’Connor told me that I was going to be presented with the Benemerenti I was completely taken aback and unable to speak for quite a while.

“After Mass, Fr O’Connor spoke about my teaching career. I started teaching in 1970 and retired in 2010. I was headteacher for 18 years at Holy Family Primary School, Mossend. In the past few years I have volunteered to work within St Aidan’s Primary School and I represent St Aidan’s on the Wishaw Deanery Clergy/Laity consultation Group,” Anne said.


Throughout her teaching career Anne has taken many classes through Sacramental preparation and, since retiring, has volunteered for Missio Scotland, attending primary schools and giving assemblies and presentations on the work of Missio, as well as collecting donations on their behalf from the children.

Gillian Jones, principal teacher of St Aidan’s Primary School said: “Anne comes into the school almost on a weekly basis to work with our Pope Francis Faith Award candidates—she has been doing this now for three years.

She is a fantastic influence on the children as she has worked in Catholic education her whole career.

“She is able to take them to the church, involve them more in the community and offer them a deep learning experience.

“Anne helps us in many other ways, she supports me in my remit as RE co-ordinator, assisting me when organising the Sacraments by lending me resources and also by coming in and speaking to the children at assembly—retirement certainly hasn’t slowed her down.

“I am very grateful to the support she offers myself, the school and the parish community and feel she is more than deserving of her recognition.”

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