4 March 2016

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese

Archbishop Anthony Fisher sent his congratulations to three recipients of various Papal honours who were presented with their awards yesterday by Bishop Terry Brady at a small reception in Cathedral House.

"The Honourable Justice François Kunc, Mrs Gemile Mellick and Mr Neville Moses have each made outstanding contributions to the work of the Church within the Archdiocese of Sydney and the broader Australian community", said Archbishop Fisher.

In a statement sent by the Archbishop to the recipients for the occasion, Archbishop Fisher acknowledged the efforts of the recipients which span very different fields of activity and "reflect the broad nature of the Church's engagement and willingness to meet the many needs of our society".

"It is very fitting that these three wonderful Catholic laypeople are being appropriately honoured for their selfless commitment and service.

"They have set fine examples for others and I am pleased to be able to express my sincere gratitude to them through these few words."

Chris Meney, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Sydney welcomed the recipients and guests and gave a brief outline of the Orders of the Awards.

The Awards presented yesterday came from the Order of Pope St Gregory the Great and Pope St Sylvester, instituted by Pope Gregory XVI (1831-1846). They are conferred as a reward for members of the laity who are active in the apostolate, particularly in the exercise of their professional duties.

The Chancellor explained Papal Honours are not intended to be awarded in final culmination of a lifetime of service to the Church, but rather are designed to encourage recipients to continue providing their services to the Church and to society and, as outlined by Pope St Pius X, to stimulate others to follow their fine example.

Bishop Brady awarded the first honour to the Honourable Justice François Kunc who was made a Knight Commander of the Order of St Gregory the Great. He was honoured for his dedicated commitment to the Catholic Church and to the broader Australian community through his work in the legal profession which has seen him appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court of NSW. Justice Kunc's contribution was also noted in the area of music with his participation in the musical liturgy at St Mary's Cathedral in Sydney and his position as Chairman of the Palestrina Foundation which supports the Choir at St Mary's. He has also held various executive positions at the St Thomas More Society and the position of Chancellor of the Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem which supports the Christian sites and community in the Holy Lands. 

François Kunc graduated in Arts and later in Law at the University of Sydney after completing his school education at Sydney Grammar. He is dedicated to family life and is married to Felicity with a daughter, Anna and son, Thomas. He has been an active member of Sacred Heart Parish at Mosman and the parishes of Sydney Harbour North at which he has played a significant developmental role.

Justice Kunc responded to Bishop Brady saying he was honoured to receive such an award and that he has only ever tried to work toward the good of the Church and its people.

The second recipient of honours was Mr Neville Moses who was conferred as a Knight of the Order of St Gregory the Great. Mr Moses and his wife, Kinga are active members of the St Andrew's Malabar parish where he is a reader, commentator, master of ceremonies, counts the collections and has provided legal assistance. He was honoured for his dedicated commitment to the important works of several Religious Orders of the Church in the Archdiocese of Sydney.

Mr Moses has worked in the fields of property and commercial law for more than 45 years. Operations of the Little Company of Mary along with the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart and the Redemptorist Fathers have gained significant benefits from the business skills of Mr Moses. Members of these Orders have praised the contribution of Mr Moses and expressed their gratitude for his service so generously given to aid the development, growth and outreach of their missions.

Bishop Brady then honoured Mrs Gemile Christina Faith Mellick as a Dame of the Order of Pope St Sylvester for her dedicated work over 35 years as a catechist delivering religious education to students in state schools, her contribution to her parish community and years of volunteering with the Smith Family and the St Vincent de Paul Society. Mrs Mellick has been an instrumental part of the community in Sydney through her many works of mercy, her charitable contributions to those in need and the witness of her own personal faith life.

Mrs Mellick is devoted to her husband John, three sons and two daughters as well as twelve grandchildren. She completed her education at Bethlehem College Ashfield and has had strong associations with the priests and parish communities of St Joseph's, Edgecliff and St Francis of Assisi, Paddington.

Chris Meney thanked Bishop Brady for conferring the Honours on behalf of the Archbishop and commended the good work of the recipients.

"They have been, and I am sure they will continue to be, outstanding inspirations for many others in assisting various endeavours related to the good works of our Church and the broader community."

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