Finn & Betty McCarthyFinn and Betty McCarthy were honored at a special ceremony at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church on Wednesday evening, January 20, 2016. Mr. & Mrs. McCarthy are the recipients of a distinguished service award known as the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice (For the Church and Pope.) This is the highest medal that can be awarded to the laity by the Pope.

When I notified them prior to the celebration of the award, Finn responded: “What did we ever do to receive such an honor?” Here are just a few indications of the loving service Finn and Betty have provided the Church and broader community for many decades.

Finn and Betty were married in October 1960 and raised seven children. Finn’s work experience included Senior Vice President and Chief Operations Officer at First Interstate Bank in Casper, Wyoming, St. Joseph’s Children’s Home, helping with their computer systems, finances, and planned giving and as Development Director of the Diocese of Cheyenne until 2001. Finn has been a Trustee and member of St. Patrick’s (Casper) Finance Council for 50 years.   He was involved in starting the Edge Campaign for St. Anthony’s School and instrumental in the raising money for the new school, St. Anthony Tri-Parish School.

Betty worked in the lab at Memorial Hospital in Casper, Wyoming. She did volunteer work at the Church, helping with religious education, and the Council of Catholic Women. Betty started making priest vestments, banners, and altar cloths primarily for St. Patrick’s. She has made over 75 diocesan vestments for the priests in the Diocese of Cheyenne, along with vestments for the bishop and deacons and other liturgical items for many parishes who asked for her assistance. For well over 25 years, she was head of the liturgical environment for St. Patrick’s. Recently she started a Grandma’s prayer group whose purpose is to donate a bible and pray for a First Communion candidate. She has also made stuffed hearts for either the new members of the Church and for Confirmation students. She makes baptism frontals for the babies getting baptized. Her labor is always donated.

Both Finn and Betty have been part of St. Patrick’s Perpetual Adoration for years. Finn and Betty have been heavily involved with Wyoming Special Olympics.

Finn and Betty’s are well known for their hospitality and they are well-respected throughout the state of Wyoming.  The priests and the deacons of the Diocese were all present at the Mass, along with many others.  Following the award, Betty and Finn received a standing ovation.

Following the celebration, there was a long line of people who wished to congratulate them and thank them for their years of dedication and faithful witness. Betty and Finn are a great example of what it means to follow Christ and to serve him in others. They are generous, faithful servants and it is a true joy to honor them with this award.

Congratulations Finn and Betty!

I know we have many other people in the Diocese worthy of such recognition, and it is my hope to do more of these ceremonies in the future.