The medal was presented to Angela by Bishop Peter Collins during morning Mass at St John’s Cathedral on Sunday May 7, the day after King Charles III was crowned, himself promising “not to be served but to serve” and encouraging more people to volunteer in their local communities.
In his homily, Bishop Peter referred to the King’s coronation pledge and said: “Today we celebrate the great service rendered by a parishioner of this cathedral parish. Today we honour a woman who has provided an outstanding example of charitable service.
“In her professional life as a nurse, her mind and heart recognised and addressed the needs of the sick and vulnerable. She has extended her hands to offer a loving embrace to those who were abandoned, she has spoken with strength and compassion for those who had no voice.
“She has been an advocate for justice within and beyond the boundaries of the parish and the diocese. The Lord will recognise her fingerprints upon projects across the locality and across the globe,” said Bishop Peter.
“However, you will hear no trumpeting of her work from her own lips, indeed, she covers her tracks with deliberate care.
“She suffered the untimely loss of her beloved husband and courageously embraced the parental responsibility of nurturing her three fine teenage sons towards their own maturity.
“Angela’s family life and her professional life have been built by faith, hope and charity. Beyond the duties and responsibilities of home and work, she has expended herself in volunteering to address the needs of so many.
“She has attended to the needs of the outcasts, to those whose home is the street pavement, to those whose home is a prison cell, to those who through necessity are seeking refuge in our midst. She has attended to those isolated in their own homes, to those struggling to make ends meet.
“She has been an outstanding teacher of the faith by word and example because she has set herself close to the Lord,” said Bishop Peter.
“Angela, it is my privilege on behalf of the cathedral parish and on behalf of the entire diocese, to inform you that His Holiness Pope Francis has bestowed upon you the recognition of a Benemerenti Medal.
“The Holy Father bestows this honour in recognition of your humility, your courage, your generosity. Angela you have always placed your trust in him who is the way, the truth and the life. May God’s graceful blessing continue to inspire and sustain you in the days ahead.”
Pictured above is Angela Stone after receiving her Benemerenti Medal from Bishop Peter Collins at St John’s Cathedral.