May’s medal for her dedication to church
Musician has played organ in her parish for 67 years
May Gilhooley of West Calder was awarded the Archdiocesan Medal for Outstanding Service to the Church by Archbishop Leo Cushley.
She received the award in recognition of her 67 years of playing the church organ in her local parish, Our Lady and St Bridget’s.
May said: “I was a bit overwhelmed by the occasion and nervous too as I don’t like publicity, but it felt good once it was all over.”
Originally from Polbeth, May started playing the organ in the local church when she was in her fourth year at St Mary’s Academy in Bathgate.
She recalls how the parish had a well-trained and gifted choir who would sing fourpart Masses each Sunday.
While her professional life saw May work in finance in the civil service, the private sector and the further education sector, her commitment to playing the organ in the local parish remained unchanged and undiminished over all those years.
Parish priest, Father Marcin Motyka said: “May is a lovely person who is well known and much loved within our parish.”
He added: “She is very humble, cheerful, and friendly and we were delighted to see her rewarded for her many years of service.”
The Archdiocesan Medal for Outstanding Service to the Church was established in 1975 by Cardinal Gordon Joseph Gray, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh.
Over those 43 years, only 100 or so medals have been awarded for “outstanding voluntary service” to the church at a local level.
Delighted May Gilhooley with Archbishop Leo Cushley and Father Marcin Motyka