On behalf of His Holiness Pope Francis, His Grace Archbishop Bernard Longley presented the Papal "Cross of Honour" to Anne and Oscar Rasile for their outstanding service to the Church.

The awards were conferred in a special ceremony last night, Thursday 14 February at Our Blessed Lady and St Alphonsus, Blackmore Park in Worcestershire.

The medal, in gold, is known as the “Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice” (For the Church and the Pope) and is an award to show the gratitude of the Church for distinguished service.

In particular, merit has been awarded to Anne and Oscar for keeping the parish of St Joseph running for 12 months during the illness and following the sad death of Fr Dominic Round.

In 1982 Anne started working for Mgr Peter Stonier in Pershore, originally to type up the pariah newsletter and general correspondence, but eventually became parish secretary at Holy Redeemer.

When Mgr Stonier moved to the Parish of St Jodseph’s in Upton-Upon-Severn and Blackmore Park, he asked Anne and Oscar if they would move there to run the office and maintain the grounds.

Now, Oscar is a Eucharistic Minister and Altar Server, who additionally prepares the church for Masses, weddings, baptisms and funerals and looks after the church laundry and ordering supplies from candles to oil for the heating system. He supervises the churches when visiting priests are on supply.

Anne, who is a Reader, has also grown her work with the church, now dealing with the accounts and banking. She is involved with the Church cleaning and flower arranging, prepares rotas for the Readers and is an Authorised Person for weddings.

Parish Priest Fr Hugh Sinclair, who nominated the couple for the award, said: “Since I have come to the Parish 18 months ago, I have found Anne and Oscar indispensable and they are highly regarded by the whole parish.”


Depicting Saint Peter and Saint Paul, the left arm is inscribed Pro Ecclesia, the right arm is inscribed Et Pontifice. The point of the bottom arm is the Papal coat of arms.