Congratulations to Richard Steinbach who has been honoured with the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice medal.

The award is given to those who have shown distinguished service to the Church and the papacy and is the highest medal that the Pope can award to a layperson.

Elaine and Richard at St Michael's in Linlithgow, where Archbishop Cushley presented the award at the annual Archdiocesan SSVP Mass on Saturday.
Richard, a parishioner at Ss John and Columba in Rosyth was recognised for his dedication to the Church and the Society of St Vincent de Paul (SSVP) which he joined in 1998, later becoming diocesan president and national vice president.

His work within the SSVP has been devoted to the good causes of assisting the vulnerable and needy, visiting sick and housebound, providing transport to Mass for limited mobility parishioners.

His care and compassion for others was expressed in many ways, including his active support for the SSVP Fife Furniture Project, and the Missionaries of Charity Project.

Richard and Elaine with their family, along with Archbishop Cushley, Canon Paul Kelly (right) and Deacon Douglas Robertson.

In the days leading up to Christmas, Richard would be delivering bags of groceries and gifts to those in need. He enthusiastically encouraged SSVP Youth activities, visiting schools and arranging visits for the SSVP Youth Development Co-ordinator.

No tribute to Richard would be complete without mentioning his wife, Elaine. Many SSVP members rely on the active support of their spouses and Elaine, herself an SSVP member, has always been available to assist him.

Over the years, Richard has quietly encouraged others to participate more fully in the life of the parish.  On the social side, he is an active supporter and worker for the family fun days and social events organised for the benefit of his parish.

He has fulfilled the role of Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist for many years, choir member and is currently one of the Lectors of the parish.

Richard has exercised his pastoral roles throughout these years with such modesty that the extent of his commitment and involvement within the parish would not be known by many parishioners.