Recipients of the Benemerenti medal pose for a photo with apostolic nuncio Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli (from left): Mr Joseph Fam, Mr Augustinus Koh and Ms Pauline Choo.Three parishioners from the Church of St Francis of Assisi received the papal Benemerenti medal from the apostolic nuncio on Sept 9.

The honour was instituted by Pope Gregory XVI in 1832 and is conferred on those who have exhibited long and exceptional service to the Church. The word benemerenti translates to “a well deserving person”.

The parishioners, Mr Joseph Fam, 71, Ms Pauline Choo, 62, and Mr Augustinus Koh, 77, have served in various capacities for at least three decades.

• Mr Fam, for the past 33 years, had served in the Art and Deco Ministry and also as Eucharistic minister. He is currently the conductor for the Chinese choir.

• Ms Pauline Choo, had served as parish secretary under the various parish priests and is the current organist for the Chinese choir. She has served for more than 30 years.

• Mr Augustinus Koh initiated the Chinese Block Rosary Group and is still an active member. He has organised many parish events and served in various positions in the Chinese Pastoral Council.

Mr Koh is currently assisting in the parish bookstore.

He has served the parish for more than 30 years.