The English monarch’s annual birthday honours list released June 11 contained happy surprises for Catholic actors and charity volunteers.
Included in the honours list was Derry-born actress and producer Roma Downey OBE, head of the Northern Region of the Irish Pilgrimage Trust Mary (Maureen) Devine and Stephen John McCoy, who has raised funds for the sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes in France where he’s a regular visitor.
Ms Devine, responding to the news, said it came as a “great shock and surprise to her”, adding that she was thrilled for the recognition it brings to the Irish Pilgrimage Trust.
The trust organises regular visits to Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto for people with disabilities, and Ms Devine was awarded an MBE for her work with the trust.
“The phone has been hopping all day,” she told The Irish Catholic. “I am [proud], but I’m proud for the Irish Pilgrimage Trust, it’s amazing for them.”
Ms Downey became an officer of the Order of the British Empire for services to the Arts, Drama and to the Community in Northern Ireland.
Meanwhile, Down and Connor Lourdes Pilgrimage congratulated their “friend and faithful pilgrim” Stephen McCoy on his becoming a Medallist of the Order of the British Empire (BEM).