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Papal Honours Awarded

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
4 May 2009

Two leading Sydney businessmen and an associate judge of the NSW Supreme Court have been created Papal Knights.

They are Mr Peter J. Ferris, Mr James Dominguez and Hon. Associate Justice John McLaughlin.

The three men were invested with the Papal honours as Knight Commanders of the Order of St Gregory the Great by the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell last week at Cathedral House.

Mr Ferris, a former senior partner and National Director of Corporate Finance at Ernst & Young, is a trustee of St Vincent's Hospital Sydney and on the board of the Sisters of Charity Foundation, St Vincent's Clinic Foundation and Catholic Health Care Services (NSW & ACT). The Papal knighthood also recognises his role as a generous benefactor of those on the margins, and his contribution to projects that promote family life.

Mr Domiguez, a well known figure in Sydney's financial world as a stockbroker and investment banker, was awarded his Papal knighthood for his contribution to education and health. A long-time director of St Vincent's Hospital, a member of the Advisory Council for St Ignatius College, Mr Dominquez is is also on the council of Kincoppal Rose Bay Convent and a member of the Committee of Management of the Garvan Institute. In addition, he played a major role as Chairman of the Euthanasia "No" Campaign and as an advisor to Pregnancy Support Australia.

The Hon Associate Justice McLaughlin, a member of the NSW judiciary, has been  instrumental in establishing the Association of Knights and Dames Papal Honours in NSW and the ACT and currently serves as a secretary to the Association. Mr Justice McLaughlin is also a long serving member of the St Thomas More Society of Catholic lawyers, and made a significant contribution to Waverley College where he has been a member of the College Board since 2006.

Four other Sydney men were awarded Papal honours at last week's investiture.

Mr Harold O'Keefe received the Order of St Sylvester for his compassionate heart and work with the Catholic Cemetery Trust. Mr Robert Kirby received a papal Medal Benemerenti for his work as chairman of the Mgr John People Retirement Board, a voluntary position, and for his outstanding contribution to parish life at All Hallows, Five Dock.

Mr Norman Merlino also received a Papal Medal Benemerenti in recognition of 30 years outstanding service to the same parish and for 15 years work as the volunteer manager of the Mgr John People's Units.

Mr Kevin Hennessey was another from the Parish of All Hallows, Five Dock to receive a Benmerenti Medal for 40 years of outstanding service as President of the All Hallows Conference of the St Vincent de Paul Society.

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