Congratulations to Mr Dan Cooper who, on Thursday evening at our school's Carol Service, received the Bene Merente Medal. The medal was presented by Vicar General, Monsignor Matthew Dickens on behalf of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. The congregation was supplemented by priests, friends and colleagues - all of whom had been sworn to the strictest secrecy in order that the presentation could be a surprise.
Dan has been associated with our school since 1968, firstly as a teacher at Laylham Lea (John Fisher's prep school), and then from 1978 at John Fisher where he taught Religious Studies, Geography and Classics. Retiring from teaching in 1998, he has continued as an unpaid lay chaplain at the school, arranging; retreats, confessions, the rosary and Stations of the Cross, encouraging students to be altar servers at daily Mass and benediction, encouraging many students to become priests.
For over thirty years he has organised a weekly after school catechism class, known to our boys as 'Faith Club', with talks from outside speakers, and lunch time discussion groups for those wanting to ask questions about the Catholic Faith. Arranged numerous trips to Tyburn Convent, Westminster Cathedral, and to the Brompton Oratory.
Dan has also been a parish catechist for thirty years preparing children for their 1st Confessions and 1st Holy Communion at St John the Baptist, Purley, Surrey.
From 1972 to the present, during the summer and Christmas Holidays, he has given his time to Catholic Youth Initiatives, for those aged 11-15 and 16-25. Offering them the opportunity to attend daily catechises, Mass, confession, and sports activities.
He is a strong defender of; the Catholic Faith, the unborn child, marriage and family life, the Eucharist and fidelity to the Holy Father.