PAKISTAN/Karachi : Sister John Benchmans Conway, an Irish Nun who had spent most of her life teaching in Pakistan, will be decorated with the Benedict Medal by the St Mary's University, London, during a ceremony at the Westminster Cathedral.

The Benedict Medal is the highest honor of St Mary's University and it will be presented to Sr Benchmans by the Archbishop Westminster and Chancellor of St Mary's Cardinal Vincent Nicholas during the St Mary's summer graduation ceremony.

In 2012 while she was the principal of the Convent of Jesus and Mary in Karachi, Sr. Benchmans was awarded the  Sitara-i-Quaid-i-Azam, one of the highest civil awards given by the president of Pakistan.

The award citation celebrated her ''constant adherence to the call of duty over a span of 59 years, which has made Sister Benchmans a living example to emulate.''

During her teaching career, Sr Benchmans taught and inspired thousands of students, among whom also happens  to be the late former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and the renowned MIT astrophysicist Nergis Mavalvala who made significant contributions to the 2017  Nobel Prize for Physics winning research which resulted in the first observation of  gravitational waves.

Sr. Benchmans will become the fifth recipient, and the first woman, to be presented with the with the  Benedict Medal.

Speaking of the award Bishop Richard Moth, St Mary's Governing Body chair said :

''Sr Berchmans' dedication and commitment to the thousands of students she has taught is an inspiration to anyone committed to the vocation of teaching.

We are honored that we will be able to present her with the Benedict Medal during our Institute of Education's graduation ceremony.''

Former British Minister and a visiting professor at St Mary's University Baroness Sayeeda Warsi added :

''Sr Benchmans has given her wholehearted commitment to teaching. She has inspired generations of students who have gone to make significant contributions to society across a wide range of sectors.

''I had the privilege of visiting Sr Benchmans in Karachi and I saw her work and presence has created a lifetime of inter-faith understanding.''


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