On Friday 31st May, at the closing Mass of the Archdiocese of Birmingham’s Annual pilgrimage to Lourdes, Archbishop Bernard Longley presented the diocesan award “Ubi Caritas” to Jo Boyce, for her years of creative work in music ministry.
Mike Stanley, Jo’s singing, song-writing partner and co-founder of CJM MUSIC, who sadly died just 6 days later, had been presented his award by Vicar General, Mgr.Timothy Menezes in the week prior.
Presenting the award, His Grace said: “As you know, music doesn’t just appear, but it is composed. It’s written by those to whom God has given that wonderful creative gift. And we’ve been blessed this week week by compositions by two of those who have served our pilgrimage so well over many years – Mike Stanley, who we’ve held in our prayers during our pilgrimage, and Jo Boyce. As you look through the pilgrim booklet you’ll see many pieces we’ve sung written by each of them.”
“I am pleased to tell you that just before our pilgrimage began Mgr. Timothy Menezes represented me and took to Mike Stanley, in gratitude from the family of the Archdiocese, the Diocesan Award – the Ubi Caritas – in recognition of all that Mike has given to the diocese and the pilgrimage through his wonderful gift of music. And today, Mike knows, that I also wish to award the Ubi Caritas to Jo Boyce, who is here.”
Receiving the award, Jo said “Bread of Life was the first song Mike and I wrote together. And it was the last song we sang together. Hearing you sing that song in this liturgy today means more than words can express.”