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Catholic Women of the Year 2015 announced

The luncheon has raised £52,000 down the years

The four people chosen as this year’s Catholic Women of the Year have been announced. The quartet are Mary-Jane Butler, who found the charity WORK, (Widows and Orphans in Rural Kenya); Dr Margaret Ann Burgess, who founded the charity Promise Nepal; Monica Cleaver, who organises and leads youth work in London; and Yolanda Fletcher, sacristan, Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist, and all-round helper in her local parish in Wales.

The annual event dates back 40 years and this year’s celebratory luncheon will be held on Friday October 23 at the Thistle Hotel in Marble Arch, central London.

Fr Alexander Sherbrook of St Patrick’s Soho will be the speaker, and tickets can be booked here.

The first committee meeting took place in January 1969 and the first luncheon was held in May that year, where 100 women attended. Last year there were more 300 guests. The event has raised more than £52,000 for charitable donations through the years.

This year’s recipients have all the served the poor and underprivileged down the years. Ms Butler has helped 500 widows and orphans, and run six schools and two rural health centres, while Dr Burgess’s charity helps people suffering from leprosy in Nepal, treating 200 patients a day and running a 15-bed hospital.