Mrs Peg Blackett was presented with the medal yesterday by the Apostolic Nuncio who is visiting Kerry this weekend.
The Benemerenti Medal is an honour awarded by the Pope to members of the clergy and laity for service to the Catholic Church.
Mrs Blackett received the award for long and exceptional service to the Catholic Church in Ballyheigue Church.
Peg has spent the last 40 years providing music for Mass at the Church and has organised the Church Choir and continues to do so.
After the award, which was presented at 11am mass in Ballyheigue yesterday, Mrs Blackett attended a special lunch at the White Sands Hotel in Ballyheigue in her honour.