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Celebration raises $1.6M to meet needs of Boston priests


  • Guests at the 8th annual Celebration of Priesthood Dinner listened to the keynote by Timothy Shriver, chairman of the Special Olympics. Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy
  • “If there is a message tonight, I think it is that all these laypeople just want to say thank you,” Timothy Shriver said in his key address. (Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy)
  • Dinner chairs Gloria and Chuck Clough address the celebration’s guests. (Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy)

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BOSTON -- Close to 1,500 people came together to offer thanks and support to priests in the Archdiocese of Boston during the eighth annual Celebration of the Priesthood Dinner, held Sept. 22 at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston.

The annual dinner gala serves as a major fundraising event for the archdiocese's Clergy Health and Retirement Trust (formerly 'Clergy Funds'), which provides health, welfare, and retirement support for the archdiocese's active and retired priests. This year's gala raised over $1.6 million for the trust.

Bishop Robert P. Reed, an auxiliary bishop of Boston and president of the CatholicTV Network, acted as the event's emcee, and began the program with a welcome and a word of thanks to the attendees.

"I know that I speak for all of our brother priests how fantastic it is for us to witness right here and now this tremendous expression of support and to share in this celebration with all of you," he said.

His welcome was followed by an opening prayer and blessing by the archdiocese's youngest priest, Father Matthew J. Conley, before chairman of the Clergy Health and Retirement Fund and HP Hood LLC CEO John A. Kaneb offered the opening remarks.

In his remarks, Kaneb spoke about some of the challenges priests face, including acting as pastor for multiple parishes, and the stress that can bring on.

"But, your dollars... are enabling us to address this situation," he said.

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