'Of course, we also heard from Bishop Dooher himself.' Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy
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This past weekend, I was in Rome to be present as the Holy Father canonized a number of new saints, perhaps the most notable of whom were Pope Paul VI and Archbishop Oscar Romero.
This was a very special canonization for me because Pope Paul was the first pope I ever met and I was with him on a number of occasions, particularly when he met with the Capuchins. He was so gracious to us and would have a special audience with our General Chapter. He always spoke with such affection of the friars that he was very close to when he was Archbishop of Milan.
And, of course, Archbishop Romero was a friend of many years. I worked for 20 years with the Salvadoran immigrants in Washington, and during that time I had a great deal of contact with Archbishop Romero.
St. Mary's Center for Women and Children
Wednesday evening, I attended the annual Diamonds of Dorchester Gala to benefit St. Mary's Center for Women and Children. The center is celebrating its 25th year, and at this year's gala, they honored their first president, Joyce Murphy.
They presented her with the John M. Corcoran Award, named for the center's late founding trustee, who worked very closely with Joyce to transform the old St. Margaret's Hospital into the current center for homeless women and children.
They have done just extraordinary work in job-training, acquiring housing and many other programs to help people break the cycles of poverty, abuse and addiction and realize their full potential.
Those in the Boston area may recall that St. Mary's Center received a $1 million matching grant from Amazon earlier this year and, during the evening, they announced that Amazon was also providing an additional $250,000 matching grant.
Retirement reception for Bishop Dooher
Thursday afternoon, at the Pastoral Center, we had a retirement reception for Bishop John Dooher, who recently concluded his service as bishop of the South Region of the archdiocese. It was a lovely gathering attended by many of those who have worked or ministered with Bishop Dooher over the years.
Different people offered remarks including his classmates, Msgr. George Carlson and Father Brian Flatley, and Father Chris Hickey, who spoke about working with him at St. Mary's in Dedham. Of course, we also heard from the bishop himself.
It was a great event that showed how much he is loved and appreciated.
Regis College Gala
That evening, I attended Regis College's Let It Shine annual fundraising gala held at the Park Plaza Hotel. During the evening, they honored Bill Mosakowski who, of course, is a huge benefactor of Catholic education at all levels.
Regis College, which was founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph, has been so faithful to its mission of educating working-class and immigrant students, so I was very happy to lend my support to them.
Cathedral High School Dinner
From there, I went to the Seaport Hotel for Cathedral High School's annual Adopt-A-Student Foundation Dinner.
There, they were honoring Linda Dorcena Forry, Vice President for Diversity Inclusion and Community Relations at Suffolk Construction, as well as Nancy Lane, who has worked for 31 years as a guidance counselor at Cathedral High. Nancy, who is a Cathedral High graduate herself, is much beloved by the students and works so hard to help them with the college application process. In fact, this was the 15th year in a row that Cathedral High had a 100 percent graduation rate, as well as a 100 percent rate of those graduates going on to college. This remarkable achievement is just another testimony to the impressive work they do at Cathedral High.