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“Being included in the illustrious group of those who have received this award is truly humbling.” So former Suffolk County District Attorney Newman A. Flanagan began his remarks at the 105th Patriots’ Day Dinner of the Knights of Columbus of Massachusetts at which he received the highest honor of the state council of the Catholic fraternal organization.
Flanagan is widely known and respected as politician of unique ability and distinction. He proved his ability on any number of cases he prosecuted while serving as district attorney in Suffolk County from 1979 until 1992, when he retired from the office. He subsequently served as executive director of the National Association of District Attorneys, he retired in 2004 to Cape Cod with his wife of more than 50 years Eileen (Gushue) Flanagan. They are the proud parents of four sons and three daughters. They have 12 grandchildren.
Flanagan is highly respected within the Knights of Columbus for his many years of service in Massachusetts holding all state offices including the highest — state deputy from 1980 to 1982. His late father James had also served as state deputy from 1944 to 1946. He was subsequently elected a supreme director and served the Knights on the national and international level until 1995.
The Lantern Award was first given in 1957 to J. Edgar Hoover, the late director of the FBI. Subsequent recipients have been women and men, distinguished leaders in public life from field of politics, religion, medicine, education, the judiciary, the military services and sports.
Knights of Columbus state chaplain retired Worcester Bishop Daniel Reilly praised Flanagan for living his faith both in his private and in his public life.
“You’ve never heard Newman chant the politically correct ‘personally opposed’ yet ‘publicly for’ mantra. He’s a man proud of faith, family and country,” Bishop Reilly said.
The award was presented to Flanagan at the Sheraton Tara Hotel in Framingham before a packed crowd of family, friends, co-workers and brother knights and their families. Joining Flanagan and wife at the Head table were Archbishop Seán P. O’Malley, Bishops Timothy A. McDonnell of Springfield and George W. Coleman of Fall River; priests both religious and diocesans, state and national officers of the Knights of Columbus and other Church and state leaders.