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“They deserve this and more for all that they have done,” said Jack Joyce when he started talking about the salute that he and Jim O’Conner in conjunction with many local Knights and Ladies of Malta hosted for the senior priests of the archdiocese.
The, now, annual event at the Boston College Club featured a welcoming reception, a fine dinner, and “unneeded” but much appreciated and readily consumed dessert. There was a variety of musical accompaniment ranging from bagpipe music; to the “Treasury Notes” an ensemble lead by former Massachusetts State Treasurer Robert Crane who sang, and also led the priests in singing oldies but goodies!
Some one hundred guests filled the main dining room of the BC Club atop 100 Federal Street. The evening was clear and so the view spectacular; but as all agreed, the company was better.
Local talent scouted from the audience included Msgr. Gene McNamara, recruited to lead the family theme song “McNamara’s Band.” With a nod to the host facility, the Boston College alumni among the priest rose to salute their alma mater with a chorus of “For Boston.”
Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, OFM Cap. and Bishop Robert Hennessey represented the younger bishops of the archdiocese, while Bishops John Boles and Elliott Thomas (formerly of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands) were the senior bishops. Among the non-senior priests were Father Kevin Toomey, of St. Raphael, Medford who moved quietly and deliberately among his older brothers; while Father Kevin O’Leary, newly named Rector of the Metropolitan Cathedral, expressed concern “I think I spoke to everyone, but I might have missed a few...don’t mention names, just in case.” Father Richard Erikson, archdiocesan vicar general and Father Art Coyle recently named Interim Regional Vicar of the Merrimack Region of the archdiocese also lent their voices and presence to the evening.
Many of the senior priests came across town from Regina Cleri, but also represented was Youville House, Cambridge; as well as a few priests who live in rectories or in their own homes.