Lynch honored for support of Catholic schools

BRAINTREE -- The name Peter Lynch has become almost synonymous with support of Catholic education in the Archdiocese of Boston.

Over the last 20 years as chairman of the Catholic Schools Foundation Lynch, along with his wife Carolyn, have been instrumental in raising $100,000,000 and awarding over 60,000 scholarships through the Inner-city Scholarship Fund.

Lynch was honored for this achievement during his two decades as chairman of the Catholic Schools Foundation at the organization’s annual gala dinner at the Boston Public Library April 10.

Mike Reardon, executive director of the Catholic Schools Foundation and the ICSF said the event drew about 900 people. In total, the event raised $2.6 million against a $1.5 million goal.

Attendees were treated to performances by the step teams from Trinity Catholic High School in Newton and Ursuline Academy in Dedham, instrumental ensembles from Pope John Paul Catholic Academy in Dorchester and Catholic Memorial High School in West Roxbury, a robotics presentation by Mount Saint Joseph Academy in Brighton, and a basketball arcade game by the Cathedral High School boys basketball team, runners-up in the state Division 4 tournament.

It was attended by numerous prominent Bostonians including Patriots owner Robert Kraft and former Patriots wide receiver and current Catholic Schools Foundation board member Troy Brown, and Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca, as well as CEO’s of nationally-known financial firms.

During the event, Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley recognized Lynch and his wife, Carolyn, for their generosity.

With this milestone, Lynch will move into a new role as chairman emeritus of the Catholic Schools Foundation and the ICSF.

“He’s still going to be very actively involved in the ICSF,” said Reardon. “He realized after 20 years, there were other people to share in his work.”

As Lynch moves to an emeritus role, Reardon said the ICSF will move away from relying on an annual gala dinner as the organization’s primary fundraising vehicle. Instead, the ICSF will have an annual appeal and the dinner will serve as another fundraising opportunity. The new model is more in line with other charitable organization including Catholic Charities and the Boys and Girls Club.

Reardon also said that the ICSF will recognize Lynch for his two decades of service through awarding a Peter S. Lynch Scholarship to one student from each inner-city school that receives an ICSF scholarship.

“We want to recognize his generosity and recognize what a difference a scholarship can make,” Reardon said.

“Peter’s not going away,” Reardon said. “He’s going to be with us the whole time. We are so blessed to have his leadership and support.”

The ICSF awards partial scholarships to deserving students based on financial need.