Local ARISE leaders honored for advancing mission of evangelization

WEST ORANGE, N.J. -- Four Catholics who have played significant roles in the Archdiocese of Boston's pastoral renewal effort, ARISE Together in Christ, were recognized by RENEW International, a Catholic organization based in Plainfield, New Jersey that sponsors the ARISE program, at a fundraising gala June 3. Sister Terry Rickard, OP, RENEW International's president and executive director, presented President's Awards to John McNeice, Patricia Dinneen, Mary Ann McLaughlin, and Father Bill Williams.

The President's Award is given to those who have advanced RENEW International's mission of evangelization, spiritual renewal, and faith formation in their parishes and dioceses.

"When we look at the vitality that ARISE Together in Christ has brought to so many parishes and people in the Archdiocese of Boston, we are truly blessed to recognize these four exemplary individuals," Sister Terry said. "They are models of Catholic commitment in Boston and beyond, with a level of dedication that is exceptional."

McNeice has helped spread ARISE to many parishes. He serves on the executive council of the Inner-City Scholarship Fund, the Archdiocesan Finance Council and Stewardship Committee and is past-president of Catholic Charities. His award was accepted on his behalf by south regional bishop John Dooher, Boston's Episcopal liaison to ARISE.

Dinneen was instrumental in organizing the 2009 Archdiocesan Justice Convocation in Boston. She serves on the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council and has established a social justice committee to promote Catholic social teaching. She holds a doctorate in economics.

McLaughlin coordinates all aspects of ARISE Together in Christ in the Archdiocese of Boston. She is the co-director of the archdiocese's Office of Worship and Spiritual Life. She holds a bachelor's degree in education from Boston College and a master's degree in Christian spirituality from Creighton University. She is a former teacher and published author.

Father Williams has been a Boston priest for 40 years, serving six parishes. He served at St. Mary Parish in Dedham for the past three years and now serves as pastor of St. Peter Parish in Plymouth. During his tenure at St. Mary, the parish became the first in Boston to participate in a small group faith-sharing process.

ARISE Together in Christ is RENEW International's newest pastoral renewal initiative, developed in collaboration with Cardinal O'Malley and the Archdiocese of Boston's worship and spiritual life office.