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Propagation of the Faith

Leave a Legacy of Love

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Maureen Crowley

And then, there were three.
First, my prayer sister, Kathy, whose claim to fame was showing up to an audience with then-Pope John Paul II in the loudest madras plaid known to God or man, joined that great Rosary Group in the sky. Next, Redemptorist missionary Father Patrick McGillicuddy, a close ally in our ministry, was called home to his reward for being the Father and 'father' to so many homeless, drug-addicted young men in Brazil. Because of Father's interventions, his 'boys' are productive men and some, fathers themselves.
Now, as the saying goes, we add insult to injury. Our devoted mission colleague, Mary Margaret Bolles, has passed on to eternal life.
Mary began her mission journey right out of college. This smart, curious, faith-filled young woman presented herself to the office of The Society for the Propagation of the Faith to the Director at the time, Monsignor Andrew Connell declaring her intention to serve in the missions. Monsignor knew Father Jim Flanagan of The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity running schools and other social services for indigenous children in New Mexico. So, Mary said, "Send me!"
She taught school and ran a thrift shop with used clothing that friends from Boston sent, while living without electricity and running water.
After returning to Boston, Mary entered the world of finance. Her star rose quickly, and she was soon leading a division of a major Boston bank. Quite often, she was the only woman in the room. As she traveled the world for work, often made excursions to remote mission sites on behalf of her good friend, Monsignor Connell, hand delivering letters and checks from our office. No matter where she went, she was always at the service of the missions.
When Mary retired from the finance, she decided to, in her words, "give back to God in Thanksgiving for all his blessings in life," and come to work at the Propagation. She was tireless in the promotion of what she always said was the "greatest and holiest work of the Church."
Because of her experience, Mary managed our higher end finances -- gifts of stock, annuities, and the like. She was magnificent in speaking about the missions and reminding people to remember The Propagation of the Faith in their wills; she surely was the source of many of the legacies that we have received over the years.
So, in Mary's honor and in her stead (I can't take her place) I will ask: Leave a Legacy of Love. Remember The Society for the Propagation of the Faith in your estate planning. I know Mary did.

- Maureen Crowley Heil is Director of Programs and Development for the Pontifical Mission Societies, Boston.

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