2010 Committee honored at ICSF dinner

Jack Connors, far right, accepts the Peter and Carolyn Lynch Award on behalf of the 2010 Initiative Committee. With him are, from left, Peter and Carolyn Lynch, keynote speaker Peggy Noonan and WCVB’s Mary Richardson who emceed the evening’s program. Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy

BOSTON -- It was a black-tie affair with “plaid accents encouraged” at the Boston Marriott at Copley Place on March 5 when over 800 supporters of Catholic education turned out for the 18th Inner-City Scholarship Fund Dinner.

The annual event is held to support the fund, which will provide full or partial scholarships to over 5,500 primary and secondary Catholic school students in the archdiocese this year.

The evening also provides an opportunity to present the Carolyn and Peter Lynch Award, which since 2001 has honored those who make a difference in the lives of children.

This year however, the award did not go to an individual but rather an innovative organization that is working to improve the conditions at Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Boston.

This year’s recipients make up the 2010 Strategic Planning Committee, part of the 2010 Initiative, aimed at revitalizing Catholic schools in the archdiocese by the close of the decade.

Jack Connors, chair of the committee, accepted the award on behalf of its members. He thanked the other members and acknowledged the newly formed Campaign for Catholic Schools, which is charged with raising funds for 2010 projects.

He said that the 2010 Initiative is a response to the fact that Catholic schools are in serious trouble. There are currently 100 schools in the archdiocese, down from 250 in 1960 and enrollment has decreased by 5 percent in each of the past five years. Teachers are underpaid and the school buildings are old and in need of renovation, he said. The last new Catholic school was built in 1953.

The 2010 project in Dorchester and Mattapan plans to build the first new school building in Boston in 55 years, he added.

Connors stressed the importance of Catholic schools, calling them the “future of our faith.” He then urged Catholics to support the schools in the archdiocese, which is no easy journey, he said.

He recalled an advertisement placed by Sir Ernest Shackleton for a voyage to cross Antarctica that read, “Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages. Bitter cold. Long months of complete darkness. Constant danger. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success.”

Also in attendance was Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley who honored the archdiocese’s interim secretary of education and superintendent of schools, Sister Kathleen FitzSimons, CND who has served with distinction, he said.

He also recognized the newly appointed secretary of education and superintendent, Mary Grassa O’Neill.

Prior to the dinner, Cardinal O’Malley visited with the student performers from St. Mark School who clamored to have their picture taken with him. Later, the students sang “Amazing Grace” and played the violin and tin whistle.

The student speaker of the program, North Cambridge Catholic High School senior Jennifer Etienne, described her typical day for the audience.

She said she wakes at 5 a.m. to help her 6-year-old brother get ready for school and watches him after school when her mother is at work. She is involved in campus ministry, drama, volleyball, softball and the National Honor Society. She also tutors other students.

Etienne said she feels blessed to have been given the opportunity to attend Catholic school, adding that she hopes to be the first in her family to graduate from college. Her first choice is Boston College, she said.

She told ICSF supporters, “I hope to someday have as great an impact on students’ lives as you have had on mine.”

In his remarks, Peter Lynch, chairman of the fund for the last 17 years, recognized the Catholic teachers in the 800-person crowd, asking them to stand up for a round of applause.

“We have the best teachers -- spectacular individuals,” he said.

The keynote speaker, Peggy Noonan, also commended Catholic school teachers for their dedication and the sacrifices they make.

“I think a lot of Catholic school teachers are heroic,” said Noonan, Wall Street Journal columnist and author of several books including her most recent work, “John Paul the Great: Remembering a Spiritual Father.”

Noonan said she visited Cathedral High School in the South End earlier in the day. She witnessed 11th grade students debating the romantic poets and found the students “polite, friendly and fabulous,” she said.

She added that the United States and the culture need Catholic schools. They are the great alternative to public schools. In Catholic schools morality is taught alongside academics, God is acknowledged and students learn that not all of life can be quantified into numbers.

Mary Richardson -- the evening’s mistress of ceremonies and anchor for Chronicle, a newsmagazine that airs on WCVB-TV Channel 5 -- said Catholic schools help students to develop a moral compass and desire to make a difference.

She praised donors to the ISCF for their support of Catholic education, saying “You give so generously of your time and money.”

Lynch noted that even though millions of dollars were raised for the ISCF, more could help the 10,000 Catholic students who will not receive financial aid this year.

Nation
Today is 'hour of the laity,' Archbishop Gomez tells Encuentro delegates

GRAPEVINE, Texas (CNS) -- Hispanic Catholic leaders are living an important moment in the history of the Catholic church in the U.S. and are called to ...

World
Stay close to the suffering, forgive one another, pope tells Latvians

AGLONA, Latvia (CNS) -- What would Mary do? was the question Pope Francis, in effect, asked Latvian Catholics gathered at their nation's popular Marian ...

Nation
Joy, hope contagious for Encuentro participants as they discern priorities

GRAPEVINE, Texas (CNS) -- Joy, hope, energy and a spirit of continued collaboration are contagious among the participants of the Fifth National Encuentro, ...

World
Update: Pope in Lithuania: Don't let anti-Semitism, hatred resurge

VILNIUS, Lithuania (CNS) -- Outside the former KGB headquarters in Vilnius, Pope Francis ended a day of paying homage to victims of totalitarianism and ...

World
God is patient, even with failures, pope tells young Lithuanians

VILNIUS, Lithuania (CNS) -- Meeting young Lithuanians in Vilnius, Pope Francis said he wanted a relaxed conversation, like they were sitting in a pub ...

World
Update: Vatican signs provisional agreement with China on naming bishops

VILNIUS, Lithuania (CNS) -- For the first time in decades, all of the Catholic bishops in China are in full communion with the pope, the Vatican announced. Pope ...

World
Find strength in tolerance, solidarity, pope tells Lithuanians

VILNIUS, Lithuania (CNS) -- In Lithuania, a nation that experienced invasions, atrocities and persecution, Pope Francis began his visit with a plea to ...

Nation
Ospino: Encuentro reflects 'energy, maturity' of a church 'here to stay'

GRAPEVINE, Texas (CNS) -- The thousands of Hispanic Catholic ministry leaders gathered in Texas for the Fifth National Encuentro shared views on the maturity ...

Nation
N.J. cardinal won't attend synod, asks to remain home at 'time of crisis'

NEWARK, N.J. (CNS) -- Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin of Newark told the people of his archdiocese Sept. 21 that Pope Francis has granted his request that he ...

Nation
Detroit Archdiocese welcomes investigation into Michigan dioceses

DETROIT (CNS) -- Michigan's attorney general has opened an investigation into the handling of sexual abuse by clergy in all of Michigan's seven Catholic ...

Nation
Catholics believe in God but 'don't believe in us,' Miami archbishop says

MIAMI (CNS) -- The crisis the Catholic Church is facing is not "a crisis of faith" or "mainly about a crisis of sexual abuse by clergy," but is "a crisis ...

Nation
Update: Disney animator says grounding in Catholic schools led to success

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (CNS) -- Ron Clements is a renowned animator, screenwriter and producer-director of award-winning Disney films, including the blockbuster ...

Nation
#WhyImCatholic movement aims to share hope at difficult time for church

CHICAGO (CNS) -- Catholic Extension has launched a new social media campaign called #WhyImCatholic to offer "hope and unity" for Catholics by inviting ...

Nation
Continue to be an evangelizing church, nuncio tells Encuentro delegates

GRAPEVINE, Texas (CNS) -- Quoting from Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation "The Joy of the Gospel," Archbishop Christophe Pierre encouraged Hispanic Catholic ...

Nation
Encuentro opens with procession, papal message, prayers for abuse victims

GRAPEVINE, Texas (CNS) -- A video message from Pope Francis and a procession of Encuentro crosses representing all of the participating episcopal regions ...

Nation
Retired Green Bay auxiliary bishop failed to report abuse, withdraws from ministry

Green Bay, Wis., Sep 20, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- Bishop Robert Morneau, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Green Bay, has withdrawn from public ministry saying ...

Nation
Dolan 'impatient' waiting for apostolic visitation in response to McCarrick

New York City, N.Y., Sep 20, 2018 CNA.- The Archbishop of New York said Thursday that while he has confidence in the way Pope Francis is handling the ...

World
Two more Chilean bishops step down in wake of abuse crisis

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis accepted the resignations of two more Chilean bishops, bringing to seven the number of bishops who have stepped down ...

Local
Celebration of the Priesthood dinner raises over $1.8 million

BOSTON -- A record 1,700 people attended the 10th annual Celebration of the Priesthood dinner to raise funds for the Clergy Health and Retirement Trust ...

Local
Lawrence parish helps community cope with gas explosion aftermath

LAWRENCE -- Volunteers at St. Patrick Church's Cor Unum Meal Center were serving dinner when multiple natural gas explosions and fires broke out in homes ...

Local
Ceremony, Mass kick off St. Augustine Chapel bicentennial

SOUTH BOSTON -- St. Augustine Chapel and Cemetery began its year-long bicentennial celebration on the weekend of Sept. 14-16 with tours, special Masses, ...

Local
Mass. Knights install new officers

The Massachusetts State Council Knights of Columbus recently held its Installation of State Officers at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Canton with ...

Local
Deal will keep Sancta Maria Nursing Facility open

CAMBRIDGE -- Sancta Maria Nursing Facility announced Sept. 17 that it has negotiated a comprehensive operational contract with Advocate Healthcare Management ...

Local
From Cardinal Seán's blog

As I mentioned in my preface to last week's blog, this week and last, I have been in Rome for meetings related to the work of the Pontifical Commission ...

Nation
N.Y. Archdiocese names judge as independent reviewer on abuse protocols

NEW YORK (CNS) -- New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan has named a former federal judge to study archdiocesan policies and procedures with respect to sexual ...

Nation
U.S. reports poverty declines, but agencies finding needs remain great

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The good news from the U.S. Census Bureau Sept. 12 was that the poverty rate dropped for the third straight year in 2017 and median ...

Nation
Class-action lawsuit filed against eight Pennsylvania dioceses

PITTSBURGH (CNS) -- A class-action lawsuit was filed Sept. 17 against eight Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania demanding the dioceses provide proof that ...

World
Apostolic visitor outlines plans for expansion at Medjugorje shrine

WARSAW, Poland (CNS) -- The Polish archbishop tasked with overseeing Bosnia-Herzegovina's Medjugorje shrine has outlined plans for expansion, including ...

World
Pope names administrator as Indian bishop investigated for alleged rape

MUMBAI, India (CNS) -- Pope Francis has accepted the request of an Indian bishop accused of raping a nun to be relieved of his duties during the investigation. In ...

World
In letters to German cardinal, retired pope defends way he stepped down

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Retired Pope Benedict XVI expressed his displeasure with the way a German cardinal publicly criticized his stepping down as pontiff, ...

Nation
Thousands of Hispanics expected in Texas for Encuentro summit

Fort Worth, Texas, Sep 20, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- As many as 3,000 Catholics of Hispanic background are expected in Texas this week for the National V Encuentro, ...

Nation
Church plans third-party abuse reporting system, code of conduct

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pledging to "heal and protect with every bit of the strength God provides us," the U.S. bishops' Administrative Committee Sept. 19 ...

World
Be grateful to parents, never insult them, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Honoring mothers and fathers means being grateful for the gift of life and Christians should never insult anyone's parents, Pope ...

World
Canadian cardinal: Women should help screen, train priest applicants

Poznan, Poland, Sep 18, 2018 CNA.- Increasing the role of women in screening and training priests is among the steps that should be taken to prevent future ...

World
Vatican delegation will travel to China this month to finalize agreement, Chinese newspaper reports

Beijing, China, Sep 18, 2018 CNA.- A newspaper tied to the Chinese Communist Party reported Tuesday that a delegation of Vatican officials will head to ...

World
Media reporting Vatican-China agreement could be signed in late September

HONG KONG (CNS) -- The long-awaited Sino-Vatican agreement on the nomination of bishops is expected to be signed in September, reported several media ...

World
Update: Irish singer Bono calls pope 'extraordinary man for extraordinary times'

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Bono, the lead singer of the Irish band U2, said he told Pope Francis that in Ireland "it looks as though the abusers are being ...