Fenway Park Catholic Night honors Catholic community representatives

BOSTON -- About 500 people from the parishes and ministries of the Archdiocese of Boston attended the Red Sox game on July 25 for Catholic Night, where several Catholic individuals and organizations were honored in a pre-game ceremony.

Catholic Night has been an annual tradition at Fenway Park for almost a decade, recognizing the service and leadership of local Catholics in their communities.

This year's honorees included Bishop Mark O'Connell, auxiliary bishop for the North Region and pastor of St. Theresa Parish in North Reading. St. Mary of the Nativity Parish in Scituate was represented by co-pastor Father Matthew Conley and altar servers Colin Dubois and Max Nabstedt. The Scituate Knights of Columbus were represented by Grand Knight Rick English and treasurer Kevin Devin. Hector Heredia came on behalf of the volunteers of Cor Unum Meal Center in Lawrence, which provides 250,000 free meals to the hungry each year, and Fernando Limbo and Alice Flanagan represented Pure in Heart America, a young-adult organization whose Boston chapter meets at St. Leonard of Port Maurice Parish in the North End.

About 40 students from St. Paul Choir School in Cambridge came to sing the National Anthem before the game, directed by choirmaster James Kennerley.

Father Conley helped to organize this year's Catholic Night, which had been held annually for six years prior to the pandemic.

"Being able to celebrate our Catholic faith publicly in front of 30,000 people at America's most beloved ballpark is such an honor and a true blessing," he said.

Father Conley said they hoped that it "provided some opportunities for evangelization" and gave spectators a moment to pause and reflect on their own relationship with God.

"We will never know on this side of heaven how many souls were touched that night, but we can be proud and confident that we made some small impact just by being there," Father Conley said.

He expressed his gratitude to the Red Sox and particularly to Hannah Gailey from the group sales office, who helped make arrangements for the event.

The Red Sox played against the Cleveland Guardians that night. During the fourth inning, the game had to be paused for almost an hour due to rain, but fans in the stands passed the time by dancing and singing along with the music playing on the loudspeakers, cheering when they saw themselves on the field's video board. The Red Sox won the game 3 to 1.