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Catholic Daughters help build home for Brockton family

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Posted: 4/28/2006

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Chung Sun Kuconis, from Court Henry A. Sullivan #584 in Danvers ignores the cold, sweeping wind to work on the roof of the house. Courtesy photo/Catholic Daughters of the America’s


BROCKTON — If you think women can build houses as well as the next guy, you hit the nail right on the head.

This was shown for sure when Massachusetts Catholic Daughters of the America’s partnered with South Shore Habitat for Humanity in Brockton to build a simple, decent home for a young Brockton family. The Catholic Daughters of the America’s (CDA) and St. Mary Parish, Brookline, donated the funds for the new home, which will be on Pine Street in Brockton.

A “Blitzbuild” took place during the week of April 3-8 during which approximately 100 women volunteers from the organization wielded the tools that can help reduce poverty housing. This is the first Habitat for Humanity House sponsored by the CDA in Massachusetts and its 10th nationwide.

“Jesus was a carpenter,” said Father Jack Ahern, pastor of St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Brookline, who donated the initial funds for the project on behalf of his parish. “Supporting a building project to help a family in need is a natural expression of our Catholic faith. But, it is the interfaith aspect that is truly inspiring. It is a blessing to share this charitable endeavor with people who worship in different ways but share the same compassionate goal.”

The Habitat build came about when Father Ahern, who is the CDA National Clergy Consultant, made a donation on behalf of his parish in honor of the election of Massachusetts resident M. Joan McKenna to the position of national regent by the CDA membership nationwide. Father Ahern is the court chaplain of Court Brookline #488 of which McKenna has been a long-standing member. She also worshiped at St. Mary’s before moving out of Brookline.

Accompanying the donation, Father Ahern issued the “St. Mary’s Challenge,” asking the State Court of Massachusetts to raise additional funds.

The challenge was met: Under the leadership of Massachusetts state regent Patricia Devine — who is also a member of Court Brookline #488 — and the Massachusetts State Court, Catholic Daughter courts throughout Massachusetts raised the required funds. The total of these combined funds will be matched by the national organization from a special Habitat for Humanity fund to which CDA members nationwide contribute.

“I am so excited to be a part of this,” said Devine. “And I’m so proud of the Massachusetts courts across the state who worked so hard to raise the money. This is my second Habitat build. There is no feeling in the world like actually meeting the new family and seeing the joy on the faces of children who will finally have a home.”

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