BOSTON – May 18, 2017 – Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Boston hosted its annual Spring Celebration on Wednesday, May 17 at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum with Governor Charlie Baker, Cardinal Seán O’Malley, and other distinguished guests. The event drew nearly 500 guests and raised more than $1 million, funds that will provide basic needs resources such as food, utility and rental assistance to those in need, and support a wide range of educational programs for children and adults that provide paths to self-sufficiency.
“Catholic Charities is grateful for the continued generosity of its many supporters who enable us to offer care for those who need us most,” said Deborah Kincade Rambo, president of Catholic Charities. “This year it is an honor to recognize Bill Kennedy, an individual who exemplifies selflessness, community, and compassion – values that remain at the core of our work. Bill has epitomized that spirit throughout his career and throughout the community in many capacities.”
Catholic Charities honored William F. Kennedy with the 2017 Justice and Compassion Award for his inspirational leadership and solidarity with the most at-risk and underserved members of our community. Kennedy, a partner of Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP, has tirelessly served the Boston community for over 40 years. Prior to joining Nutter, Kennedy was a public servant of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for ten years.
“It’s hard for me to imagine anyone in public life who is more thoughtful, more considerate, more collaborative, and more important to the work that was done on Beacon Hill when Bill served there in the 1990s,” said Governor Charlie Baker, a former colleague and friend of Kennedy.
In his remarks, Kennedy recognized the many compassionate people in his life from childhood, Holy Cross, and various professional roles that he says has shaped the man he has become. He also reflected on the work of Catholic Charities. “I thought of one of my favorite Bruce Springsteen songs. ‘I’ll wait for you, but should I fall behind, wait for me.’ And that’s really what Catholic Charities does. Someone falls behind—spiritually, financially, culturally—they need counseling, family support, housing, food. At St. Peter’s, the Teen Center, they have a great after-school program; they have a great high school graduation rate. They do tutoring, they do mentoring, they do counseling. So if someone falls behind, they are there. They are there for them.”
Monica Teixeira, a Basic Needs Case Manager at Catholic Charities Labouré Center in South Boston shared her personal experience with Catholic Charities at the event. Teixeira, who in her young life relied on food pantries and the generosity of others, now works two jobs at the Labouré Center and is graduating from Bunker Hill Community College this Saturday. “I work with many clients and each one of them has different circumstances but the same issues: lack in resources, guidance to meet their basic needs, support to navigate in their community, and a helping hand when they face a crisis. I work and study to better myself, to help my family, and hopefully serve my community—our community.”
“Each day, Catholic Charities offers hope and provides a supportive, helping presence to our neediest brothers and sisters,” said Cardinal Seán O’Malley. “I am grateful for all that Catholic Charities does to sustain this critical mission of service.”
The event featured Mike Sheehan as master of ceremonies and some of the event’s sponsors included Jeffrey J. Kaneb; John A. Kaneb; John Hancock Financial Services; Century Bank and Trust Company; Eversource Foundation; Scully Family Foundation; Eastern Mineral, Inc.; Yawkey Foundation II; and Peter S. Lynch.
For photos from the event, please click here.