News & Updates
Wednesday, June 12, 2024

‘A legacy of kindness:’ Honoring Former St. Ambrose Director Rick Freitas

Catholic Charities staff, volunteers, and supporters in the community gathered in Dorchester on June 7 to honor Rick Freitas, former longtime Director of St. Ambrose Family Shelter, who passed away this January. Beloved by his family, friends, fellow staff, and St. Ambrose residents alike, a tree was planted in Rick’s memory in the vibrant “Giving Garden” outside St. Ambrose, a name that he coined.

President and CEO Kelley Tuthill described Rick as a leader who played a key role in shaping the culture of St. Ambrose, but also as a friend to all.

“Rick’s legacy of kindness is evident all around us, from the beautiful giving garden he maintained, ensuring that extra food from the garden and donations were shared with neighbors to the tight-knit network of St. Ambrose volunteers that he built with local schools and organizations, to the meaningful relationships he forged with each person who walked through St. Ambrose’s doors,” she said.

St. Ambrose staff shared heartfelt remarks on the indelible impact that Rick had in making St. Ambrose a place where every person felt welcome as they walked through its doors.

“We wanted to host a remembrance of Rick in Dorchester because he was such a vital part of this community. He would help anyone in need and no one who was hungry ever got turned away,” said Associate Director of Shelter Services, Linda Skerry.We had an inside joke here, “AFR”…anything for Rick! Not only was he our boss and mentor at St Ambrose, but he was always our biggest cheerleader and wanted us to succeed. He always let staff know how appreciated we were, and that appreciation always extended to volunteers and donors, who never went away empty handed. His reputation for always having candles and chocolate on hand as thank you’s will go on and he will be missed greatly.”

As echoed by each person who spoke in memory of Rick, he carried his light-hearted compassionate spirit everywhere that he went and, above all, cherished his family.

To honor Rick’s legacy and learn how you can support Catholic Charities Boston’s St. Ambrose Family Shelter, or other Catholic Charities programs, visit our Ways to Give page.


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