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Monday, April 24, 2023

Get to Know This Year’s Jack Shaughnessy Award Honoree, Thomas Tinlin

Thomas Tinlin, a South Boston native and longtime supporter of Catholic Charities Boston’s Labouré Center, has been named this year’s Jack Shaughnessy Service Award Honoree.

After suffering a ruptured Brain Aneurysm in 2017, Tom became dedicated to supporting and spreading awareness of the work of the Brain Aneurysm Foundation, where he now serves as chair of their Board. As Associate Principal at Boston-based transportation consulting firm Howard Stein Hudson and former commissioner of the Boston Transporation Department, Tom has been a model leader throughout his career and was instrumental in helping Labouré undertake a massive construction project to move the Center to its current location on West Broadway in order to broaden its scope of services. He continues to be a vocal champion for Labouré and a beloved auctioneer for many South Boston events, including Catholic Charities Labouré Spring Reception.

Tom will receive his award at Labouré’s Spring Reception on April 27.

How did you first get involved in the Labouré Center?

I was working in government for Mayor Thomas Menino in the 90’s and early 2000s when Sister Maryadele, who at the time was the Director of the Laboure Center and is now Laboure’s Outreach Social Worker, was talking about outgrowing the existing facility down on West 4th Street in South Boston.

At that time, there weren’t a lot of facilities that offered as wide a range of services as Labouré did, so it was obviously something that Mayor Menino was really interested in helping with.

Getting to know Sister Maryadele and the passion she had and all the good work that the Labouré Center does in the South Boston community, as well as getting to spend time with Jack Shaughnessy, was really an honor of a lifetime. The Labouré Center is doing amazing work, and I’m happy to play an extremely small part of that.

What inspires you to participate in service and volunteering?

I believe we are all a byproduct of our upbringing. My values were instilled in me by my mother and father, and our elected officials and community leaders in the South Boston community in particular really shaped me.

In South Boston, if you’re a little bit down on your luck, folks rally around you and carry you and help you. Witnessing that growing up influenced me and led me into public service and volunteering.

At a young age, I had the opportunity to go work for the city. I was a security guard in the city hall, and at the time a little-known city counselor by the name of Tom Menino from Hyde Park took a shine to me, and to this day I don’t know why, but he kept challenging me to go back to school and get off the corners of the neighborhood. Later, when he became mayor, he gave me some great opportunities. One of the most fulfilling parts of my life is being able to assist others, even people that you’ll never meet. If you can make the life of somebody a little bit better in a small way, or in a big way, it is incredibly meaningful.

What was your reaction to being named this year’s Jack Shaughnessy Award honoree?

Sister Maryadele will tell you that I declined at first! This isn’t one of those self-modesty things that I feel compelled to say, but I just really never saw it coming. For this award to be coming from Catholic Charities and Cardinal Sean and Sister Maryadele, is something I am extremely proud of and humbled by.

What is most meaningful about being a part of the South Boston community?

Being part of the South Boston Community is just special. I don’t really know how to describe it. It’s home. It’s more than just a place to live and raise a family. It feels like a living and breathing thing. If you love it, it will return that love. The town is truly special, made up of truly special people.

The Labouré Center provides a wide variety of social services to children, teens, families, individuals, and elders in South Boston and surrounding communities. Programs include Nursing Assistant/Home Health Aide Training, ESOL and computer coding classes, childcare and elder services, the Family Counseling & Guidance Center, and Refugee & Immigrant Services.

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