The New England Province advancement staff welcomed the Jesuit GALA committee to a kick-off meeting in preparation for the 2015 Jesuit GALA, which will be held on April 7 at the Boston Copley Marriott Place. New and returning members, all friends and benefactors of the New England Province, gathered in the McDavitt Center at the province offices in Watertown. In its fifteenth year, the Jesuit GALA raises funds to support the formation and care of Jesuits and the apostolic works of the Province. This year’s co-chairs are Chuck and Gloria Clough, Bill and Jackie Egan and Jim and Lisa Mooney.
Gabriele Delmonaco, provincial assistant for advancement for the New England and New York Provinces, welcomed the GALA Committee to its kick-off meeting and expressed his gratitude for their willingness to serve on this year’s committee. He then proceeded to introduce Very Rev. Myles Sheehan, SJ, New England provincial, who will conclude his term in office on December 3. Fr. Sheehan reflected on the growth of the event in attendance and funds raised, since he became provincial in 2009. He also noted that because of the support and generosity of benefactors, especially those serving on the GALA committee, the ministries of the New England Province continue to thrive.
At the 2015 Jesuit GALA, Cardinal Seán O’Malley, OFM Cap., Archbishop of Boston, will be honored with the esteemed Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam award, which recognizes those who selflessly give of themselves for the greater glory of God. Fr. Sheehan commented that the province takes delight in honoring Cardinal Seán because of the commitment and compassion that he has shown toward the Jesuits of the province and the important new role Cardinal Seán has as a close advisor to Pope Francis.
At the conclusion of Fr. Sheehan’s remarks, Ann Marie Connolly, GALA committee member, who with her husband Dick received the AMDG award during Fr. Sheehan’s first year as provincial, formally thanked Fr. Sheehan for the passion, love and humor he has brought to his role. On behalf of the committee, she wished him the best as he transitions to his next assignment.
Fr. Dennis Yesalonia, SJ, associate vice president for advancement for the New England Province, then led the GALA Committee through the practical matters involved in the work of the committee. He concluded the meeting by commenting that the common threads, which all of the committee members have stated in one form or another, are their esteem and love for Jesuits and their personal commitment to support the province. With those sentiments in mind as the committee begins its work, Fr. Yesalonia assured them that the efforts they are about to make will ensure yet another successful Jesuit GALA.