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Roses a'bloom

“The exceeding beauty of the earth
in her splendour
Yields a new thought with every petal.”
By Richard Jeffries

The roses in our yard are so beautiful that it caused daughter Sue to write a lovely piece as she sat on her porch, looking toward our home. One day last week, I was standing near the front of our house as the children from the Murphy School were dismissed. Several of the parents told me that they thought our roses were lovely. The Cullitys’ pink rose bush, by their front door, is positively gorgeous. It must have been the correct weather conditions this spring that provided the perfect conditions for growing roses.

I was sorry to read of the death of Sister Mary Walsh, CSJ (Sister Donatus), on May 27. Sister Mary, a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph for 67 years, had served as principal of St. Gregory School in Dorchester. Among her relatives are Rev. Aidan Walsh, pastor of St. Elizabeth’s Church in Milton, and our friend Ann Walsh of Milton. Hubby and I send our sympathy to the entire Walsh Family.
I was also sorry to read of the death of Albert Charbonnier on May 22. Albert has two sons, Robert and Stephen, stationed at District C-11, Dorchester. (Another son, Albert Jr., is stationed at District A-7.) A retired Boston Police officer, Albert was also the father of State Trooper Mark Charbonnier who was killed in the line of duty on Sept. 2, 1994. (Each time we drive by Mark’s beautiful memorial on Route 3, on the way to the Cape, I say a little prayer for him.) I send my sympathy to the entire Charbonnier Family.

As I mentioned, Hubby and I stopped at Market Basket on the way home from Cape Cod. It is an experience to shop at this huge store. Thank goodness the store has a directory of its products, just above the racks with the weekly flyers near the front door. I was delighted to see my good friend Thelma Burns in the store. We chatted for a few minutes near the very busy deli section. I told her that I hoped to see her at the concerts on City Hall Plaza this summer.

I just happened to see the death of Patrick McDonagh in the newspaper the other morning. Pat was the original proprietor of Pat’s Pizza in Lower Mills. (Our family has frequented the restaurant often over these past many years.) He died suddenly on June 1. I send my sympathy to his wife Maureen (Talbot) and to their sons, Michael and Patrick. He was the brother of Mary McNiff, Deborah, Margaret ‘Peggy,” and the late Michael and Matthew (“Mattie”).

Last week, we found out from cousin-in-law Grace Horgan (my cousin Jimmie’s widow) that her nephew, Father Brian Smith, was extremely ill. We did not realize that Father Sean Connor, pastor of St. Ann’s in Neponset, had been speaking at recent Masses about the illness of his good friend, Father Brian, who entered the seminary at the same time as he. Daughter Sue finally figured out that it was our Father Brian about whom Father Sean was speaking. Father Brian passed away on June 3 of colon cancer, at age 45 years. I have known his father, Donald Smith, since we were kids in Jamaica Plain. I have known his mother, Virginia, since she and Donald were married, probably 50 years ago. Father Brian has been stationed at St. Mary’s in Foxborough since 2011. Previously, he had taught music at St. Coletta’s Day School in Braintree. Cardinal Sean O’Malley celebrated a Mass for him last Friday in Weymouth. I send the sympathy of our family to his parents, Donald and Virginia, his brothers, Michael, Kevin, and Stephen, his nieces, Molly and Maggie, his nephew, Christopher, his uncle, James Bailey, and his aunts, Ann Toland and our cousin Grace Horgan. We also send our sympathy to his parishioners at St. Mary’s in Foxborough and to his good friend and fellow classmate, Father Sean Connor of St. Ann’s in Neponset.

I was also sorry to read of the death of Timothy Kelly, after a very short illness, on June 2, at age 81. I have known Tim and his wife Peggy since our kids went to St. Ann’s School together. Tim was a member of St. Ann’s Folk Group Singers and a member of the New Neponset Players. A native of Cork City, Ireland, Tim was married to Peggy for 52 years. I send the sympathy of all our family to his wife Peggy, his children, John, Grace Connolly, and Michael, and to the rest of the family. He was a very nice man.

While Hubby and I were down the Cape, we noticed that the street next to the Irish Village is named Frank Baker Way. Hubby took a photo of the street sign so that we can send it to City Councillor Frank Baker. By the way, Frank told us recently that his wife, “Today,” was at the Boston Marathon’s Finish Line on April15. Today left the area just three minutes before the bombs exploded. Thank God!

As usual, Hubby and I enjoyed the monthly Irish Pastoral Centre’s luncheon at the Irish Cultural Centre. Last month, we were delighted to see Father Richard Putnam, a Salesian, pitch-hitting for our regular priest, Father John McCarthy. Hubby and I have known Father Rich for quite a few years. He taught at Hubby’s school in Roxbury years ago. He even practice-taught with Hubby. Father Rich also worked with Hubby in Supreme Market, in Fields Corner, while he was in school. Because his lovely mother, Ruth, lived at Keystone, we saw Father Rich fairly regularly. (Ruth sadly passed away on Oct. 25, 2011.) Hubby and I went up to see him before he began Mass. He greeted us with, “I knew you’d be here!” We chatted for a few minutes. Sorry to say, he could not stay after Mass was over, not even to have lunch. He had to pick up some students in East Boston after they got out of their schools. We were delighted that Tom and Barbara Cheney were sitting with us at the luncheon. They went up to see Father Rich, also. Their whole family knows him very well. He grew up near their home in St. Ann’s Parish in Dorchester. Speaking of the lunch: a new restaurant provided the turkey dinner luncheon, the Boyne Restaurant in Brighton, and it was excellent. By the way, John Connor and the Irish Express played for us at the luncheon. Quite a few people were out on the dance floor.
Hubby has learned, from the Newsletter of the Emerald Society of the Boston Police Dept., how to write “Boston Strong” in Gaelic. It is “Boston Laidir.” Isn’t that a great piece of trivia!

What a nice time Hubby and I had at the 10K Drawing for the Dorchester Day Parade Committee. Thanks to a kind invitation from Loretta Philbrick, we used Maureen Connolly’s ticket for the evening. The drawing was held on Fri., May 24, at Florian Hall. We were delighted to sit with Loretta and also Ginny Biagiotti and Mary Shea, all from the Cedar Grove Civic Association. Also joining us were John and Janice Schneiderman from the Pope’s Hill Association and a new friend, Sylvia Carter. At a nearby table, I saw Rich Fullam. I went over to say “Hi.” Rich introduced me to his lovely wife Claire. I told her that I thought she had terrific in-laws, Bob and Sheila Fullam. She heartily agreed.
Richard Livingston came by to greet us. Barbra Trybe was there also. I told her that “we must stop meeting like this”; it had been several times in one week. It was so good to see Gail Hobin from UMass/Boston. It was great to see Charlie Tevnan and Joe and Diane Zinck, who chatted with us. (The Zincks’ daughter, Lisa, was a volunteer at the drawing, along with Jean Donovan.) Jill Baker, from Councilor Frank Baker ‘s office, was at the drawing early. Frank came by a little later. I was also happy to see Mary Truong and her husband Nam once again. Karen Crowley, Danny Cullinane, Brendan Lovett, and Bill Walczak all stopped by to talk. Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry also came to chat. I was happy to meet Michael Corcoran, president of the Corcoran-Jennison Company, who presented the Parade Committee with a much-appreciated check for $10,000. John Scannell told us that he had been at Marian Manor that day to lead singing. He also told us that he has been on the Parade Committee for 50 years! Bravo, John! I was also pleased to see Sean Weir, his Mom Roseleen, Ellen Fay, Jim King, Paul Nutting, and Pat O’Neill.
John and Janice had to leave early from the drawing to pick up someone at the airport so John gave me his ticket. I should have told him that I was the “kiss of death” when it comes to gambling. I always lose. Our new friend Sylvia stayed in longer in the drawing than the rest of us but finally lost. Hubby, however, won a very nice prize in the raffle, a lovely folding beach chair, with a very cute flip-flop pattern on the canvas seat. There was also a huge beach blanket and a wonderful cooler included. He was tickled with his prize. By the way, Boston’s Gaelic Fire Brigade Pipes and Drums performed at the drawing. So did the Greene-O’Leary Irish dancers. (The kids are so cute – and terrific.) It was a lovely evening. We thank Maureen for allowing us to use her ticket, and Loretta for inviting us to join her.

Here is the end of a wonderful poem called “I am the flag,” written by Howard Schnauber. These last four lines are very famous:
“My name is ‘Old Glory’!
Long may I wave
O’er the land of the free
And the home of the brave.”