St. Brendan’s community holds successful $10K fundraiser

Irish Step Dancers Colleen Ward, Bridget McHugh, Mairead McHugh, and Ella Connolly, all of Connolly Academy of Irish Dance in Hanover, were the stars of the evening at the St. Brendan’s Church and School fundraiser in Florian Hall last Friday night (March 8) that launched the run to St. Patrick’s Day.

The St. Brendan’s Church and School community held a well-attended $10K raffle fundraiser in Florian Hall last Friday night (March 8) – with entertainment and plenty of socializing to accompany the big raffle.

Beyond just having a good time, the event was meant to draw attention to the considerable progress the St. Brendan’s Committee has made toward accomplishing the goals given to the community by the Archdiocese of Boston to keep the doors open.

The St. Brendan’s Committee gathered on Friday night with parishioners from the church. Front row, from left: Dottie Dunford, Rob Madden, and Jean Donovan. Back, Dottie O’Brien, John O’Toole, Beth O’Toole Emery, Frank Doyle, John Parsons, Lisa Zinck, and Patty McMahon. Seth Daniel photos

St. Brendan’s church had been set for closure – the onetime parish was merged with St. Ann’s in Neponset and given the name St. Martin de Porres Parish – before parishioners launched a vigorous protest against the move, which resulted in Cardinal Sean O’Malley allowing the church to stay open if the community met three key goals, including improving attendance, increasing the offertory donations, and fundraising successfully.

Community leaders John O’Toole told the audience on Friday that “we have made substantial progress towards our goals,” and Beth O’Toole Emery added, “Being here tonight is a great show of support for St. Brendan’s. We want to stay open. We can stay open. We can definitely do this.”

John Parsons shared that he has fully restored the altar, and to raise funds, the committee is adding names of families and loved ones who donate to the cause.

“You’ll see a lot of names of people being remembered,” he said, with others noting that Parsons himself has raised $45,000 toward the effort.

Life-long parishioner Rosemary O’Brien, who was in the first class at St. Brendan’s School, encouraged everyone to attend Mass regularly.

“Please keep up this effort and please keep coming to church,” she said. “The more you go, the more you will like it. God Bless.”

The night was graced with the talents of four students from the Connolly Academy of Irish Dance in Hanover, who performed their routines as the raffle got underway.

Rob Madden and Jean Donovan.

Maura Doyle with Larry Feeney.


Subscribe to the Dorchester Reporter