Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Afternoon Tea with the Daughters honors Dr. Mary Ann Glendon

The early autumn weather was perfect, the raffle baskets, enticing, and the antique table settings, exquisite. One glitch: In planning, we hadn't accounted for the New England Patriots' Home Opener the same day. That alone made the presence and jovial mood of our 110 friends even more impressive.
The members of our Boston community turned out en masse to park cars, register names, serve tables, sit with guests, and conduct tours of our chapel and publishing house afterward for those who could put in the extra 40 minutes.
    There was a dual purpose to the event. We honored Dr. Mary Ann Glendon with the first-ever Cordero Award, given to "Catholics who have striven to uplift the human spirit and to recognize the dignity of the person in or through the media." The award is named for M. Paula Cordero, who helped establish the Daughters of St. Paul in the U.S. in 1932. Dr. Glendon is the Learned Hand Law Professor at Harvard Law School and served as U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See. Her teaching, whether at Harvard or in her books and articles, provided us with the incentive to honor her with the award. Wikipedia describes her as a "pro-life feminist."
     The event also launched the Education Fund for our sisters and novices. In proposing the idea for a fund raising event, Sr. Margaret Timothy, provincial superior, remarked, "I'm tired of having to choose between fixing the roof and educating our sisters!" She outlined  for our guests the purpose of our education: to meet the evangelization needs of a new generation using the modern means of communication. Today that means the digital world. So we work toward degrees in philosophy, theology, communications, administration, the arts, marketing, and languages. Scholarships accounted for, that requires about $75,000 anuually. And that's just to continue what we've been doing. How many more we could train if we had the resources!
 One man got the message. An anonymous donor pledged $100,000 if we could raise a matching amount by year's end. Well, seeing as we netted about $23,000 from the day, that leaves us with $77,000 to go. Cardinal Sean O'Malley wrote, "I am pleased to support this effort and encourage you all to do so." Here's how: Or contact me: We join our prayers for you to those he promised to offer for you , too.

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