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  Saturday, October 25, 2014
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Mother Theresa CYO Hoopsters
By Kevin Devlin

     “We are expanding and growing in the right direction.”

     The Blessed Mother Theresa Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) basketball program is like a new kid on the block and the growing pains are obvious. Obvious, but considered worth the ordeal, since those involved, from players to coaches to parents, know that the day will come when their work will bear fruition.  And, the careful nurturing of students-athletes will be their reward.  

     Blessed Mother Theresa Parish includes the former Saint William’s and Saint Margaret’s Parishes. Last season, the parish fielded four CYO hoop teams, and this current season, there are seven teams competing in the local hoop circuit. It is expanding and growing, and three of the reasons are Pat McDonnell, Eileen McDonnell, and Jim Brigida. They are, as they say, the glue that holds everything together. They have sacrificed their time and energy into improving this program, into giving the youngsters an outlet to have fun, as well as providing a vehicle for these novices to learn the intricacies of the game of basketball.

     Pat McDonnell hopes someday that the Blessed Mother Theresa program will be as vibrant and successful as other local CYO programs.

     “We are expanding and growing in the right direction,” said McDonnell. “We have a great bunch of kids, no superstars, but eager youngsters learning the game. We have kids from both parishes and from the school playing on these teams. We want them to be involved, learn the game and be active, instead of sitting on the couch playing video games. Everyone plays and has a good time. Winning is good, a bonus, but it’s not everything. Mainly we are here to nurture student-athletes.

     “We hope someday to be as solid a program as other local CYO basketball program,” McDonnell added. “Saint, Ann’s of Dorchester, Sacred Heart of Quincy, and Gate of Heaven in South Boston, have tremendous programs and we are working to realize this in the future.”

     The McDonnells, Brigida, Herb Van Ness, Will Hutchinson, Shawn McDonough and Judy Gootman, coach the teams. Gootman is their go-to volunteer, always willing and able to organize an event and getting other parents involved. Barney Carney also helps out and hopes someday to get a CYO web site going for the parish.  Blessed Mother Theresa School Principal Claire Sheridan and Blessed Mother Theresa Pastor Paul Soper have also been super in supporting this sports’ endeavor.

     “The principal and pastor have been great and quite supportive,” McDonnell added. “Many parents and the local business have also helped out. But to continue to expand, we will need to expand our base of volunteers in the future, so that this program does indeed grow and prosper as we would naturally want it to do.”

     The McDonnells and Brigida’s of the world are the kind of people who back up their talk with their walk.  They are devoted to the youth of their parish. They are there ready to teach and direct their children in the right direction.

     They are determined to create responsible student-athletes.

     Their task is an admirable one.

     And, it is one truly worthy of recognition and enthusiastic applause.



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One of Mother Theresa CYO hoop teams having a great time playing basketball this season in the CYO Circuit.

One of Mother Theresa CYO

hoop teams having a great

time playing basketball this

season in the CYO Circuit.


Eileen McDonnell, Jim Brigida, and Pat McDonnell spend a lot of time with the youth of their parish.

Eileen McDonnell, Jim Brigida,

and Pat McDonnell spend a lot

of time wit the youth of their parish.