By Rick Winterson

   Let us give you the details first.  The Paraclete Center, widely known for its educational mission in South Boston, will hold its Annual 2019 Reception on Thursday evening, February 28, at Boston College High School from 6 until 8 p.m. (free parking available).  Phone Eileen MacNeil (781-812-7099) or Christine McConville (617-834-0538) for tickets; order tickets online at

This is an event not to miss, because the high point of an already enjoyable evening will be the celebration of the Flynns – Ambassador and Mrs. Flynn and their family.  And “celebration” is certainly the right word.

You see, the Flynns have always been devoted – truly devoted – to South Boston and its interests.  And yet, they are well known for their efforts and successes in other places.  Ray Flynn served the City, State, and Federal Governments as Mayor of Boston, State Representative, and Ambassador to the Vatican.  How many public servants do you know who have occupied key positions in all three levels of American government?  Ray comes by his title of “The Honorable …” quite honestly (or should we say quite honorably?).

And yet, there’s not a person who knows him and Cathy that is not aware of their devotion to their family – especially all their grandchildren – as well as their devotion to the South Boston community and to the people who live here all around them.  It can be simply but emphatically stated that Ray and Cathy have never forgotten where they came from.  Never!

The Paraclete Center itself is located at 207 E Street in what was once a convent, and has now been converted to classrooms and activity spaces.  It serves 65 students throughout the year.   The Paraclete Reception will give you a chance to get to know the Paraclete Center’s staff:  four teachers, Administrator Allison Matadore, and Executive Director Eileen MacNeil.  What they do is largely encompassed by the word “STEAM”, an acronym that stands for “Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics”.  That word STEAM quickly describes the Paraclete’s21st Century curriculum.  As another example of the Paraclete’s approach to their students, Paraclete provides them with a home-cooked dinner twice each school week, with plenty of “leftovers” to take back home afterward.

And what about the celebration itself?  We have mentioned some high points already, but there will also be several notable guests at the February 28 Reception.  The Event Chair is District 2 City Councilor Ed Flynn; his Honorary Co-Chairs are Congressman Steve Lynch, State Auditor Suzanne Bump, and Mayor Marty Walsh.  We understand that Quincy Mayor Tom Koch will also attend.  Raffle items include a football signed by the Patriots (how timely is that?!?).  An interesting bed-and-breakfast prize has come in from Kathleen Valair; Steve Lynch is again offering a tour by him of the White House.  As we said, the Paraclete’s Reception celebrating the Flynns and their fanily is not to be missed.

South Boston Online will close with a quote that well describes Ray and Cathy, “They became global citizens on the world stage, yet their hearts always stayed here in their community.”

See you at The Paraclete Reception on Thursday, the 28th, to celebrate them and their family.