There was a pleasantly insistent buzz in John Hancock Financial’s stunning fourth floor atrium last Thursday evening. It was a gala crowd of South Boston’s staunchest supporters. Everyone anticipated the service award, to be conferred upon Sr. Maryadele Robinson, as she approaches her 30th year at South Boston’s Laboure Center. Fr. Joe White asked for a blessing, “Lord God of All Creation.” And how rare is applause after a benediction? Well, it happened at the Laboure Center’s Spring Reception last Thursday.
Without the slightest exaggeration, a glorious spirit pervaded the crowd of guests and the very air all around them. Bob Kelly, the chair of Laboure’s advisory board, emceed the fete; his first speaker, Catholic Charities President Deborah Rambo, extolled Sr. Maryadele’s record of loving accomplishment at Laboure. Mayor Marty Walsh and Lorrie Higgins served as the spring events co-chairs. Walsh spoke about his early ambition to get into politics, and realized that Sr. Maryadele had gotten there ahead of him when he first met her. He concluded his remarks by saying, “We love you, Sister; I wouldn’t miss this evening for the world.”
Cardinal Sean then took the lectern, and with Patrick Shaughnessy, the grandson of Jack and Mary Shaughnessy, presented Sr. Maryadele with her Jack Shaughnessy 2016 Service Award. In her own remarks, Sr. Maryadele graciously attributed her success to three groups: the Laboure staff, the Laboure advisory board, and a group of sisters who were honored guests at the spring reception and who had spent 360 total years in service. Among them was Sr. Evelyn Hurley who had just celebrated her 101st birthday. Sr. Maryadele went on to describe Jack Shaughnessy, who not only shared his earnings but also was a man who had boundless compassion for others.
Helen Allis spoke of how Sr. Maryadele had become the “Mother Teresa of South Boston,” and Judy Swanson received a spring bouquet as a thank you for her behind-the-scenes efforts on the 2016 reception. The evening concluded with an auction skillfully conducted by Tom Tinlin, which led off with two lunches with the mayor, and ended with two Italian dinners prepared from scratch by South Boston’s Papa George LoCascio.