Hill Happenings

August 10, 2012
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Congrats to former Mission Hill resident John Healy, who is now Fr. Healy after being ordained last month by Cardinal Seán O’Malley at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.

In 2006, Fr. Healy’s beloved wife Mary suddenly passed away from a heart attack. Shortly thereafter, Fr. Healy entertained thoughts of becoming a priest, eventually entering a seminary in Weston for older candidates.

Fr. Healy grew up in the Mission Hill “extension” projects on Annunciation Road, the oldest of nine children. Fr. Healy attended Cathedral High School in Roxbury and played on the school’s basketball team.

I fondly recall Cathedral playing Mission High in a junior varsity hoop game when I played for Mission. A huge crowd attended the game at the Tobin Gym, and by the long arm of coincidence, Fr. Healy and I were covering each other. Fr. Healy wasn’t a great player, but he was tenacious. Tenacity would propel Fr. Healy through his studies more than 40 years later, despite being away from the books that long.

After high school, Fr. Healy entered the U.S. Army during the Vietnam war, where he was in peril, serving in Phu Bai and Quang Tri. Fr. Healy moved from the Hill to Brookline in 1980 and he worked for many years at the Brookline Housing Authority.

Last month, Fr. Healy celebrated his first Mass in memory of his late wife Mary at St. Lawrence Church in Brookline, the same church the couple were married in. Fr. Healy and Mary’s three children were also baptized at St. Lawrence Church.

I spoke with Fr. Healy last week, and he was enthused about becoming a priest. His initial assignment is at St. Pius V Parish in Lynn. The parishioners at St. Pius are fortunate to have Fr. Healy. As it says in the Bible, “He who walks with the wise grows wise.”

Condolences to the family of Irene Shaughnessy, who passed away last month. Irene was a lifelong Mission Hill resident and the mother of seven terrific children. Mrs. Shaughnessy was devoted to Mission Church and a regular attendant at Mass.

Some years back, Mrs. Shaughnessy enjoyed playing bingo at Mission Grammar School. At her Memorial Mass, Mrs. Shaughnessy’s dear friend Fr. Collins eulogized, “Irene loved playing bingo, trying to hit the big one. She finally hit the jackpot—eternity with Christ.”

Mission Hill also mourned the death of Dorothy Harris, who passed away July 20. Mrs. Harris, formerly from Mission Hill, was a beautiful woman and the mother of five children. She had been living in Popponesset.

Happy birthday to Mission Hill icon John Clifford, who celebrated his 86th on July 31. John, a devotee to Mission Church, has been an altar boy/altar server at the church for more than 70 years, starting when he was an 8-year-old, when he attended Mission Grammar School.

My close friend Kathy Abbott, a 1969 Mission High graduate, celebrated her birthday July 29. Kathy, who grew up on Fenwood Road, has been living in San Diego for many years. Kathy stays informed about her Hill comrades, being a loyal subscriber to the Mission Hill Gazette.

Good luck to newlyweds Regan Geary and Pat Gorman, who tied the knot June 16 in Chicago. Regan, a pretty nurse, is the daughter of proud parents Joe Geary and Deidre Geary, who hail from Mission Hill. Pat Gorman, from Walpole, is in the U.S. Navy and is currently stationed in San Diego, where the happy couple are residing.

Happy birthday to Phil Mahoney, who turned 73 on July 26. Phil, a Mission Hill resident, is a regular at Mike’s Donuts.

Good luck to Tom Killion and Lauren Keefe, a beautiful couple who will marry Aug. 17 at the Sea Crest Beach Hotel in North Falmouth. Tom and Lauren have Mission Hill blood, as both sets of parents are from the Hill and are Mission High School graduates, including good guy Ron Keefe. The wedding is in memory of John and Jeanne Killion, both of whom passed away in 2004. Tom Killion, incidentally, has been doing yeoman’s work keeping the streets of Brighton safe while serving as a Boston Police officer.

The friendly soccer match between Flann O’Brien’s and Squealing Pig raised $2,000 at the after-party for Mission Hill resident Jonathan Dixon, who has multiple sclerosis. The game was called the “Dixie Cup” in his honor.

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