Hill Happenings

When I attended Mission High School in the mid-’60s, the school had some terrific educators, one of whom was Tom McManus.

Tom, a1954 graduate, became a prominent attorney after his teaching stint at Mission High. Chatting with Tom last month, he told me several interesting stories, starting with his foray into teaching.

“I had just graduated from college when I encountered Father McDonough at Brigham Circle,” he recalled. Father Edward McDonough was the adulated religion teacher at Mission High. Father McDonough inquired about Tom’s future, and Tom replied that he was planning to go to law school.

“We need you to teach at the high school,” said the great priest.

Tom put his law school on hold, and the following Monday he was teaching history at Mission High.

Father McDonough later became an acclaimed healing minister at Mission Church, and he was known throughout the religious world. I have fond memories of Father McDonough when I attended Mission Grammar and Mission High School. I still hear his voice every week. Saturdays at noon on “The Irish Hour” on WROL 950 AM, the station plays recordings of Father McDonough saying the “Our Father.”


This week in Mission Hill history (Dec., 4, 1954): It was 60 years ago that Mission Church was designated a basilica.

Mission Church was dedicated in 1878, and the famous twin spires were added in 1910.The church was founded by the Redemptorist Fathers as a mission to the many German Catholics in the area. The basilica status means Mission Church is recognized as one of the larger and more significant Catholic churches.



Thanks to Bobby Burns for the nice Menlo College jersey. Bobby’s daughter, Marianna Burns, attends Menlo, a prestigious business school in Atherton,Calif. Marianna inherited her dad’s athleticism, as she is an outstanding soccer player for Menlo. Bobby Burns, who grew up in the Mission Hill projects, was a linebacker on the 1979 Killilea Club championship football team.


Mission Hill has a plethora of fine food establishments. However, if you’re strolling around Faneuil Hall, and you are yearning for a yummy double-decker sandwich or burger, check out the Wheelhouse at Broad and Milk Streets. The Wheelhouse is owned by Jonathan and Jody Chase. Jody is the daughter of Dan Kenneally, a Mission Hill native and 1972 Mission High School graduate.


Stopping at a few Mission Hill bars last Sunday, I chatted with a few locals who lost some bread when the Patriots lost to Green Bay, 26-21. A missed field goal by the Pats late in the game would have covered the spread, as the Packers were 3-point favorites.

“How do the bookies get the point spread so close,” inquired one fellow. Bookies do not establish the point spread. Some bookies are sharp, while others that I have known don’t know if a football is blown up or stuffed.

The point spread, commonly known as the “line,” is enacted in Las Vegas and is relayed throughout the country. During the week, the line often changes depending on several factors, including which team the public is wagering on.

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