Today is Father Mahoney's 75th birthday. He arrived in St. Francis in 1966 when I was going into first grade. He has been there to guide me and comfort me for 40 years. He has been present at nearly all the biggest events in my life.
When my sister was diagnosed with MS I went to Mass in the Chapel a few Saturday mornings in a row. Everything is still the same as when I was a little girl. Each week we greeted each other snd spoke for a few minutes. Each week I told him that everything was grand. On the third Saturday, he had me wait so we could walk out to the street together. We spoke about the boys, my parents etc., then he put an arm around my shoulders. He asked if I was ready to tell him what was wrong. I laughed, then started to cry and told him maybe next week. He said OK, he was always there for me. The next week I did tell him. How wonderful it is to have someone who just knows you, and loves you, and is always there for you.
He is not just my parish priest but he is the Chief Chaplain of the Boston Fire Department. He has impacted thousands of lives in and out of my parish. He is a very impressive man who gave his life to the service of others.