FALL RIVER — The annual Lumen Christi Cathedral Gala in the Diocese of Fall River this year takes on additional significance. Not only will it continue to spotlight the ongoing restoration of the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption, built beginning in 1852 and serving as the Diocese’s Mother Church since 1904, but it will also serve as the diocesan-wide gathering to honor the 120th anniversary of the Diocese. The event will celebrate the priests, parishes, and parishioners who have enlivened the Catholic faith over those many years in southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the Islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.

The Lumen Christi Cathedral Gala will take place at White’s of Westport on June 18, beginning at 6 p.m.

Carl Sawejko of Sawejko Enterprises of Somerset, Mass., and a parishioner of Our Lady of Peace Parish in that town is serving as emcee for the event and described it as “an honor to be asked by Bishop Edgar da Cunha and the Catholic Foundation to serve in this role for this year’s Lumen Christi Cathedral Gala.

“This year marks the 120th anniversary of our Diocese which makes this event so very special. Not only are we supporting the Cathedral, our dear Mother Church, but we are celebrating all parishes that make up our Diocese along the great work being accomplished by our priests.”

Proceeds from this Gala support the repairs and renovations that are underway at the Cathedral including critical work on its windows to prevent water infiltration.

Guests at the Cathedral Gala will be treated to the musical stylings of Vatican III – a quartet comprised of Fathers Matt Gill, Matthew Laird, and Larry Valliere of the Diocese of Fall River along with Father Pat Fiorillo of the Boston Archdiocese. The program will also feature members of the St. Mary’s Cathedral Choir.

Luminary Award to be Presented

Central to the event is a show of gratitude and an acknowledgement of a lifetime of commitment as Bishop da Cunha will bestow the Luminary Award to Patrick and Lillian Carney of South Dartmouth. The couple has a distinguished history of faith, service and philanthropy that has flowed across the Diocese of Fall River and beyond.

Through the Carney Family Charitable Foundation, which they created in 1989, they have supported and strengthened several Diocesan ministries, including Catholic Charities and Catholic schools, as well as the countless good works of other local, regional, and national non-profit agencies. The Carney’s pivotal leadership helped establish the Catholic Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts, which works to provide long-term sustainable support to advance the mission of the Diocese. Pat and Lil Carney are parishioners of St. Mary’s Parish in Dartmouth.

Bob and Chris Long of Long Built Homes of New Bedford and members of the board of the Catholic Foundation are serving as co-chairs of this year’s Cathedral Gala.

For more information about the Lumen Christi Cathedral Gala, to sponsor the event or purchase tickets, and/or to make a gift in honor of a memorable priest whose contributions have strengthened the Diocese, please email events@catholicfoundationsema.org or call 508-617-5306, or visit: www.catholicfoundationsema.org/cathedral-gala/.

Diocese of Fall River
Diocese of Fall River
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