WESTPORT — On Wednesday, November 2, more than 400 friends, supporters, Catholic school students, faculty and staff attended an inspirational evening in support of FACE at White’s of Westport. 

A dedicated Fall Scholarship Dinner Committee led by John Feitelberg, President of HUB International, and Janna Lafrance, of Lafrance Hospitality, worked together to help raise more than $300,000 in support of FACE student scholarships. 

Bishop da Cunha with Timothy J. Cotter Award Recipient Sandra Sevigney and her husband Mark. The award is in recognition of her leadership and support of diocesan Catholic Schools.

The night began with a welcome from Emcee Kait Walsh, WPRI anchor and Bishop Stang Alumna ’08. Kait extended special thanks to Presenting Sponsors: BayCoast Bank and its subsidiaries, BayCoast Mortgage, Partners Insurance and Plimoth Investment Advisors; The Carney Family Charitable; and Rockland Trust Charitable Foundation.

Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., presented the Timothy J. Cotter Friend of Catholic Education Award to Sandra Sevigney in recognition of her leadership and unwavering support of Catholic schools. Sevigney was instrumental in fundraising for St. Mary’s Education Fund, was a FACE board member, and chaired the FACE Fall Dinner event from 2014-2016. 

Brendan Resende, a senior at Bishop Stang High School, shared his personal journey as a Catholic school student, which began at Holy Name School in Fall River. Resende is grateful for the strong academic foundation that has also nurtured his faith and plans to continue his education at Fordham University next year. “To all those who have come out tonight and have helped make not only my dream a reality, but thousands of others both in elementary and high school, thank you.” 

Guest Speaker, New England Patriots three-time Super Bowl Champion and Team Captain, Devin McCourty, captivated the crowd as he spoke about his own Catholic school experiences and how it helped shape his strong faith, his life and career. McCourty said, “Had it not been for financial aid from his high school, my success story might not have happened. It is great when you get to support causes, not only do you believe in, but what you benefited from. Putting me in that environment as a kid brought out the best of me and taught me a lot of discipline and ways to become a good human being,” McCourty continued. “If I could help out young people to get that opportunity, I want to be there to help them out.”

“It is incredible to have Devin here, being a champion for Catholic education,” Chief Executive Officer of the Catholic Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts Miriam “Mim” Sherman said. “We’re so used to seeing Devin playing at Gillette Stadium. But to hear him tonight talking about his faith and the importance of Catholic education is just so meaningful.”

Bishop da Cunha closed the program with a prayer and by inviting an excited group of student volunteers to present McCourty with a special photo collage representing each school in the Diocese of Fall River, as a small token their appreciation for his believing in FACE’s mission and being part of this special annual event.  

For more information about the Foundation to Advance Catholic Education and to make a donation, please go to www.FACE-dfr.org.