WESTPORT — On June 7 the light will shine once again on an evening celebrating the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption and the restoration work underway to return the Mother Church of the Diocese of Fall River to her original grandeur. 

Stained glass from the Cathedral being repaired at New England Stained Glass

Building from the momentum from the inaugural Lumen Christi Cathedral Gala which drew hundreds of people to White’s of Westport and raised more than $220,000, this year’s event is generating great energy. Returning as the event’s co-chairs are Nicholas Christ, President and CEO of BayCoast Bank and Catholic Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts Board co-chair, and Maryellen Sullivan Hughes, Catholic Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts Board Member. District Attorney Thomas Quinn III will again serve as Emcee for the evening. They are joined by a robust committee of religious and lay leaders from across the Diocese of Fall River who are dedicated to raising awareness and funds for the Cathedral, including the Cathedral’s Rector, Father Thomas Washburn, Frank Baptista, Joseph Booth, Helen Dandurand, Richard Grace, Thomas P. Murray, Deacon Tom Palanza, Kim Perry, Carl Sawejko, Rep. Alan Silvia, Derek DeSousa, Carl Taber, Deacon Alan Thadeu, and Dr. Ryan Welter.

Committee member and Chief Executive Officer for the Catholic Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts Mim Finn Sherman shared, “We are so grateful to all who have volunteered their time to this critical effort for our beloved Cathedral. The second Lumen Christi Cathedral Gala promises to be another wonderful gathering in her honor. Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., will bestow the Luminary Award posthumously on Jack and Susan Dawley — a couple whose legacy of faith, service and philanthropy have widely benefited the diocese, particularly our annual Catholic Appeal as well as our Catholic schools and seminarian education.” In 2022, Bishop da Cunha presented the first Luminary Award to Bob and Christine Long of Long Built Homes and board members of the Catholic Foundation for their significant contributions to the diocese.

Since the first Gala, a number of key initiatives have taken place, including executing a complete building scan of the Cathedral and rectory to determine and document existing conditions that will be used to specify the restoration work, beginning to address masonry gaps and leaks, and sending one of the east-facing lancet stained glass panels for restoration (pictured).

For more information on the Cathedral or the Lumen Christi Cathedral Gala, including sponsoring the event or purchasing tickets, please visit www.catholicfoundationsema.org/cathedral-gala