FALMOUTH — Thanks to the efforts of dozens of volunteers, the Foundation to Advance Catholic Education’s mission of educational access was shared in an novel way across the Diocese of Fall River this summer and is continuing to be spread this fall.

 In August, a team of eight runners joined a field of thousands to participate in the historic ASICS Falmouth Road Race Numbers for Non-Profits Program. Team Captain Jane Robin led Team FACE’s race participation. Fellow runner and President of Bishop Stang High School, James Benson, reflected, “The race was a wonderful experience considering the positive energy brought by the 9,000-plus runners, but what made it more wonderful is using our legs to raise approximately $15,000 for families who need the assistance. I look forward to running it again next year to raise even more.” 

Also running were Diocese of Fall River School Superintendent Daniel Roy, Father Matthew Laird and his father Deacon David Laird, Diocese of Fall River staff member Noelle Preston, St. Mary’s Mansfield parishioner Brian Healy, and former Chancery finance staff member Jim Bouchard.

Just as the financial assistance that FACE provides to families helped to welcome back to school approximately 1,000 students who receive support, in September more volunteers were also out and about as guest speakers and ambassadors for FACE’s Second Collection that took place the weekend of September 9 and 10 in parishes throughout the diocese. The goal for this second collection, newly introduced to the diocese in the fall of 2022, is to raise funds and awareness about FACE’s important role. According to Andrew Raposo, Principal of Espirito Santo School in Fall River, “Having the ability to speak to our parishioners at Espirito Santo about the importance of FACE is critical to the mission of making Catholic education affordable to our families. Many of our students come from the parish and benefit from the generous donations to FACE. The response was positive, and we are thankful for the support of our mission to educate the whole child.” Sean Kane, principal at Bishop Feehan High School, also addressed his parish of Holy Cross in Easton. 

On November 9 at White’s of Westport, Dr. Ernest Collamati will step up to the podium to address hundreds of community members anticipated to gather again this year at the 29th Annual FACE Fall Scholarship Dinner. 

Dr. Collamati is a longstanding and revered Professor of Religion at Regis College and a thought-provoking speaker on issues relating to the Church, God, and humanity. Co-chairpersons John Feitelberg of HUB International and Janna Lafrance of Lafrance Hospitality are leading a committee of more than 20 volunteers to make this evening a memorable celebration of Catholic education. Kait Walsh, WPRI news anchor and Bishop Stang High School alumna, will again serve as Emcee. 

A highlight of the evening, which will feature a cocktail reception, dinner and program, is the presentation of the Timothy J. Cotter Award. Bishop da Cunha will present the award to honoree Kathleen St. Laurent for her decades of loyal service to shaping the hearts, minds, and souls of thousands of school children in the Diocese of Fall River. 

To learn more about the Foundation to Advance Catholic Education, please visit www.face-dr.org or www.facebook.com/FACEhelpskids

Students from St. John Paul II School in Hyannis were on hand for the recent special Foundation to Advance Catholic Education collections at St. John the Evangelist in Pocasset and St. Anthony in Falmouth. Top photo, Brian Healy, a parishioner of St. Mary’s Parish in Mansfield, next photo, Father Matt Laird ran for Team FACE in the Falmouth Road Race, and third photo Team Captain Jane Robin and her daughter Cassandra led Team FACE’s participation in the Falmouth Road Race.
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