This article is adapted from one that appears on St. Anthony Shrine’s website.
BOSTON — Friars at St. Anthony Shrine and Ministry Center celebrated this year’s feast of St. Francis with a memorable event.
At a special prayer service during the friars’ festive evening, Fernando (Freddy) Tirone, the Shrine’s security guard for 20 years, was presented with the Province’s Francis Medal. During the prayer service, guardian John Hogan, OFM, called Freddy forward and presented him with the medal as thanks for his services and contributions to the shrine’s ministries.
In addition to his excellent service as a security guard, Freddy can be seen washing sidewalks in the front and back entrances of the Shrine, cleaning the public bathrooms for our patrons, mopping floors during the wintery weather, attentive to any maintenance issues that need reporting, and greeting the many people who come here each weekend.
When Richard Flaherty, OFM, and I met with Freddy to tell him that he had been nominated to receive the Francis Medal, he said, “I could never refuse such a special honor.” In another conversation, Freddy told me that he was so happy to receive the Francis Medal as a way of honoring his mother’s memory.
As a gift to Freddy, the friars arranged a special perpetual “Mother of God” candle in memory of Nancy Tirone, his mother. The candles burn for one year at the shrine of Mary, Mother of God, in the first floor church. Honoring someone with a true Franciscan spirit made this year’s feast of St. Francis even more special.
— Br. John is vicar of St. Anthony Shrine friary, a responsibility he shares with Richard.
Editor’s note: The Holy Name Province Francis Medal was established in 1998 by then-Provincial Minister John Felice, OFM. Recipients are people who have displayed an uncommon contribution to the advancement of the ideals and values of St. Francis. Earlier this year, the medal was presented by Aubrey McNeil, OFM, and Michael Jones, OFM, of Anderson, S.C., to a parishioner who helps maintain the church and friary.
- “Boston Friars Find Hope After Weeks of Snowstorms” — Feb. 18, 2015, HNP Today
- “Grieving Parents Find Hope at Boston’s St. Anthony Shrine” — July 23, 2014, HNP Today
- “Boston’s Shrine Celebrates 65th Anniversary” — June 20, 2012, HNP Today