BOSTON — As the country is, the friars of Holy Name Province are mourning the death of Senator Edward Kennedy, who died late Tuesday night at the age of 77. Many friars who have served at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston have personal memories of the senator.
The shrine’s director, David Convertino, OFM, was interviewed Wednesday by television networks CBS and ABC about memories of Kennedy, who is a native of Massachusetts, and his involvement with the shrine.
David said before all Wednesday and Thursday Masses at the shrine, friars shared a statement of remembrance in honor of the senator, which read: “With the news of Senator Ted Kennedy’s death, we pause and remember him and his family in our prayers. Senator Kennedy was a worshiper here and a great supporter of St. Anthony Shrine. We pray not only for him and his family, but for all those who were affected by his legislation, especially the poor, the unisured in healthcare, immigrants and those who are handicapped. May he rest in peace.”
In addition, displayed in the lobby of the shrine on Arch Street is a memorial exhibit to the senator (shown in photo, behind), including photos, Massachusetts and U.S. flags and a sign that reads “St. Anthony Shrine remembers Senator Ted Kennedy.”
David said he remembered seeing Kennedy, with wife Victoria Reggie, five or six times over the past few years. He said the couple was always friendly. Brian Smail, OFM, the Province’s vocation director, said he also remembered encountering Kennedy during his time at the Shrine.
The friars also remember a time when Kennedy approached a friar and asked to participate in Mass as an altar server.