FALL RIVER – For over a quarter of a century, the Foundation to Advance Catholic Education (FACE) has sponsored a fall dinner to raise money in support of scholarships for students to attend local Catholic schools.  As with everything else in 2020, this year’s dinner will look much different, but has the same goal in mind.

One of the highlights of past events has been the presentation of the Timothy J. Cotter Friend of Catholic Education Award for exceptional service in Catholic education.  FACE is proud to announce that this year’s award will be given to the entire Catholic school community of principals, teachers, and school staff for their tireless effort in providing students with a robust educational experience despite the challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.  From the moment schools were closed on March 13th, through the summer, and into the 2020-21 academic year, the Catholic school leaders, teachers and staff rose to the occasion by quickly pivoting to remote learning, re-organizing each classroom and building space during the summer, to welcoming students back into the buildings with joy, happiness, and a bit of “normalcy” amid masks, social distancing and hand sanitizer.

“I am so pleased to present this year’s award to all of the dedicated staff, faculty and administrators within the Diocese of Fall River Catholic School Community who have inspired us with their continued strong commitment to their students,” said Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V.  “They have shown tremendous care for our students and families, exemplified perseverance and flexibility during uncertain times, and demonstrated great concern and kindness for our school communities.  Our teachers, principals and staff are a blessing to our Diocese!”

Miriam Sherman, CEO of The Catholic Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts commented, “I am so pleased that FACE has been able to support our schools, especially throughout this very challenging year – and there is no one more deserving of this year’s award than the faculty, staff and administrators at each of the schools throughout the Diocese of Fall River.”

“There are no other more deserving recipients of the Timothy Cotter Award than our very own Catholic staff, faculty, and administrators,” said diocesan Catholic Schools Superintendent Daniel S. Roy. “Words cannot express the gratitude we have for them. Through their humility and commitment, our students are back in school and thriving.  This is a unique opportunity to showcase what Catholic education is all about, and our school communities have exceeded expectations.”

Accepting the award on behalf of the entire school community are Andrew Raposo, principal, and Katelyn Larrivee-MacDonald, middle school English and Religion teacher at Espirito Santo Parochial School in Fall River. “On behalf of all of our administrators, faculty and staff, we are honored to be accepting the Timothy J. Cotter Friend of Catholic Education Award. Everyone in our Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Fall River has worked extremely hard during the shutdown in March to reduce learning gaps for our students, and worked even harder to get our schools reopened for September so that we could offer flexible options for our families. It was truly a team effort from all involved. Our families are happy that our students are back in school, as the positive momentum continues.”

Timothy Cotter was chairman of the St. Mary’s Education Fund, which is now FACE. He was a champion of Catholic education in the Diocese of Fall River, and he dedicated much of his time and efforts to FACE to ensure that children in the Diocese could have the same opportunities he did through his strong Catholic school foundation.  The crystal award will be presented during the FACE Virtual Fall Scholarship Dinner on Wednesday, November 4th and will be on display at each of the schools throughout the year. Visit www.FACE-dfr.org for more information.

For more information about the Foundation to Advance Catholic Education, please go to www.face-dfr.org.

For more information about the Catholic Schools Alliance, please go to https://www.catholicschoolsalliance.org/we-have-a-place-for-you/.

About the Foundation to Advance Catholic Education

The Foundation to Advance Catholic Education raises money for scholarships to assist with the costs of a Catholic education. Furthermore, FACE uses the FACTS system to determine financial need so that every situation can be fairly assessed for scholarship opportunity. We work very closely with every Catholic school in the Diocese of Fall River to help make a Catholic education a reality.

About the Catholic Schools Alliance

The Catholic Schools Alliance comprises administrators, teachers, staff, parents and clergy joined in partnership to educate the children of the Diocese of Fall River in Catholic faith and values. Our schools have a demanding educational culture that helps students from across the academic spectrum reach their God-given potential. With an emphasis on service and respect for the dignity of every person, we prepare students to meet the challenges of today’s diverse world and become meaningful contributors to society.

The Most Reverend Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., D.D.
The Most Reverend Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., D.D.
The Bishop of Fall River