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Sunday, October 23, 2005

Connors Chosen to Save Parochial Education in Boston

Fresh off his $10 million donation to Boston College to establish The Connors Family Retreat and Conference Center, the Boston Globe is reporting that Jack Connors Jr., long-time Boston College trustee and BC ’63, has been selected by Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley to help revitalize parochial education throughout the Boston Archdiocese.

The latest problems of low enrollment and financial trouble at parochial schools around Boston is part of a long-term trend that has seen enrollment fall from 152,869 in 1965 to 50,742 today.

The irony of this appointment is that Connors has been an outspoken critic of the church's response to its sex abuse scandal; he openly withheld financial support from the church due to his unhappiness over its handling of sexually abusive priests.

When BC launched the Church in the 21st Century Project, Connors’ proclamation that “church leaders who have made a series of bad judgments may continue to hold onto their titles, but they will be leaders in title only” received the loudest Conte Forum ovation I had heard since hockey star Brian Gionta scored a ridiculous five goals in a single period.

Connors is not the only Boston College alum involved in working to help local Catholic Schools; legendary mutual fund manager Peter Lynch (’65) of Fidelity Investments chairs the Inner City Schools Foundation, which has raised millions for parochial schools in low-income areas.
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