2023 Healy Dinner and Celebration

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30th Anniversary

All are welcome to attend the 30th Anniversary of the Healy Dinner and Celebration! The evening will include:

  • An opportunity for wonderful fellowship and music.
  • A celebration to honor Rev. J. Bryan Hehir, Secretary for Social Services in the Archdiocese of Boston, recipient of the 2023 Robert L. Ruffin Award and Sr. Marie Therese “Tess” Browne, SCN, the recipient of the 2023 Bishop James Augustine Healy Award.
  • An inspiring message by Ms. Danielle M. Brown, Esq., Associate Director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism.
  • Remarks and invocation by Cardinal Seán O’Malley, OFM Cap.

Event Details

Location: Boston College High School*
Address: 150 Morrissey Blvd, Boston, MA
Date: Saturday, November 11, 2023
Time: 5:30-9:30pm

*Although this event is being held at Boston College High School, it is not Sponsored by Boston College High School.


Ticket Price: $80
Registration Closes: November 3, 2023

Award Honorees

Sr. Marie-Thérèse "Tess" Browne, SCN

While on a scholarship from the Sisters of St Francis of Assisi at Cardinal Stritch University, she had planned on concentrating on pre-med, Sr. Tess tried avoiding God’s call, and graduated with a degree in Biology, French and Secondary Education, but God had other plans.   A native of Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, and an U.S. citizen, she is a long-time practitioner in Social Justice Organizing, rooted in Catholic Social Teaching.  As a young religious sister in Milwaukee, founding members and stalwarts of the National Black Sisters Conference, National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus, and Las Hermanas; as well as Church Women United were Tess’ guardian angels and mentors.  She was inspired  and challenged by boycotting farmworkers who through their persistence, perseverance and hope, invited her to leave the classroom, and join them on the picket line in their struggle for dignity and justice.

A founding member of the multi congregational Justice and Peace Center, and on the Migrant Mission of the Wisconsin Council of Churches, Sr. Tess was assigned by the National Farm Worker Ministry as fulltime staff with the United Farm Workers, AFL-CIO in Wisconsin, California and Texas.  She was Director of the National Farm Workers Service Center in San Juan, Texas; and co-coordinated successful legislative campaigns with farmworkers including the banning of  “El Cortito”, the short-handled hoe; and bringing toilets, pesticide protection, and clean drinking water to workers in the fields.  After training, with the Southwest Voter Registration and Education Project, farmworkers in Texas, Sr. Tess and others initiated voting rights and policy campaigns.  She was a co-founder of BARCA, the Border Area for Refugees from Central America.  Sister then worked in the Brownsville Diocese in human development, as Bishop J.J. Fitzpatrick and the diocese welcomed Valley Interfaith to the Lower Rio Grande Valley.

Coming to Boston, Sr. Tess organized with the Committee for Boston Public Housing and  residents for the right to self-determination; was statewide Organizing Director for the Mass Action for Women Audit; and coordinated HELP (Healthy Environment Leadership Project) an interfaith environmental justice organizing project at Episcopal Divinity School. She directed St Anthony Cares at Arch Street in JPIC ministry (justice, peace and integrity of creation).  Being a member of the Racial Justice Working Group of the National Council of Churches enkindled her commitment to collaborative ecumenical/interfaith, anti-racist ministry and engagement; which continues through GBIO, of which the Catholic Sisters Collaborative, and St Katharine Drexel Parish were founding members; and through Mass Interfaith Workers Justice, the Boston Labor Guild, the South Asia Worker Center, and Quincy Interfaith Network.  Parishioners and partners of St Katharine Drexel Parish, colleagues, and students in UMass Boston Labor and Gender Studies, and at The Labor Guild, inspire and challenge Sr. Tess to keep on keeping on.

Sr. Tess received a master’s degree from UMass Boston, College of Public and Community Service; and was a Merrill Fellow at Harvard Divinity School. She is eternally grateful to her mom, Dorothea Isabel for her gift of faith, and acting with others for the common good and the wider community. Being a sister of Charity of Nazareth, she tries to live out charity rooted in justice, to care for the earth, and to be in solidarity with oppressed and marginalized persons, especially women and children.

Bishop James Augustine Healy Award
Sr. Marie Therese “Tess” Browne, SCN

Robert L. Ruffin Award
Rev. J. Bryan Hehir


Danielle Brown

Danielle M. Brown is the Associate Director of the ad hoc Committee Against Racism at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. There, amongst other duties, she speaks to dioceses, apostolates, and pastoral associations on various topics related to the Committee’s work and its relationship to evangelization. Born and raised in the Archdiocese of Detroit, she is a lawyer licensed in the State of Michigan and a former Michigan Supreme Court appointed Commissioner for the State Bar of Michigan Board of Commissioners. Before coming to the USCCB in May 2018, she served on several boards, commissions, and ministries. In Lansing, she founded one of the first of Renewal Ministries’ I.D.916 chapters, a young adult discipleship model now simply known as I.D. She was a diocesan delegate to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Convocation of Catholic Leaders and the National Black Catholic Congress in 2017. Prior to joining the conference, Brown was a three-time governor appointed appellate administrative law judge in unemployment and workers compensation for the State of Michigan. Before those terms of service, she was an administrative law judge and an assistant deputy legal counsel to the Governor of the State of Michigan.

Cardinal Sean head shot

Cardinal Seán O’Malley, OFM Cap

Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley, OFM Cap. is the ninth bishop and sixth archbishop in the more than 200 year history of the Archdiocese of Boston.

He was professed on July 14, 1965 in the Capuchin Order. On Aug. 29, 1970, Pittsburgh’s Auxiliary Bishop John B. McDowell ordained him a priest of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin.

He was ordained a bishop on Aug. 2, 1984 at the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul in St. Thomas, V.I. On June 16, 1992 Pope John Paul II announced the appointment of Bishop O’Malley as the sixth bishop of Fall River. On Sept. 3, 2002, Pope John Paul II named him to be the fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Palm Beach, Fla. On July 1, 2003, Pope John Paul II appointed him the Archbishop of Boston. Pope Benedict XVI elevated him to cardinal at the consistory held March 24, 2006 and gave him the titular church of Santa Maria della Vittoria.

Cardinal O’Malley is an active member of the United States Catholic Conference of Catholic Bishops and is the former chairman of their Committee Pro-Life Activities. Previously, he headed the Commission on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations. He is also a member of the USCCB Administrative Board, a member of the committees on Migration and Pro-Life Activities and the subcommittees on the Church in Africa and the Church in Latin America.

Throughout his years as bishop, Cardinal O’Malley has served on numerous commissions and committees, including Missions (of which he was chairman), Priestly Formation, Hispanic Affairs, Migration, as well as serving on the board of directors for Catholic Relief Services, the Association for the Development of the Catholic University of Portugal and on the board of trustees of his alma mater, The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Healy Dinner Through the Years

Local news in brief

November 5, 2004

The Archdiocese of Boston Office for Black Catholics named Tipp Harris as the recipient of the 2004 Bishop James Augustine Healy Award…

Chambers receives Bishop Healy Award at annual dinner

November 25, 2005

You are the body of Christ,”said Auxiliary Bishop Martin D. Holley of Washington D.C. at the 13th annual Bishop Healy Award Dinner Nov. 19…

Two honored for dedication to the Black Catholic community

November 23, 2007

The Office of Cultural Diversity honored a Dorchester parishioner and a Roxbury parish priest at the annual Black Catholic Awards Night on Nov. 17…

Priest, sister honored for service to black Catholic community

November 27, 2009

On Nov. 21 Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley presented the Bishop James Augustine Healy award to Father Russell Best, former pastor of St. John-St. Hugh Church…

Roxbury parishioner receives annual Healy Award

December 17, 2010

Alvin Shiggs, a parishioner at St. Mary of the Angels Parish in Roxbury, was presented with this year’s Bishop James Augustine Healy Award last month…

Black Catholic community honors ‘good examples’

November 25, 2011

Three hundred sixty six guests nearly filled the Grand Ballroom at The Lantana on Nov. 19 for the presentation of the 2011 Healy Award to The Honorable Antoinette E. McLean Leoney…

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