Whispers in the Loggia: Boston Mourns "Everybody's Priest"
Today, Beantown prepares to send off a legend -- Fr Bill McCarthy, the parish priest whose decision to set up overfill cots for the homeless in his church basement a quarter-century ago led to the building of Father Bill's Place, a free-standing shelter that's taken in over 25,000 folks from the streets... in the last six months alone.Ordained in 1952 and pastor of Quincy's St John the Baptist parish until his 1995 retirement, McCarthy kept an active hand at the shelter until his death last week at 82:
Born to Irish immigrant parents in Haverhill, the Rev. McCarthy had friends and admirers ranging from shelter guests to the late Thomas Flatley, the billionaire Milton real estate developer who called him “the salt of the earth.”For Massachusetts housing advocate and former Father Bill’s Place director Joe Finn of Quincy, the Rev. McCarthy was a man of deep, matter-of-fact faith – “a very generous human being with an intense awareness of the need of people around him.”Nationally known homeless advocate Philip Mangano called the Rev. McCarthy “a modern good Samaritan” who tended to the immediate needs of those on the street and worked to get them into secure housing and a stable life...
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