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Father Enman Receives Isaac Hecker Award

May 16, 2012 · 0 comments

Originally published by Boston College Law School on January 15, 2004

Boston College Law School is pleased to announce that the 2004 Isaac Hecker Award for Social Justice, given out by the Paulist Center-Boston, will be awarded to Rev. Fred Enman, S.J., Law School Pastor and Special Assistant to the Dean for Students. He is given the award for envisioning and creating Matthew 25, a model which draws on the resources of the community to provide an end to homelessness for those struggling with poverty.

In receiving the award, Rev. Enman joins former local and national recipients, including Dorothy Day, Cesar Chavez, Bishop Gumbleton, and Sister Helen Prejean. For thirty-one years the award has recognized North American Catholics who have labored for a more just and peaceful world. The award is named after Isaac Thomas Hecker, founder of the Paulist Fathers. The Paulist Center is a worshipping community in the Catholic tradition with emphasis on social justice, education, and evangelization located in Boston, MA.

Fred Enman was born in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1952. In 1978 he entered the Jesuit novitiate. Ten years later he was ordained a Catholic priest in the Society of Jesus. His academic degrees include a B.A. from Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT), a Juris Doctor from Boston College Law School (1978), an M.A. in Philosophy from Boston College, an M.Div. and a Th.M. from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology (1988 and 1989) and a Diploma of Legal Studies from Oxford University (1990).

Fr. Enman taught at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester from 1990 to 1994. From 1994 to 1997 he worked full-time with Matthew 25. Since 1997 he has been working half-time as Assistant to the Dean for Students and Chaplain at Boston College Law School and half-time as the Executive Director of Matthew 25.

In 1988, Fr. Enman along with Tim Healey and Jim MacGillivray of the Boston College Class of 1987, founded Matthew 25 whose mission is to provide food relief and housing relief to people in economic need. The group is ecumenical and interfaith.

The most visible work of Matthew 25 has been the rehabilitation of abandoned houses in Worcester, Massachusetts. The organization brings together college students and high school students who volunteer their talents to turn abandoned eyesores into neighborhood gems. The college students (mostly from the College of the Holy Cross) have helped with interior demolition, painting, staining and landscaping. The high school students from Worcester Vocational High School work under the supervision of their teachers and have done virtually all of the carpentry, electrical, plumbing and heating work. Matthew 25 has acquired the properties, coordinated construction, and raised all of the money to buy the required construction supplies.

When the houses are completed, the apartments are rented to low-income families at a percentage of their income. In addition to finishing work on five houses in Worcester and beginning work on a sixth and seventh, Matthew 25 also acquired its first abandoned house in Boston. Many Boston College students have already volunteered and YouthBuild Boston has been doing the carpentry work.

The award ceremony will occur on Saturday, January 24, 2004 at the 6:00 PM liturgy at the Paulist Center at 5 Park Street, Boston.

The Paulist Center is a worship community of Christians in the Roman Catholic tradition in Boston, Massachusetts. The Paulist Center attracts individuals and families throughout the greater Boston area who are drawn to the Center’s ministries of worship, family religious education, and social justice. For further information please visit the Center’s website .

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