Diocesan News

Lawler Fund Continues to Assist Senior Priests

Members of the Lawler family surround Msgr. John Bracken, one of the honorees at this year’s Kathie and Christopher Lawler Dinner-Dance.

The 10th annual Kathie and Christopher Lawler Dinner Dance that benefits senior priests was held Saturday, Nov. 18, at the Immaculate Conception Center, Douglaston. Msgr. John J. Bracken and Father Coleman Costello, who celebrated their 50th anniversaries of ordination this year, were the honorees.

Msgr. Bracken has served the diocese in a multitude of capacities, including as vicar general for temporalities, and the director of stewardship and development where he directed a very successful capital campaign and raised over $77 million and established the Alive In Hope Foundation, now known as The Catholic Foundation for Brooklyn and Queens. His most recent position was the administrator of St. Francis de Sales, Belle Harbor. He has recently retired.

Father Costello has focused much of his service on assisting the abused elderly as well as drug prevention. Not only did he serve on the Cardinal’s Commission on Drugs and Alcohol, but was a consultant to five New York State governors on abuse issues. He is now retired and resides at the Bishop Mugavero Residence, Douglaston.

As of this year, the Lawler Dinner-Dance has raised more than $800,000 for the Kathie and Christopher Lawler Extraordinary Needs Fund for Senior Priests.

The foundation was established in memory of Kathie, a former diocesan employee, and her son, Christopher, who were both killed on Nov. 12, 2001, when Flight No. 587 fell from the sky onto their Belle Harbor home. The goal of the foundation is to supplement and enhance the diocese’s existing programs in assisting senior priests as they grow into this new chapter in their lives.

For more information about the evening or how to make a donation to the Kathie and Christopher Lawler Extraordinary Needs Fund for Senior Priests, contact Lauren McCormack at 718-965-7375 ext. 1628 or Lmccormack@cfbq.org.

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