On Monday, Acting Headmaster Brother Thomas J. Puccio, C.F.X. announced that Malden Catholic High School will receive an unrestricted gift of $2 million from Mr. and Mrs. Gerard and Regina Doherty. Gerard is a lifelong benefactor and Malden Catholic alumnus of the class of 1946.
Joining Gerard and Regina for the occasion were Board Chairman Jim Donovan and alumnus Joseph J. O’Donnell ’62, both fellow major benefactors. “Malden Catholic exists as it does today because of visionary and dedicated alumni leaders like Gerard Doherty, who for many decades has never forgotten his own roots,” said O’Donnell. “MC was a uniquely transformative experience for him as it continues to be for so many qualified young men and women seeking a bright future.”
The monumental gift marks Gerard’s largest single gift to Malden Catholic, surpassing his $1.1 million gift to the Essential Malden Catholic Campaign in 2012. It brings his lifetime giving total to more than $4 million in support of the school and its students.
The extraordinary announcement was made to the school community, representatives from the Xaverian Brothers, and members of the Board of Trustees at the school’s Mass for the Feast of St. Francis Xavier, an annual celebration in honor of the school’s patron saint. Fittingly, the Mass was celebrated in Doherty Gymnasium, which bears his name in tribute to both his own athletic gifts as an MC student and his many years of loyal benefaction.
“Gerard and Regina so wonderfully model the spiritual values that shape the experience of students at Malden Catholic: simplicity, humility, compassion, trust, and zeal,” noted Brother Puccio, who delivered the announcement and offered profound gratitude on behalf of the school community. “Malden Catholic is indeed blessed to be the beneficiary of Gerard’s loving and quiet kindness for over a half-century, making incalculable differences for good in the lives of thousands of students and in the vitality of the school.”
A 2008 recipient of Malden Catholic’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Gerard has been a driving force behind the success of Malden Catholic for many decades. A Charlestown native and former Board Chairman at Malden Catholic, he has generously provided scholarship assistance to over seventy-five Charlestown boys through the years, making possible for them the Catholic education that provided the foundation for his own career in law, business, and distinguished public service.
The importance of the occasion was not lost on Gerard’s friend and fellow Malden Catholic alumnus, U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey ’64, who shared his own congratulations with Gerard and the school: “As one of our great public servants, Gerard Doherty has been at the center of major moments in American history. But no matter the greatness of the moment, Gerard always recognized that his path to success began with the education and values he received at Malden Catholic. Gerard cherishes the gift that the Xaverian Brothers gave him. Now, he and his distinguished wife Regina are giving that same gift back to the students of Malden Catholic, so that they, too, can fulfill their potential and make their own history.”
Following his graduation from Harvard and Suffolk University Law School, Gerard became one of Boston’s most notable political players. A member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives for four terms, he would go on to serve as campaign manager for Senator Edward Kennedy and chairman of the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee, serving also as Massachusetts campaign director for Senator Robert Kennedy and President Jimmy Carter. In 2017, Gerard authored They Were My Friends – Jack, Bob and Ted: My Life In and Out of Politics, a first-hand account of his political journeys with the Kennedy brothers. Earlier this year, he married the Honorable Regina L. Quinlan, retired Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Superior Court.
A dear friend and supporter of Malden Catholic herself, Regina recently received the 2018 Pope Francis Award by Boston’s St. Anthony Shrine, honoring her devotion to the Catholic faith and love of the poor and marginalized.
Said Board Chairman Jim Donovan, “This gift carries special significance as it comes with such enthusiastic support from Regina as well. Philanthropists like Gerard and Regina have many choices in deciding where their gifts can make the most meaningful impact. It is very gratifying to see such an amazing vote of confidence in the unique codivisional future of Malden Catholic. We will forever be grateful for their incredible generosity.”
Gerard’s impact on Malden Catholic is perhaps summed up best by current senior Rory Carrier, who described Gerard as “another grandfather” to him and had the privilege serving in both Gerard and Regina’s wedding and today’s Mass for the Feast of St. Francis Xavier.
“He has always been an inspiration to me,” said Rory. “I look up to Gerard as a man who didn’t grow up rich but worked hard, made connections with people, became successful, and ended up changing the lives of so many Charlestown kids like me and my brothers by giving us all the opportunity to come to Malden Catholic.”
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