News

The College Celebrates the Feast of Saint Michael

09.30.16
By: Mark Tarnacki
Fr. John Unni

A Mass for the Feast of Saint Michael was celebrated on Thursday in the Chapel with Fr. John Unni, class of 1983 as guest celebrant and homilist. Fr. John spoke of Saint Michael and his fight against the dragon and of the war being fought against addiction in many communities. He recounted a moving story of getting an unexpected offer of a ride on a fire engine from the station near his parish of Saint Cecilia, which turned into a call to help a woman who had apparently overdosed. Fr. John told of watching as the firefighters were able to save the woman’s life as he thought of her tragic circumstances and the battles being fought by so many. He reminded the community to care for and help one another.

Fr. John Unni grew up in North Reading, Massachusetts.  He graduated with a B.A. in English Literature from Saint Michael’s College in 1983, and taught English at Christopher Columbus High School in Boston’s North End.  He attended St. John Seminary in Brighton, where he earned an M.Div. and was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Boston in June 1992.l and his fight against the dragon and of the war being fought against addiction in many communities. He recounted a moving story of getting an unexpected offer of a ride on a fire engine from the station near his parish of Saint Cecilia, which turned into a call to help a woman who had apparently overdosed. Fr. John told of watching as the firefighters were able to save the woman’s life as he thought of her tragic circumstances and the battles being fought by so many. He reminded the community to care for and help one another.

Fr. John served his diaconate year at St. Joseph Parish in Wakefield.  His first priestly assignment was at St. William Parish in Savin Hill (Dorchester), followed by a term at St. Richard Parish in Danvers.  Next he was appointed as Catholic chaplain at Northeastern University while also serving as pastor of St. Ann University Parish in Boston.  For the past twelve years, he has been pastor of St. Cecilia Parish, serving the Back Bay/Beacon Hill/Fenway/South End neighborhoods of Boston.  St. Cecilia is a vibrant, welcoming, and inclusive parish community in the heart of the city with a commitment to the gospel of Jesus and particular attention to charitable involvement and to issues of social justice.  Fr. John serves on the Board of Directors of Pine Street Inn, Nativity Preparatory School in Jamaica Plain, St. Cecilia’s House, a residence for seniors of limited income in the Fenway, and St. Boniface Haiti Foundation, which tends to the health care and educational needs of the poor in Haiti.

Following a transformative experience working in Haiti thirty years ago, and inspired by the Spirit and the wonderful parish experiences he has had, Fr. John’s parish ministry today continues to have a commitment toward education, health, and spiritual growth, especially for those who are marginalized and impoverished.  

Campus Ministry also hosted a special luncheon in the student dining hall in commemoration of the feast.

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