ATTLEBORO — Bishop Feehan High School will honor the Rev. David Costa with its Sister Patricia M. Harrington, RSM Hero of Catholic Education Award during its “Setting Our Hearts” gala on Saturday, March 21, at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro.
A priest of the Diocese of Fall River since 1985, “Fr. Dave” served Feehan as chaplain for 14 years across two assignments (1991-95, 2011-19).
“He invigorated school liturgies, supported an ever-evolving campus ministry effort, counseled school leaders and served as a spiritual guide for faculty and students through joys and sorrows,” the school said in a news release.
In addition, Costa served as a “wonderful Feehan ambassador” in greater Attleboro, particularly during his 24 years serving in what is now the Transfiguration of the Lord Parish (formerly the Catholic Community of North Attleboro), the school said.
“First at St. Mark’s Parish in the 1990s, and then leading three North Attleboro parishes and St. Mary-Sacred Heart School, his charisma and passion for Catholic schools was obvious to all. It’s no coincidence that Catholic schools thrive when Fr. Dave and his passion for students, education and faith are all present,” it said.
“When we discussed at Feehan who might be our next Sister Pat honoree and Fr. Dave’s name came up — everyone knew we had the right person,” Feehan President Tim Sullivan said. “To watch Fr. Dave connect with 1,100 students at a Mass, singing every note with all he has, is to watch our faith come alive. All of our Feehan families and the families at St. Mary-Sacred Heart in North Attleboro have been blessed to learn from and celebrate with Father for so long. ”
The Sister Patricia M. Harrington Award was established by Feehan in 2017 to honor a champion of Catholic education who makes “significant contributions in service of Catholic schools and the church.”
Sister Pat — who passed away in 2015 — was a “legendary figure in the Feehan community: her example of faith, love and mercy set a standard at Feehan for nearly 40 years and will be remembered always,” the school said, noting that Sister Pat was, posthumously, was the first recipient of the award.
Costa, who now serves as pastor of three parishes in Somerset and Swansea, will join Sister Pat, former Providence College President Rev. Brian J. Shanley, O.P., and former Feehan President Christopher E. Servant ’66 on a permanent plaque of honorees that will be displayed prominently at the school.
“The Sister Pat award is Feehan’s highest honor,” Sullivan said. “Our honorees each year embody the ideals that have allowed Catholic schools to thrive for decades and decades and remind us of the impact one person, like Sister Pat, can make.”
The gala itself has become the central annual community event of the Feehan year, welcoming more than 600 people to celebrate and support the Feehan community and school.
Besides the Hero of Catholic Education award, other highlights of the evening will include a dinner, limited live auction, $10,000 cash raffle, live band, dancing and “surprises.” For more information and to purchase tickets or tables, visit BishopFeehan.com/SettingOurHearts or contact Dave Curtis at 508.226.7411 x 135.