The Irish American Labor Council (IALC) honored Fr. Scott Donahue for his contributions to the community at this year's annual James Connolly Dinner, held at the Countryside Banquets & Conference Center. As part of the honor, Fr. Scott's name was permanently engraved in the granite base of the James Connolly Monument in Union Park on Chicago's West Side.
Comprised primarily of men and women working in the building trades, the IALC began as a movement to erect a monument to Irish labor leader James Connolly, who was killed by firing squad for his role in the Easter Rebellion against Great Britain in May 1916. The group worked to raise funds for the statue in Union Park commemorating Connolly’s life’s work on behalf of working people. Once the Council achieved their goal in 2008, they have since dedicated their efforts to aiding nonprofit organizations and have been longtime supporters of Mercy Home’s mission.
Their annual dinner helps advance their work on behalf of area nonprofits. At the event, Council leaders presented Fr. Donahue with a donation to Mercy Home. For many years, Fr. Scott had given the invocation to the dinner. But this year’s dinner turned the spotlight on Fr. Scott for his years of leadership and advocacy at Mercy Home.
"What an honor," Fr. Donahue said. "What a privileged life I've had as a priest, sharing life's moments, hopes and dreams with people like you."
Reflecting on the meaning of work in our lives, Fr. Donahue praised the hundreds of union members in the audience and the IALC for their impact on our country. "You build structures. You build community. You build relationships," he said. "And you make better and enhance lives, in a world that so desperately needs it."
Fr. Scott thanked the IALC for their longtime support of Mercy Home, his friends and family for attending the event, and his Mercy Home coworkers for making possible “a mission that's so essential, especially to the young people entrusted to our care."
About Mercy Home for Boys & Girls
Mercy Home for Boys & Girls (www.mercyhome.org) has been a solution for kids in crisis since 1887. It offers a safe home, emotional healing, education, and life-changing opportunities for young people and members of their families. It gives children who have suffered abuse, neglect, poverty and even abandonment the therapeutic, academic and vocational support they need to heal from the traumas of their pasts and build success for their futures. Mercy Home is almost entirely donor funded and operates at two locations in Chicago – a campus for boys in the West Loop and a campus for girls in Beverly-Morgan Park.