Bishop Feehan High Schools’ unique, mid-summer 2020 graduation ceremony also included a series of honors for the school’s long-time chaplain, Fr. David Costa. Costa was honored by the school with the Sister Pat Harrington Hero of Catholic Education award and the establishment of a new Rev. David A. Costa Scholarship Fund in his honor.
“Father Dave” as he is widely known served two different stints as Feehan chaplain, totaling 24 years, before taking on a new assignment in Somerset in 2019. He was the long-time pastor at St. Mark’s, Sacred Heart and St. Mary’s parishes in North Attleborough and the administrator of the St Mary’s-Sacred Heart grammar school, as well.
“Father Dave left his indelible imprint on generations of Catholic school students in our region,” recalled Feehan President Tim Sullivan in his remarks to more than 1,000 attendees at the graduation ceremony. “Sister Pat was joy and love personified and inspired young people to embrace their faith. Father Dave does the same for all those he comes across.”
Susan Collamati, a long-time friend of Fr. Dave and a former Feehan teacher, captures Father’s presence: “During turbulent times for our Church and especially for the ordained, David in such a natural and joy-filled way exuded his delight in being a priest. That energy and joy was contagious for so many in the Feehan community.”
The Sister Pat Award is Feehan’s highest honor, first awarded in 2017 to Sister Pat herself (posthumously) and then to former Providence College President, Fr. Brian Shanley, and former Feehan president, Chris Servant. It celebrates lives spent and impact on young people through Catholic education. Sister Pat taught at Feehan for 45 years before her passing in 2015.
The Sister Pat award is traditionally presented at Feehan’s annual Setting Our Hearts Gala in March, which had to be canceled this year due to the Coronavirus crisis.
The Father David Costa Scholarship Fund was a surprise to Fr. Dave, engineered by a small group of friends especially grateful for his contributions at Feehan and in North Attleborough. Already, more than $70,000 has been raised to provide financial support for Feehan students — especially students from Father’s parishes in North Attleboro — who might otherwise not be able to access a Feehan education.
Friends of Fr. Dave and Feehan, who’d like to add to this fund in Father Dave’s honor, may make gifts to the Rev. David A. Costa Scholarship Fund through the school’s online giving portal, bishopfeehan.com/give.