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MaryEllen Brett

is the Associate Dean of Corporate Education at Massasoit Community College, based at the Canton Campus. She is a higher education and workforce development expert who works extensively with companies, government and educational organizations A Dorchester resident with family in Cedar Grove and Savin Hill, her grandparents hail from Co. Sligo. Maryellen also serves on the Center for Collaborative Leadership board at UMass Boston. She joined the IPC board in March 2020.

Fr. Dan Finn 
Ex-Officio/ Chaplain & Community Outreach

When Father Finn immigrated to America at 18 years of age, from Kanturk, Co. Cork, Ireland, he had no idea that he would one day become a priest, serving the spiritual, social and cultural needs of Dorchester residents from 20 different nations including those from Ireland, Haiti, Vietnam, and Cape Verde.  Because of his leadership the services provided by St. Mark Parish, where the Irish Pastoral Centre was founded in 1987, have blossomed into a vast array of outreach programs.  Some of these programs include Citizenship and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), Youth Summer Program, Faith Sharing groups, a Food Pantry, and more. Much of this has come about from Fr. Finn's philosophy that we must bring what we have started in Church out onto the street.  This is summed up best by St. Teresa of Avila says that “Christ has no body now on earth but yours.....". Fr. Dan is assuming the role of Chaplain to the Irish Community at the Irish Pastoral Centre and has, therefore, gone full-circle. 


Chris Lavery

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Christopher J. Lavery Esq. "Chris" is a graduate with Honors from Portobello College, Dublin, Ireland (LLB) and from Boston College Law School (JD). Chris also holds a Doctorate of Laws (LLD) (honoris causa) from St Anselm’s College, New Hampshire, awarded in recognition of his non-profit work. A native of Belfast, Northern Ireland, Chris is a longterm volunteer with community organizations, providing legal advice to immigrants at regular legal clinics throughout New England. Chris has spoken about Immigration issues before the Coalition of Irish Immigration Centers, the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association, Northeast- ern University and Boston College Law School; he has also contributed articles on immigration practice to multiple publications. A longtime board member and a recipient of the Charitable Irish Society’s Silver Key Award; the Irish Immigration Center’s Appreciation Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Service; the PAIR Project’s Detention Attorney Award; and was recognized in the Irish Echo’s “40 under 40” in 2011.

Matthew Caughey
Board Member

Matthew is the Deputy Director of Ecumenical Social Action Committee (esac), a community-based nonprofit and multi-service agency that strives to improve the quality of life for residents of Boston and eastern Massachusetts.

Matthew is a graduate of Queen's University in Belfast, with a B.A (Hons) Degree in Irish and Celtic Studies, and a Post-Graduate degree in Education, Languages. 

Matthew is passionate about uplifting people and strengthening communities. His career has dovetailed education, youth work, community development, and peace building.
Now a US Citizen, Matthew is a resident of Somerville with his wife and is passionate about being Irish in Boston. 

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Neil Hurley
Board Member

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Neil is a Somerville native, the son of West Cork immigrants. Neil’s work experience in the computer field included Deputy Director of Data Systems for the Federal Election Commission in Washington D.C. and Consultant to the U.S. Department of Transportation in Cambridge After retiring, Neil began volunteering with the Irish Immigration Centre(currently the Rian Center) in Boston. During his almost 20 years there, he specialized in assisting immigrants from all nations in completing their U.S. Citizenship Applications as well as helping with the Center’s free immigration clinics. Neil has been involved with a number of Irish cultural, sporting, social and philanthropic organizations receiving awards from the Charitable Irish Society and the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition. Currently in addition to being a board member of the Irish Pastoral Centre, Neil assists with the Pastoral Centre’s free immigration legal clinics and the senior program.

Mark Porter
Board Member

Mark is originally from Donegal and a well known Boston Entrepreneur. Upon arriving in the USA, Mark met a very special lady from Ireland named Sr Veronica Dobson who asked for help to paint her new offices on Billings Road in Quincy. With a few local clergy, a new organization was forming called the Irish Pastoral Centre to offer support to the new Irish arriving on a daily basis. Mark was truly motivated and impressed by Sr Veronica’s determination, heart and spirit. He has embraced the opportunity to serve on the Board wholeheartedly, propelled by the early years of the IPC and in honor of those mighty and monumental efforts. He kept in touch with Sr Veronica until December of 2021 when she lived her final days in Texas. Mark visited with the late Sister at 94 years young in 2016. The Pastoral Centre lives on in her memory

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Della Costello
Board Member

From Dorchester by way of Galway City, Della is one of 10 children. Both her mother and sister Terrie have each served two terms as Mayor of Galway! London beckoned and Della worked in the banking industry but after 2 years, Della moved on to Boston where she found her husband and settled here. Her career spans working at the Chancery Office of the archdiocese of Boston along with 35 years’ experience in the Corporate world of Real Estate. Della is known throughout our community for her hard word and sincere interest in helping others and that’s how she met Fr. Dan over 40 years ago. At St Mark’s Parish, Della served on the Parish Council, was a lector for 14 years and also helped count the money on a weekly basis. Della also serves on her Neighborhood Association and has supported the IPC for a long time. Della is truly amazed at the good work that is being done there and is looking forward to working with the organization.

John McColgan
Board Member

John is an Archivist for the City of Boston. He is a graduate of Boston College and of University College Dublin, where he was awarded a Ph.D in Modern Irish History and a Diploma in Archival Studies. A neighborhood activist in his native Dorchester, he led the community effort to create public artwork in Edward Everett Square celebrating Dorchester history and community experience (the "Clapp Pear" and "Dorchester Voices" sculptures). His Irish antecedents emigrated from Inishowen, the Aran Islands, and Counties Roscommon and Waterford. Drawing on materials from 1847 preserved in the City Archives, he delivered the key- note address at the Deer Island Great Hunger Memorial dedication in May 2019. His goal on the IPC Board, is to do justice to the honor of serving it, and to the honor of serving people from Ireland and abroad who need a hand making a life in America.

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