The Father Joseph Laporte statue across from the Curley Community Center (on the greenie between Day Blvd. and Columbia Road at L Street) has been vandalized. The defaced memorial was discovered on Friday morning. The statue appears to have had red paint poured on it. More to follow.
Who is Father Laporte:
Rev. Joseph Laporte, or “Father Joe”, was Parochial Vicar at St. Monica Parish and Gate of Heaven Parish from his ordination in 1959 until his early death in 1965 at the age of 32. Fr. Joe was born in Haverhill, but belonged in South Boston. He was ordained by Cardinal Richard Cushing on February 2, 1959 and sent to South Boston to “look after the youth.”
A parish history book from St. Monica published in 1980 stated: Father Laporte especially made a tremendous impression on the young. Many remember how he would find youngsters on street corners and listen to their confessions or how he organized a special Devotional Mission for South Boston youths. Newspaper articles from 1965 have quotes from teenaged parishioners who recalled how much Father Joe had done for them. One said, “He was just always around. I don’t think he ever slept.” Another said, “Fr. Joe did everything.” Father Laporte was diagnosed with leukemia in 1963.
Rather than accept a lighter assignment where he could rest and try to be comfortable, Fr. Laporte told the Cardinal Cushing “Please leave me in South Boston. I would rather wear away working here than rust away doing nothing.” For two more years, Fr. Joe continued to work in South Boston with the kids—whether it was playing basketball, handball at the L, or hearing a confession walking on the beach—he guided them on the right path. Thousands attended his wake at Gate of Heaven Church. He lie in state from 3pm until Midnight and there was a constant stream of parishioners coming to pay their respects.
His funeral Mass was standing room only with hundreds standing in the aisles. The Mass was celebrated by his friend auxiliary Bishop of Boston Most Rev. Jeremiah Minihan.
– Source of the above info was a St. Brigid Church bulletin from 2015.