- Alumni Awards Ceremony
Fr. Dennis Gallagher,
A.A. '69 introduces Fr. Wilfrid Dufault, A.A. '29 as recipient
of Outstanding Achievement Award
It should be made clear that
this is an outstanding achievement award and not an award
for longevity. Having said that, to put his life in perspective
- and you will have to forgive me for measuring time in this
way - Fr. Wilfrid had been alive for 11 years when the Red
Sox last won the World Series. That's a long time. Next February
he will celebrate the 70th anniversary of his priestly ordination.
And he's not done yet. Because of some physical
infirmities, Wilfrid in now residing at St. Francis Home on
Plantation St. here in the city. But to disillusion you of
any notion that he is otherwise washed up, ask the staff over
there how many of the residents have computers in their room.
St. Francis Home, Room 325, has become something like Central
Fr. Wilfrid's list of achievements is long and distinguished.
Those of an age to remember him as philosophy professor here
at the College always speak highly of his gifts as a teacher.
His teaching career was shortened by his taking on important
administrative responsibilities at a young age: President
of the College, Provincial Superior of the Assumptionists
in North America, General Superior of the Assumptionists world-wide.
He served for 17 years in the latter capacity, as the first
non-French General and during some of the most interesting
years of the Church's history in the 20th century. Among his
most cherished memories and achievements: Wilfrid was a voting
member at the Second Vatican Council.
In the years following his tenure as General,
Wilfrid was acting President of the College at two different
times; he was a major reason for the revival of interest in
the life and writings of Fr. d'Alzon and was the principal
promoter of his cause, culminating in d'Alzon's being declared
Venerable by the Church. In later years, he and Fr. Louis
Dion - in whose name, appropriately enough, this award is
being given - were goodwill ambassadors for the College in
places far and near. And with apologies to Fr. Louis, no one
has embodied the spirit of Assumption down to the very marrow
of his bones as much as Fr. Wilfrid.
On top of all of this, I will conclude with
the testimony of my mother, recently deceased, who was four
months older than Wilfrid and one of his legion of admirers.
In her memorable words, spoken when she was well into her
eighties, she said about him: "He's a hunk of a man."
On behalf of our Assumptionist community,
I wish to thank the College for bestowing this year's Fr.
Louis Dion Outstanding Achievement Award upon Fr. Wilfrid