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Reunion 2003 - 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 Command.

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 Dufault, A.A.