As the Boston Fire Department’s chief chaplain, the Rev. Daniel Mahoney has always been there for firefighters, during their best and worst times. Now, his spirit will watch over them for generations to come.
A statue in his honor is being placed outside St. Francis de Sales Roman Catholic Church in Charlestown. A dedication ceremony is slated for noon Saturday, and Mahoney is expected to attend.
The 5-foot granite statue is of St. Florian, the patron saint of firefighters, a fitting symbol for Mahoney, a man who has dedicated more than 50 years of his life helping firefighters.
The Boston firefighters’ union paid for the statue. Plans for it have been in the works for about two years.
“It’s just another way to honor him, and it’s something the Boston Fire Fighters Local 718 just thinks is a nice gesture to honor Father,” fire department spokesman Steve MacDonald said.
David DeFilippo, the owner of Woodlawn Memorials, which made the statue, said he donated a granite platform to elevate the shrine after he heard about what a great person Mahoney is.
“I didn’t really know much about Father Mahoney until the firefighters were telling me about him,” DeFilippo said. “Whatever he’s doing, even in the middle of the night, if there was a firefighter in need, in the hospital, they’d call him, he’d get up in a second’s notice.”
Firefighters from several neighboring cities and towns are expected to attend Saturday’s service because Mahoney’s reach extended farther than Boston.
Last month, Mahoney was honored with a new Boston fireboat dedicated in his name.
J.D. Capelouto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @jdcapelouto.