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Mass of Healing held for Theology's Saldarini

(9-15-2000) Those who have come to know Prof. Anthony J. Saldarini (Theology) during his 25 years at Boston College marvel at the way their friend will stop whatever he is doing to lend a hand to someone in need.

"That's just the kind of rare person he is," said fellow Theology faculty member Prof. Donald Dietrich. "He is always very busy with his scholarly work, but he literally always says yes when someone needs his help."

Now it is Saldarini who needs the help of his friends and the University community to help him face a life-threatening challenge. Earlier this month, he underwent a painful bone marrow transplant to help battle a form of cancer he has been fighting for a number of years. Despite the efforts of his medical team, the transplant was not completely successful and the cancer is still present.

On Sept. 12, friends, colleagues and students gathered to pray for and support Saldarini at a Mass of Healing in St. Joseph's Chapel on Upper Campus.

"Nothing happens to any one of us that does not happen to all of us," said Prof. Robert J. Daly, SJ (Theology), in his homily. "Tony is a part of us -- a precious part. He is so much a part of us that we want him back."

Following the Mass, Maureen Saldarini spoke to those in attendance about her husband's condition, explaining that additional medical therapies offer some hope for his full recovery. She also expressed her family's gratitude for the support his friends have shown.

"It's meant so much to him. He has never felt alone during this ordeal," she said.

Members of the Theology Department, in conjunction with Brigham and Woman's Hospital, are organizing a blood drive for Saldarini on Wednesday, Oct. 18, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Shea Room of Conte Forum. The drive is open to anyone regardless of blood type, as donations will help the hospital to restore its blood bank.

To sign up for the blood drive, contact Dietrich at ext.2-4799.

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