After 60 years of assisting community members, firefighters and civilians, the Reverend Daniel J. Mahoney is stepping down as chaplain of the Boston Fire Department.
Mahoney, 92, was honored with a Mass of Thanksgiving on Sunday afternoon. He has worked for the ministry since 1964, according to The Boston Globe.
During this time, Mahoney rescued sacred scrolls from a burning temple, acted as the department’s “spiritual guardian” according to Boston Fire Commissioner John Dempsey, and fought anti-Semitism. He was recognized for this effort by the Anti-Defamation League in 2006.
“Everyone is amazed at the time Father Dan has dedicated to the fire department,” Dempsey said.
Mahoney also served as pastor of St. Francis de Sales Church.
Before his time with the Boston Fire Department began, Mahoney displayed extreme courage in the face of danger.
In 1959, Mahoney witnessed saving a young man from a house fire. This witness would later be a Massachusetts State Police trooper.
In August 1982, Mahoney again showed his deep devotion when he risked his own life during a fire at Temple Tifereth Israel in Everett. The Boston Globe reported that Mahoney was one of the few people, including another fire department chaplain, who chose to go inside the building in an attempt to find and rescue several sacred scrolls.
In the process, as they managed to squeeze a few out of the window, the roof collapsed, leaving Mahoney crawling out of the structure.
Mahoney’s influence on generations of local firefighters was not lost on Dempsey.
“He’s a friend to a lot of guys. He’s one of us,” Dempsey said.
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