During a Mass of Thanksgiving in Charlestown on Sunday, Boston Fire Department’s retiring chief chaplain, Rev. Daniel J. Mahoney, 92, was honored.
On October 1, 1964, five firefighters were killed during a fire at a vacant South End toy factory. The current Catholic chaplain was out of the country, so Daniel J. Mahoney was called to go to the hospital to comfort and pray with the families of the firefighters. A few hours later, Mahoney was appointed to become a chaplain for the Boston Fire Department. In 1991, on the 27th anniversary of the South End toy factory fire, Mahoney was appointed as chief chaplain.
In August of 1982, during a fire at Temple Tifereth Israel in Everett, Mahoney risked his life in assisting to save sacred scrolls from being destroyed. Mahoney, along with firefighters, was able to enter the temple through a window before an explosion occurred that pushed Mahoney off his feet and onto the ground. At this point, the sanctuary’s roof collapsed, and Mahoney had to crawl out of the building to escape. Mahoney understood the value of these sacred scrolls to the Jewish community and took the risk to help them retrieve their most important religious documents.
The impact that Rev. Mahoney has had on Boston and greater Massachusett area is unmatched and has inspired generations. The dedication of Mahoney to comfort firefighters and their families in times of peril is both necessary and greatly appreciated. Mahoney’s efforts and kindness will be greatly missed and the community will be eternally grateful for his influence.