As many of you know, MCFL’s beloved Director of Special Projects, Janet Callahan, recently passed away. She was a wonderful person with so many friends and family who will miss her very much. The pro-life movement in the Commonwealth will certainly miss her hard work, talent, and devotion.
Since the news came, we’ve received numerous statements from people who’ve known Janet over the years. We will be making a selection of these tributes available on this page. We will continue to update it for a period of time so if you’d like to have your thoughts on Janet included please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org using “Janet Callahan tribute” as the subject.
I just spoke with her at Faneuil Hall on Sunday, and though she had only met me in person ONCE before (and we’d spoken on the phone a few times, laughing when I told her I have a sister Janet, and our grandfather/mother were Callahans!), she immediately knew who I was!!! I was so impressed by that – and by her warm greeting.
I too feel heartbroken to hear of Janet’s passing. I truly loved her and enjoyed being with her. I think we shared a lot in common. Unfortunately I’m not in Mass. now, so I won’t be able to attend her wake or funeral Mass, but I’ll surely remember her in my prayers. I’m sure she had a warm welcome in heaven.
I am soo soo sorry to hear. She served the Lord well in the fight for life here on earth and now she is gone to heaven to meet her reward.
I am so sorry to hear of Janet’s passing over. I never met her in person but from phone conversations felt like I knew her forever. My sincere condolences to you and everyone at MCFL and Janet’s family. I’ve put these intentions on St. Mary Prayer Line. May the Divine Consoler be with us.
I am so saddened to hear of Janet’s death. What a wonderful woman. Although the only contact I had with her was during the MCFL Rose Drive I realized what a kind and gentle person she was. She was always willing to accommodate, to go out of her way to make sure our Rose Drive was a success. Her dedication to the unborn was remarkable. I will surely miss her. Rest in peace, Janet.
I am so sad to learn of this news. Janet Callahan came to everything with great enthusiasm and love. She was a person who consciously affirmed every one of us. Janet was dedicated for the long haul and worked not only tirelessly but with joy.
May God be good to her.
I first met Janet in the fall of 2009 at a Massachusetts Citizens For Life event when I was nineteen years old. If there was ever a individual every person being introduced or being welcomed into pro-life activism should meet, Janet was that individual. A few of my relatives accompanied me to the event. Most of them knew Janet because they traveled on her bus to Washington, D.C. for the March For Life each January. When they introduced me to her, Janet asked if she could give me a hug because she was so happy to see young people involved in the pro-life movement. That bear hug was confirmation that I was welcomed into this movement. I will never forget that day.
Janet was a huge asset to the pro-life movement, particularly here in Massachusetts. She was involved in every MCFL project, event, and fundraiser all in an effort to protect the unborn and vulnerable. She had a network of friends and activists that cannot be compared to anyone else in the state. She got along with everyone, and she had a natural talent of working and talking with people, particularly our MCFL members.
When I ran to join the Board of Directors of MCFL and when I started to work for MCFL as an employee, Janet was there to help me each step of the way. I can say with certainty that I would not be where I am today without Janet‘s help. We may have only known each other for five years, but I can honestly say that Janet was one of my best friends. She was the type of friend everyone wishes they could have: caring, selfless, intelligent, and a true follower of Christ. She would go out of her way to help anyone in need and she asked for so little in return. More importantly, she made me a better person.
There were many work nights where both Janet and myself would sit after hours and talk until we both realized it was far too late to still be at the office. I am going to miss our late-night conversations from topics ranging from life events, food, friends and rock’n roll, to her morning calls warning me about the traffic on I-93. As an example of her true compassion for people, while I was flying home during a snow storm in Boston, Janet called me on my cell phone an hour after landing just to ensure I made it home safely. These are the selfless acts I will miss so much.
Though I am deeply saddened by the news of your passing, Janet, I am so glad to know that you are in the presence of our Lord, and surrounded by all the souls of the unborn babies you worked so hard to protect on a daily basis. You will forever be in my thoughts and prayers, my dear friend. “Well done, my good and faithful servant…Come, and share your master’s joy.” (Matthew 25:21)
My heart aches! I thank you for the email telling of our loss. In October, when I held the Rose for lLfe drive for MCFL at our parish, I would always have the pleasure of visits with Janet. She was such a comfort and good help. I looked forward to her kindness and appreciation of St. Mary parish. She made her hard work at MCFL seem easy because to her it was a gift from God. In truth, she was the gift from Him to us. May God loving embrace her beautiful soul.
We are so sorry to hear about Janet’s death. She helped us a lot with information about the candidates and other things and was so very kind.
The Dominican Nuns
I remember Janet Callahan, years ago, was the bus captain on one of the buses to the March for Life in Washington. She was a dedicated pro-lifer, and I’m sad to hear this news.
My family has known and loved Janet for many, many years. We live in Malden and attend Immaculate Conception Parish as Janet did. Janet was especially close to my parents; I felt like they were almost surrogate parents to her. My parents and I attended most of Janet’s Pro-Life bus trips to Washington D.C. for the March for Life—such an huge undertaking which she did practically single-handedly and so well for so many years. Of course we all know that the pro-life movement was such an integral part of her life; she did so much more than bus trips (rose drives, walk for life, etc) and the final blessing for all was that she was able to work for MCFL every day, focusing all of her energy on the pro-life cause. Despite many medical issues she was always hard-working and upbeat, truly a model of strength and commitment to Life. She will be missed on earth but will surely be rewarded in heaven.
Mary (Revelas) Walker
Gene and Anna Revelas
Janet’s mission here is complete, now it will be continued from heaven. She always had a smile and a cheerful word. May she have eternal happiness with Our Lord. I’m grateful to have seen her joy and dedication for the unborn.
Janet once confessed to me that she could not believe her good fortune in receiving a paycheck for doing work that she would gladly do for free. In truth, it seemed at times that Mass Citizens was her whole life; I doubt she ever realized that she was Mass Citizens’ heart.
We will miss her in ways beyond measure, but she will be with us always in her legacy of love.
May God grant her His everlasting joy.
We were shocked with this news and our hearts sank. We grieve with you and for you and yet, rejoice for her. She is with the Lord.
She was SO kind, helpful, and always patient. You knew talking with her, that MCFL was her passion and service. We are thankful for Janet and MCFL. Our family sends our love and prayers to you all.
Mike, Deb, Jordan, Melissa, and Aliyah Hubacz
She was intelligent, indomitable, cheerful and focused. A pal for 30 years. My heart and prayers go out to her family and her colleagues. And angels sing her to her rest.
Demeanor articulated God’s dedicated daughter,
Simplicity, humility, and grace, defined
Conveyed friendship to all, constantly kind
Proficient Janet Director of Special Projects
Telephone 617-242-4199, Dialing Extension 230
Sadly no longer at your MCFL desk
Dear one, be at rest
For you always did your very best
And, you know God’s private address.
Andrea St. Germain
Janet’s long commitment and service to Charismatic Renewal Services of Boston will be deeply missed, may you rest in peace dear friend.
Charismatic Renewal Services, Archdiocese of Boston
I am so terribly saddened by the news about Janet Callahan. She has been so extremely patient and kind, as well as so very conscientious, in providing information pertaining to various elections and candidates over the years. As I realize now, having put in a Google search with her name, how incredibly busy she must have been over the many years, particularly at election time, thus I appreciate all the more the much friendliness, kindness, and patience she always readily manifested. What a tremendous person MCFL has lost and will surely miss, as well as so many other people who knew her wonderful kindness.
Condolences to all those so blessed at MCFL to have known her as co-worker and friend,
It is a hard time to suddenly lose someone you have worked with for such a long time. When we were doing Rose Sales Janet was most helpful with us and Jack Rowe Sorry to hear of this. God bless her.
Buddy and Pat Morrill
We are so saddened to hear about Janet’s sudden death. I know how very active and wonderful she was working with you for many years.
Gladys and Tom Callaghan and daughter Grace Cardella
I am so sad hearing of the loss of this faith-filled woman. I first met her at my first march for life way back. Janet and Fr. Horrigan had 2 busses at that time. She was A good and faithful servant.
MAY SHE REST IN PEACE.
Every time I see the ‘Roses’, I will remember Janet, she was so helpful when I ordered them for the Mothers Day Drive.
Such a cheerful person, always greeting you with a lovely smile. She will be missed.
My Prayers are with her family.
Was shocked to hear about Janet. I got a hug from her just a little over a week ago at the Interfaith Assembly for Life. A year ago she loaned me her wheelchair to get Joe back to the car at the end of the same event. Now God has called them both home, with the babies they worked to protect, and from where they are watching over and praying for us.
Janet was the quiet, reliable, steady backbone of MCFL. When anything needed to get done, Janet just got it done. It was always amazing to see her as she was leaving work late on a Friday night, still happy, still cheerful, filled with joy even after yet another long week keeping MCFL going.
Janet Callahan loved people.
That love certainly had something to do with her long-time devotion to the pro-life cause but it was not merely an abstract love of humanity. Janet loved real actual individual humans with all their foibles and flaws, not simply some remote concept of “humanity.” She had so many friends and beloved relatives and a touching or funny story about each one. It was easy to listen to Janet tell her stories, sometimes several in a row, not just because she was an engaging, digressive, lively storyteller, but because anyone listening could hear the sympathy with which she described the people involved. She had thought about the people she interacted with and wanted to do them justice when she told a story.
It’s easy to love mankind but all of us know how hard it can be to love people. Janet did both.
When Janet stood before the Lord, we know a chorus of “Thank You” rang out from the infants she worked to save.
Connie and Cathleen Murphy
To say Janet will be missed, is like trying to describe what the earth will be like with out our sun! Janet was never too busy to help us or research some items that we needed. Her knowledge and memory of people, past events, facts, and minute details to make us the best was always her purpose. Her dedication and love for promoting life could not bemeasured. Last week I had the pleasure of talking to Janet. She was so happy that two people had stepped forward to run “her” bus to the March! Janet was praising and thanking God for the blessings to see one of the projects she loved to continue although she could not be there.
Janet epitomized all the quiet heroes of this movement, who seek not their own glory but only justice and mercy for the weakest. Humble existence in this stance of true and solidary love radiated from her, in her serenity, her smile, her uncomplaining service. I depended on her, and will feel the deprivation of her competent goodness keenly.
Blessed are they who mourn. It’s the business of pro-lifers to live out what the theologian Johann Baptist Metz calls the memory of suffering, the memory of the victims. When a friend dies, a comrade in the struggle for the civilization of love and life, we have long years to draw upon, years of dwelling with the tremor that shakes the foundations of the world with the passing of the good and innocent. But it still hurts. So we must still choose, again, to believe in the goodness of the Father of Jesus Christ. But then, still, we have it before us: that goodness is there, right there, pouring forth in the life of Janet Callahan. Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her.
I would like to extend my condolences to the Callahan and MCFL family on the passing of Janet Callahan. I only met Janet once at a meeting for Question 2 and she immediately made me feel comfortable. I was impressed by the depth of her knowledge on that issue and others that came up in future phone conversations related to the November 2014 ballot referendum in many districts. You knew she had to have worked late into the night to get the referendum results in each district posted in such a short time after the results were in. I am confident that the first words she heard shortly after her death were “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Reading the comments of those who knew her better or longer than I did, one can only say we were blessed in so many ways to have had her among us. May the angels lead her into paradise. May the martyrs come to welcome her and take her on the way into the holy city, the new and eternal Jerusalem.
Rest in peace Janet.
Sandra A. Kucharski
MCFL has lost a dedicated and Spirit-filled worker in defense of the dignity and protection of human life. My prayers reach up on behalf of Janet’s loved ones and everyone at MCFL who will feel her loss.
Eternal rest and peace to Janet Callahan, Lord.
Reward Janet for her faithful service to the dignity of the unborn.
With the promise of our prayers for Janet. Such a holy and committed woman to the dignity of every human life.
Fr. Robert Reed