Board of Directors

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Board of Directors

Bishop Da Cunha

Most Reverend Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., D.D. Eighth Bishop of Fall River

He was born in Nova Fatima, Bahia, Brazil, on August 21, 1953, the son of Manoel and Josefa Moreira.

He attended local schools in Nova Fatima, Bahia, including the minor seminary (or Vocationary) of the Vocationist Fathers in Riachão do Jacuípe. There he joined the Vocationist Fathers, also known as the Society of Divine Vocations. He studied Philosophy at Universidade Catolica do Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, and Theology at Immaculate Conception Seminary, Darlington, New Jersey, graduating with a Master of Divinity degree.

Bishop da Cunha was ordained to the priesthood for the Society of Divine Vocations, in the Church of St. Michael, Newark, by Bishop Joseph A. Francis, S. V .D., Auxiliary Bishop of Newark, on March 27, 1982. Following his ordination he served as a parochial vicar of St. Michael Church, Newark, and as director of vocations for his Congregation. In 1983, when the Archdiocese entrusted Saint Nicholas Parish, Palisades Park, to the Vocationist Fathers, Bishop da Cunha was transferred there to serve as parochial vicar and vice superior of the local community and at the same time continued his ministry of promoting vocations.

Patrick Carney

Chairman Emeritus at Claremont Companies, Inc.

Mr. Patrick Carney serves as the Chairman Emeritus at Claremont Companies, Inc. where he defines and directs the company’s vision and strategic initiatives. He is responsible for establishing the overall investment strategy of the company and its major transactions. Having started the company in 1968, Mr. Carney has over 50 years of real estate investment and development experience.

He was previously the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at the firm.

He served as also a Director of Massachusetts Technology Park Corporation. Mr. Carney serves as Chairman Emeritus at Boston College.

Nicholas M. Christ

President & CEO, BayCoast Bank

Nicholas Christ is the President and CEO of BayCoast Bank, a community bank serving SouthCoast Massachusetts and Rhode Island. An active member of the community, Christ is involved with a multitude of non-profit organizations throughout the Fall River and New Bedford areas. Some of his affiliations include the City of Fall River’s Task Force to End Homelessness as well as the SouthCoast Development Partnership. Additionally, Mr. Christ serves on the board of the Bristol County Chamber of Commerce, the SSTAR Campaign Steering Committee, the Finance Committee for Holy Name Church and the Diocese of Fall River Catholic Foundation Task Force.

As an advocate of education, supporting local schools and encouraging the business community to take an active role in the education of our students has always held particular importance for Christ. He has served on various school advisory boards, including those of Bishop Connolly High School, the Charlton College of Business at UMass Dartmouth, and the Diocese of Fall River Central Catholic School Board. He views the increased interaction and collaboration across the Diocese as truly a spiritual experience that he believes has created momentum and enthusiasm that is palpable. Mr. Christ is honored and humbled to be associated with the Diocese and is truly excited about its future and what is taking place.

George Agostini

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Agostini-Bacon Construction Companies, Inc.

After spending 3 ½ years in the United States Coast Guard, and while attending night school at the University of Rhode Island, George joined his father and brother in the family construction company.

After his father retired, George became the sole owner of the company and grew its revenue and reputation to what they are today. He has had the distinguished honor of being a finalist for the 1989 Entrepreneur of the Year Award from both Ernst & Young Accounting firm and Inc. Magazine. His superb business acumen, ethical character and entrepreneurial spirit has also won him an Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration from Johnson & Wales University.

A member of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society, George is also a former Chairperson of the Catholic Charities Appeal, a member of the President’s Council for Save the Bay, and a former member of the Board of Directors of Meals on Wheels. In addition, George is a Board Member of the Catholic Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts, as well as active in the Sisters of Mercy Educational Fund Drive. In 2010, and along with his wife, Mary, he established The Agostini Family Foundation, a private charitable foundation. Since its inception, the Foundation has supported various charities in both Africa and South America. Closer to home, the Foundation is a strong supporter of the Bryant University Catholic Campus Ministry, wherestudents, during their spring break, participate in community service with a number of nonprofit ministries. In his spare time George enjoys golf, traveling to Florida and Bermuda and, most importantly, spending time with his three children, their spouses and his seven grandchildren.

Rev. Marcel Bouchard

Founding Board Member and the Spiritual Advisor

Rev. Marcel Bouchard, a priest in the Diocese of Fall River for the past 46 years, is a Founding Board Member and the Spiritual Advisor to The Catholic Foundation. A graduate of Bishop Stang High School, he studied for the priesthood at St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield, CT and St. John’s Seminary in Brighton, MA. He earned a degree in Systematic Theology from the Catholic University in Washington D.C. Fr. Bouchard held many positions in the Diocese throughout the years. Rev. Bouchard recently retired as Pastor of St. Mary, Our Lady of the Isle Parish on Nantucket. He currently lives in Brewster.

Joseph Ciffolillo

Honorary Board Member

Joseph Ciffolillo has been involved in the medical products industry for over 45 years. He retired from full-time employment in 2005. He then focused on his own private investment company specializing in medical technology. In this role he participated in approximately 20 medical device company start-ups and served on many of their boards.

From 1983 to 2005 Mr. Ciffolillo served in a number of management positions with Boston Scientific Corporation including Chief Operating Officer. He retired from the Boston Scientific Board of Directors in 2005. From 1963 two 1983 Mr. Ciffolillo had numerous positions with Johnson and Johnson including that of President Johnson and Johnson Orthopedic Company. Prior to 1963 he served as an officer in the US Army reaching the reserve rank of captain.

Mr. Ciffolillo graduated from Bucknell University in 1961 where he currently serves as Vice Chairman Emeritus. He was instrumental in the creation of the Bio Engineering Department at that University which is ranked one of the top three undergraduate bioengineering programs in the country. He created and supports a Health Care Technology Inventors Program for bio engineering students and faculty at that University.

He also served as founding Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Health Science Technology Division of Harvard Medical School and MIT as well as the founding Chairman of the Presidents Council of Massachusetts General Hospital. He also served as a board member of South Coast Health System, a member of the board of the MGH Physician Association and a member of the Alliance Council of Johns Hopkins University.

Joe and his wife Joyce live in Mattapoisett, MA and are parishioners at St. Anthony’s Parish.

Richard L. Lafrance

CEO, Lafrance Hospitality

Second generation, founding family White’s Regional Hospitality Center, established 1955 in Westport, MA. Developer of multiple Hampton Inn properties; Dover, NH, Westport, MA, Fairhaven, MA, Franklin, MA and the Hampton Inn & Suites, Plymouth, MA. Richard has also developed two Comfort Inn & Suites in Dover, NH and Wilton/Farmington, ME.

Additionally, he developed the Homewood Suites Dover, NH, Fairfield Inn & Suites New Bedford, MA, TownePlace Suites by Marriott Wareham, MA, Courtyard by Marriott Littleton, MA, and Fairfield Inn & Suites Plymouth, NH. He has also developed several free standing properties as well as an off premise catering service with concentration in South Eastern, Massachusetts. As a four generation involved business, Richard delights in mentoring his family members who have leadership roles in the company.

Bob Long

President, Long Built Homes

Bob Long is a life-long resident of Dartmouth. A graduate of Mass Maritime Academy, he and his wife, Christine, started a home building business, Long Built Homes, in 1986. The company has grown over the last 33 years. He and Chris are the proud parents of 3 grown daughters, have 2 son-in-laws, and 1 granddaughter. Bob has been involved in many local organizations including Nativity Prep in New Bedford. He is a parishioner at St. Mary’s in Dartmouth. He is interested in helping to build the future of the Church in our Diocese.

Christine Long

Director of Marketing & Customer Relations, Long Built Homes

Chris and her husband, Bob are life-long residents of Dartmouth. They are the proud parents of 3 daughters, 2 son-in-laws and 3 grandchildren.

Along with her husband, she started Long Built Homes and serves as the Director of Marketing & Customer Relations. Chris and Bob are parishioners of St. Mary’s in South Dartmouth and they are Co-Chairs of the Real Estate and Property Commission for the Diocese of Fall River and on the Board of Trustees for Nativity Prep School in New Bedford.

Miriam Finn Sherman

Chief Executive Officer

Miriam “Mim” Finn Sherman is the founding Chief Executive Officer. Mim began her time at the Foundation in the October 2018 after serving as Vice President of Advancement at Regis College for eight years, where she launched the university’s most ambitious comprehensive campaign and successful scholarship galas. She also worked in fundraising at Mass Eye and Ear, Emmanuel College, Julie’s Family Learning Program in South Boston and St. Mary’s Women & Infants Center in Dorchester. A graduate of Regis College, Mim received a master’s degree in non-profit management from Suffolk University. A native of South Boston, she and her husband Jeff live in Plymouth, MA.

Maryellen Sullivan Hughes

A resident of Mattapoisett, Maryellen Sullivan Hughes gradu­ated from Marymount College and attended Westfield College University of London, the London School of Economics, and Harvard University. Maryellen coordinated volunteers and special events at WGBH and Massachu­setts General Hospital. She also served as Finance Director for the Massachusetts Democratic Party and the Dukakis for President Campaign. She has served on the Board of Direc­tors for the League of Women Voters, American Cancer Society and the New Bedford Whaling Museum. She volun­teered for the United Way, WGBH/Channel 2, and St. Rita’s Church in Marion. Mrs. Hughes is also a member of the Beverly Yacht Club and The Bay Club. She is a parishioner at St. Anthony’s Parish in Mattapoisett.