Merrimack Valley Hospice Chaplain Heather Angell to Receive Champagnat Award from Central Catholic High School


Lawrence, Mass.Heather Angell, a chaplain with Merrimack Valley Hospice, will be honored with the St. Marcellin Champagnat Witness to Faith Award from Central Catholic High School. The awards ceremony will take place as part of the school’s Honoring Excellence: Champagnat Awards and Athletic Hall of Fame dinner at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 5 at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Boston-Andover, 123 Old River Road in Andover.

The Champagnat Awards are presented in honor of Marist Brothers founder St. Marcellin Champagnat, who urged his followers to live their lives “doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.” The awards recognize alumni and members of the wider community whose lives reflect extraordinary faith, service to the least favored, professional achievement and dedication to the Marist mission.

Angell said she feels “honored and humbled” to be recognized for her acts of kindness and contributions as a dedicated chaplain, educator, program coordinator and writer with a passion for social justice, service and working with marginalized populations.

“It is the highest privilege to provide spiritual care for those who turn to Merrimack Valley Hospice for compassion at end of life,” she said. “After such a positive experience at Central Catholic, it feels like I’ve come full circle by returning to work in Lawrence – a place that still means so much to me.”

While attending Central Catholic High School as a member of the Class of 2000, Angell was a dedicated peer leader and campus ministry retreat leader who also participating in cross country, basketball, softball, Academic Olympics and Knowledge Bowl.

After graduating from Central Catholic, Angell continued her service to others at Loyola University in Chicago where she earned a bachelor’s degree in theology and was active in peace and justice issues on campus. She went on to earn a master’s degree in pastoral ministries from Boston College. Angell then completed two years of post-graduate service, first as a Holy Cross associate in Portland, Oregon and then at Bethlehem Farm in West Virginia.

Angell joined Merrimack Valley Hospice in March 2019, after serving as a campus minister at St. John’s Preparatory School in Danvers and a tutor director/chaplain at EVkids, a youth organization empowering underserved Boston youth with skills and confidence to realize their potential. She also currently works as a chaplain associate at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Boston.

Angell’s role in delivering emotional and spiritual support has been particularly important throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, as several of her patients were in need of support and comfort at the end of life.

As her nominator wrote, “Heather is the perfect example of what this award embodies. She lives her life simply and humbly, and has done so since a very young age here at Central Catholic High School. She is a saint among us who continues to devote her life to doing God’s work.”

Angell lives in Somerville.

Somerville resident Heather Angell, a chaplain with Lawrence-based Merrimack Valley Hospice, will be honored with the St. Marcellin Champagnat Witness to Faith Award from Central Catholic High School on May 5 at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Boston-Andover. (Photo by Eric Redard)

About Merrimack Valley Hospice

Merrimack Valley Hospice is a not-for-profit agency providing comfort care and supportive services to patients nearing the end of life, as well as free bereavement services to their loved ones. Together with Home Health VNA, the agencies provide a full continuum of home health and hospice care in more than 110 communities throughout northeastern Massachusetts, southern New Hampshire and southern Maine as York Hospital Hospice.

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