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St. Paul Consortium to honor supporters

Posted By November 1, 2012 | 1:13 pm | Lead Story #3
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By Patricia O’Connell
CFP Correspondent

FITCHBURG – One night a limousine pulled up in front of a convent. Five sisters were driven from Worcester to a party given by Norman and Carol Boudreau in Leominster.
“Every social I have the sisters are invited,” Mr. Boudreau explained. “To me they’re the unsung heroes for what they’ve done throughout their lifetime.”
When hosting an event, or assisting in a function, Mr. Boudreau will invariably inquire, “Are the sisters invited?”
Not surprisingly, religious sisters from various orders are going to the St. Paul Consortium Dinner at the Four Points Sheraton next Thursday.
During the dinner, Mr. Boudreau, a founding member of the consortium, and his wife, Carol, will receive the prestigious Elizabeth Ann Seton Award from the Catholic Schools Department. This is the department’s top honor.
The Boudreaus have deep, life-long connections to the Catholic school system.
As children they attended parochial schools in Gardner. Mr. Boudreau went to Holy Rosary School, while Mrs. Boudreau went to Sacred Heart.
“To me, that was a good time in my life and that was all about (religious) formation,” Mr. Boudreau said of his early years.
Then, their four children attended the former Holy Family Elementary School in Fitchburg. Later, all four graduated from St. Bernard Central Catholic High School. Also, seven of their nine grandchildren attended Catholic schools. Two grandchildren are now enrolled at Catholic colleges. Colby Aubuchon is at Holy Cross and the other, Cole Hazard, is at St. John’s University in Queens, New York.
In recent years, the Boudreaus’ commitment to Catholic education has deepened with their involvement in the consortium.
Helping to start the consortium was an invitation Mr. Boudreau willingly accepted, once his name was submitted to Bishop McManus. Also, Mr. Boudreau’s good friend, M. Marcus Moran Jr., chairs the consortium.
The consortium started six years ago to strengthen the North County Catholic elementary schools. It’s been a huge project, for all involved, said Mr. Boudreau.
“Everything is excellent right now,” he added. “Now things are really coming along.”
Mr. Boudreau, 79, who holds a degree in marketing from Clark University, joined the consortium two years before retiring from his 45-year position as president of IC Federal Credit Union, which, under his leadership, grew from an operation with $4 million in assets to $350 million. IC now has $500 million in deposits and loans and 125 employees, according to Mr. Boudreau.
During his presidency, the credit union also expanded from a small single office to six branches. He also oversaw the construction of a large headquarters in Fitchburg.
Work, though, never got in the way of Mr. Boudreau’s commitments to his community and to the Church. For instance, he’s a long-time member of the Serra Club, which works to promote vocations to religious life. He’s also served on the board of the local Boys & Girls Club.
Mr. and Mrs. Boudreau remain active in their parish, St. Joseph in Fitchburg. The couple served as co-chairs in 2002 for the Bishop’s Fund, now known as Partners in Charity. In 2011, they were involved in St. Joseph’s “Sharing Our Blessings” campaign, a diocesanwide effort to increase weekly collections.
Both attend daily Mass whenever possible, and Carol helps the St. Joseph pastoral team with visiting the sick.
Mrs. Boudreau said her husband does most of the direct consortium work. But she shares his commitment to the local Catholic schools.
Mr. Boudreau gives his wife of 52 years a great deal of credit. Through the years, he’s served on numerous boards and committees. Oftentimes, he was out of the house six nights a week at various meetings or functions.
“She was extremely, extremely supportive,” he said of Carol. “She never questioned my work.”
He said his wife is “highly dedicated to to the family, the children and the grandchildren.”
“That’s her whole life,” he said.
Even in retirement, Mr. Boudreau is busy with various boards and projects. He still attends meetings and dinners most weeknights.
On the day we spoke he was planning to take his grandchildren out to dinner. “If you go out you have a chance to talk,” he explained.
What is the driving force behind his efforts?
“Life is good,” he said. “You always want to be with positive people and to be able to help and to make a difference. If you can change the life of one person it’s all worth it.”