November 16, 2019
Dear Members of the Campus Community,
I am sure that you have heard about the tragic death of Lt. Jason Menard of the Worcester Fire Department on Wednesday. Lt. Menard was assigned to Ladder 5 at the McKeon Road Fire Station at the base of our campus, and was killed in the line of duty as he helped two of his crew members out of a four-alarm house fire. One cannot imagine the loss felt by his wife and three children or by his fellow Worcester firefighters.
I visited the firehouse on McKeon Road on Wednesday afternoon with a small group of Holy Cross colleagues and offered our deepest condolences, prayers and support. We delivered trays of desserts to serve the many visitors to the station, and a group of Chaplains and students provided dinner at the station that evening. Members of our grounds crew visited the station as well, edging and mulching a garden that had been turned into a memorial to Lt. Menard.
Many of you have been asking what the College is doing in the coming days to support the Menard family, the firefighters assigned to the McKeon Road station, and those who were displaced by the fire that took Lt. Menard’s life. You have also asked what you can do to contribute or express your support.
Lt. Menard’s funeral procession will travel down McKeon Road on Monday after the 11 a.m. funeral mass. The Department of Public Safety and Holy Cross Navy ROTC students will line the road, and the SGA is coordinating a student effort to line the route. The College will be providing boxed lunches for the reception following the funeral, and the SGA is coordinating student volunteers to assemble those lunches on Monday morning.
On December 15, mass collections will be donated to the Menard family as well as the families displaced by the fire. The chaplains will also accept donations that any members of the community wish to add to donation that will be made for Holy Cross. Those donations can be dropped off in Campion.
Athletics will be honoring Lt. Menard and supporting his family and fellow firefighters at home games over the next week. They are offering a ticket promotion in which a portion of the price of all tickets sold will be directly donated to the Menard Children’s Fund. They have also produced a banner that will hang in the Luth Athletic Complex next week for any member or friend of the Holy Cross community to sign with messages of support. The banner will be given to the McKeon Road station and the Menard family.
Finally, the College has pledged to cover tuition for Lt. Menard’s three children if they are admitted to Holy Cross.
I know that you join me in prayers of peace for the Menard family and for our Worcester firefighters as they mourn their immense loss. We honor Lt. Menard for his selfless heroism, and we ask God to bless all of our first responders as they put their lives in harm’s way each day to keep our communities safe.
Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J.