At the annual Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner on May 6, 2017, Saint Joseph’s College honored alumna and former Board of Trustees President Cynthia Murray Beliveau of Portland with the Catherine McAuley Award. Named after the founder of the Sisters of Mercy, this award is reserved for an individual whose work reflects the values and spirituality of Catherine McAuley, and who serves, selflessly, those in need. The College chose Beliveau as her work exemplifies these values.
Beliveau, founder of the Maine Women’s Lobby, was selected for her leadership and her advocacy for women and children in Maine and beyond. She has dedicated a large part of her life to faith-based work and has traveled worldwide on community service missions. At the awards dinner, Sister Sylvia Comer, Pastoral Associate of the College Ministry, recalled when Beliveau volunteered to drive a van of 15 students to Appalachia for their annual Spring Break Workfest service trip; once there, they assisted with building houses throughout the week. “This is someone who contributes to problem solving and who rolls up her sleeves and gives back,” Sister Comer said.
Citing Father Michael Himes of Boston as her inspiration, Beliveau moved the crowd filling the Stone Barn with her conviction that, “In order to exist, in order to live, we must give ourselves away. We fully exist by giving ourselves away, by giving ourselves TO something. All I can give back is what has already been given to me in the first place, which is the positive flow of life.”
Beliveau continues her service, volunteering with Americorps at the Reiche school in downtown Portland and, newly, signing on as an Ambassador for Saint Joseph’s College’s Center for Nursing Innovation.
The mother of four sons, Cynthia is married to attorney and founding partner of Preti Flaherty, Mr. Severin Beliveau.