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Humanitarian Award

Boston Humanitarian Award Recipients


Boston Humanitarian Award Recipients

From 1996 through 2010, this has been an award of Affiliated Family Funeral Homes together with the Boston Theological Institute in recognition of persons actively engaged in the field of dying, death and bereavement (education, pastoral work, chaplaincy, social work), hospice care (medicine and allied fields), and persons who have personally experienced personal loss in their own lives and can speak empathetically.


  • 1996 Connie S. Bickford, Establishment of the Annual Bereavement Seminar for Seminarians; Field Educator, Boston University School of Theology
  • 1997 Merle R. Jordan, Work in fields of Psychology and Theology, the Danielson Boston University School of Theology
  • 1998 Sister Zita M. Fleming, C.J.S., Ministry to AJDS patients
  • 1999 Mary Robinson, Director of Pastoral Care, Children's Hospital, Boston
  • 2000 Maria Trozzi, Director of The Good Grief Program, Boston Medical Center; author of Talking With Children About Loss
  • 2001 Judith Lewis Herman, MD, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical Director of Training, Victims of Violence Program at Cambridge Hospital
  • 2002 Victor Scalise, Jr., Minister; Director, National Center for Death Education, Mt. Ida College
  • 2003 The Salvation Army (Major William Bode receiving for the SA)
  • 2004 Rev. Dr. Raymond Hammond and Rev. Dr. and Gloria White Hammond
  • 2005 Vivial Li, for work with the City of Boston
  • 2006 Bessel van der Kolk and the Trauma Center
  • 2007 Ruth Bersin, for work withi the Refugee Immigration Ministry
  • 2008 Deborah Little Wyman, for work witih the Common Cathedral
  • 2009 Robin Casarjian, for work witih the Lionheart Foundation
  • 2010 Richard Nethercut, for work with the Alternatives to Violence Project



There are three components that make for competent, capable compassionate persons in the field of dying, death, bereavement.

  1. They are well educated in the field of dying, death and bereavement.
  2. They are actively engaged in some aspect of the field. (i.e., Education, Pastoral Care, Chaplaincy, Social Work, Hospice Care, Medicine and other allied fields)
  3. They are persons who have personally experienced some of personal loss in their lives.


History of the Award

The Boston Theological Institute and Waterman/ Waring Family Funeral Homes seek to find, select, and honor a person who meets the above criteria. The first award recipient was Connie S. Bickford, Field Education Director, Boston University School of Theology. She was selected because of her efforts in establishing the Bereavement Seminar for Seminarians.

The second award recipient was Dr.Merle R. Jordan, Professor of Psychology and Theology and Director of the Danielson Center, Boston University School of Theology. He was selected because of his years of educating future past the skills they would need to meet the practical pastoral challenges of the dying and bereaved.

The third award recipient was Sister Zita M. Fleming, C. J. S. She was selected because of her compassionate work with patients. She has been with over 300 of them when they were In these three recipients we see one of the major components mark this award - diversity. Also, we are attuned to the contributions of

  • A Protestant Pastor
  • A Seminary Professor
  • A Roman Catholic Sister

We are looking for people who have made a difference, are inordinate caregivers, have contributed to the larger community and have gone unrecognized but who are extraordinary.


Process of the Award

  1. Nomination is made among the BTI Field Education Directors in the Fall of a given academic year;
  2. The name is forwarded to the BTI Board of Trustees for ratification (usually at the Second Quarter meeting of the Board);
  3. The Humanitarian Award is given in the winter or early spring at a suitable event, usually the Annual Bereavement Seminar.

Affiliated Family Funeral Homes, 492 Rock St., Fall River, MA 02720

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