If God had a divine plan for Thomas Harrington, he made it abundantly clear right from the start. Saint Lawrence Roman Catholic Church and Fire Station 5 loomed side by side across the street from Thomas’s boyhood home in New Bedford, Massachusetts. It was a foreshadowing of what would become his life’s work: the priesthood and the fire service.
Thomas grew up to become Father Harrington, a catholic priest in the Diocese of Fall River, and eventually Monsignor Harrington. Meanwhile, he served as fire chaplain for several departments. While the firefighters responded to the call to save lives, Fr. Harrington answered his own call, to save souls. Together they worked and prayed…and shared some of the most dramatic, gut-wrenching, joyous, and awe-inspiring experiences imaginable.
From raging conflagrations such as that which leveled Fall River’s Notre Dame Church in the 1980s…to the solemn march through Worcester in remembrance of six brothers lost in the smoke and flame of a warehouse in the 1990s, Msgr. Harrington’s journey—his own call to save—has brought him joy and sadness, compassion and courage. Above all, it has brought great admiration for the brave men and women of the fire service. This memoir is a tribute to them.