Catholic Memorial School mourns the loss of Dr. Michael Dempsey ’75, alumnus and former faculty member. Dr. Dempsey passed away on January 3rd. His life was celebrated in a funeral mass held at St. Theresa Church in West Roxbury on Tuesday, January 21st with many colleagues and former students in attendance.
“Dr. Dempsey is part of the legacy of great teachers at CM. We are saddened by his loss and we extend our condolences to his family, former colleagues, and those of our alumni whom he mentored,” said President Dr. Peter Folan.
Dr. Dempsey taught at Catholic Memorial for 28 years and students and colleagues held him in high regard for his intellect, wit, and conversation. During his time as a faculty member, Dr. Dempsey served as the Theology Department Chair, Social Studies Department Chair, and moderator of the National Honor Society.
“Like so many great teachers, Dr. Dempsey left an imprint on the CM community and was a model for current teachers to emulate. His high academic standards were unwavering regardless of the range of students’ abilities, his proficiency as a mentor transcended different student personalities, and his development of student-teacher relationships worked brilliantly because it was rooted in genuine concern for all,” said Mr. Thomas Beatty ’68 who taught Dr. Dempsey himself and then worked alongside him.
After attending CM, Dr. Dempsey earned his bachelor's degree at Catholic University. He taught at Bishop Hendricken, a fellow Christian Brothers school, in Rhode Island before returning to CM in 1985. In almost three decades, he taught thousands of students in theology, social studies, English, and philosophy courses.
“Dr. Dempsey served Catholic Memorial as the consummate professional
and a colleague. He distinguished himself as a practicing professional historian, and
someone that faculty and students really treasured. He had a wonderful sense of humor.
For many of us, Mike was the jewel in the crown of CM," said Mr. Vincent Bradley, Chair of the Social Studies Department.
Dr. Dempsey earned his master’s degree from Harvard University and his doctorate from Providence College. While teaching at CM, Dr. Dempsey also taught as an assistant professor at Boston College and Emmanuel College.
Dr. Dempsey’s family chose to remember him by directing donations in his honor to Catholic Memorial.
“We are grateful for his dedication as a CM teacher, and we are deeply thankful for his family’s decision to honor his legacy by supporting CM,” said Dr. Folan.