Sad news over the weekend. American Red Cross executive and former Archdiocesan spokesperson and cabinet secretary for PR and communications, Donna Morrisssey, died of COVID-19 at the age of 51.
After leaving the RCAB in 2003, Morrissey, a native of Newton, MA worked at the American Red Cross for 17 years as its director of communications for the Northeast Division. She was also the director of national partnerships for American Red Cross Biomedical Services at the time of her death.
“Donna was a dedicated, kind and talented humanitarian who, over her many years with our organization, worked daily to encourage the need for lifesaving blood donations while also deploying to numerous large-scale disasters and mass casualty events including Superstorm Sandy, Sandy Hook, the Boston Marathon bombing, the Pulse Nightclub shooting, and Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, to name a few,” the American Red Cross said in a statement. “She never hesitated to do whatever she could to help those in need during their most devastating moments, whether that was a hand to hold or a shoulder to cry on.”
Prior to joining the American Red Cross, Morrissey worked for the Boston Archdiocese as its cabinet secretary for public relations and communications for two years. During her tenure as a spokeswoman, Morrissey worked the first 16 months of the clergy sex abuse scandal that affected the Boston Archdiocese. She was also the first lay female and youngest member to be appointed cabinet secretary for the archdiocese.
“It’s been very challenging,” Morrissey said in a March 2003 speech to the Boston chapter of the Public Relations Society of America on working during the sex abuse scandal. “There’s times when I go home and … I cry and sob.”
UPDATE: A funeral Mass will be held at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on Friday at 11am. A Red Cross caravan tribute rally will begin at 10:30 a.m. and end at the Cathedral prior to the funeral.
Eternal rest grant unto her O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace. Amen.
May her souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.