Message from FCS Board Chair Tim Hart:
It’s with a heavy heart that I share the sad news that Father Paul Engel passed away on Sunday, May 22.
Many of you know him from FCS Race for Kids (RFK) where he would take to the stage to introduce the adoptive families from Downey Side and talk fervently about the need to overhaul the foster care system in our country. That passion — to place older children with loving, adoptive, permanent families — led him to found Downey Side adoption agency back in 1967, the same year the FCS was founded.
During the RFK weekend in Stowe, Fr. Paul also led our non-denominational Saturday night Mass, which many of us enjoyed over the years as a quiet respite that grounded us during those hectic weekends.
Sadly, Fr. Paul’s health had been failing these past several years and he was not able to attend the last two Race for Kids.
His sister, Sister Liz Engel, has been working by his side for decades and is continuing the mission and important work of Downey Side with Brother Terry Taffe.
Here’s the link to Fr. Paul’s obituary.
I also remind you that FCS member Ian Keldoulis wrote an exceptional book about the Downey Side mission (“America’s Youngest Hostages”), which was inspired by his meeting Fr. Paul at Race for Kids.
Please remember Fr. Paul and his family in your prayers and have a happy thought today about the many children and new families he helped bring together. We can all be proud that, through your support and generosity, the FCS helped the cause.
Fr. Paul was a huge fan of the FCS and would often tell me that through the lean years, the FCS was one of the main resources that kept the agency going. I’d like to think we now have a champion in heaven watching over our Philanthropic mission.