2018 Honoree

RQD Photo

The Honorable
Regina L. Quinlan Doherty (ret.)

Regina Quinlan grew up in a traditional Irish-Catholic family in Brighton in the 1940s. Arch Street was a fixture in their lives, a must when in Boston whether searching Filene’s Basement for bargains or enjoying a hot fudge sundae at Bailey’s Ice Cream Parlor. Years later Arch Street became her community of faith and spiritual home of choice, because of its sacramental offerings and its vibrancy and dedication reflected in the Franciscan charism.

After a year at Regis College, Regina entered the order of The Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston and remained in the religious community until 1969. She then taught middle school while going to Suffolk Law School nights to earn her law degree. Regina was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in 1973 and soon ventured into private practice. She is widely known and admired for her legal acumen, first-class temperament, and backbone. As a lawyer specializing in First Amendment cases, and later as a judge, she never hesitated to take an unpopular position, if convinced it was the right thing to do. As a solo practitioner, Regina took on high-profile cases, which included adult bookstores in the Combat Zone. She found herself in the headlines of Boston newspapers more than a few times.

In 1992, then-Governor William Weld appointed Regina to the Superior Court, where she had the privilege of serving for 20 years. In reflecting upon those important years in her life, Regina’s greatest pride was bringing justice to every person who came before her regardless of his or her economic status, ethnicity or religious beliefs.

Always willing to serve and share her gifts, Regina held leadership positions on the boards of Rosie’s Place, Aquinas College, Regis College, and was awarded honorary degrees from Regis and Suffolk University Law School.

The next phase of her extraordinary life will be lived as Mrs. Gerard F. Doherty, having walked down the aisle in March 2018. Father Thomas E. Conway, OFM was one of three con-celebrants at St. Mary’s Church in Charlestown, before a packed, joyful congregation of family and friends.

Regina is an inspiration to all who know her for her courage, her conviction and her devotion to the Catholic faith. The Honorable Regina L. Quinlan Doherty (ret.) is the embodiment of the mission and charism of St. Francis of Assisi, lover of the poor and the alienated.