There was a support and strength that came from that woman, and having her by your side and in your life, you knew that you could do it, too. Tiernan and Donna Pomponio have been a couple. Tiernan traveled to meet with legendary Catholic activist Dorothy Day, from whose life she drew inspiration and spiritual sustenance for the decades that lay ahead.
Her work took her into housing projects, mental institutions, jails and hospitals, where she saw firsthand the effects of de-institutionalization and the lack of a coherent public policy to address the needs of poor and homeless people.
In Novembershe began a fast in Arlington Street Church and explained why in an op-ed essay for the Globe.
Raised by her maternal grandmother, she learned during the Great Depression to help others. Tiernan helped create an A-to-Z of agencies that assist the disadvantaged in Massachusetts.
The cross she wore was more than a symbol. Kip would hug a person dying of AIDS back in the s when everyone else was running away.There was a support and strength that came from that woman, and having her by your side and in your life, you knew that you could do it, too. We have, as citizens, much to repent for, for what we have and have not done, to ease the suffering of our sisters and brothers who have no lobby to protect them. And she challenged people with that clarity. She really wanted you to join her in this pursuit of justice for people who have nothing. The need to feed shelter residents led her to begin collecting and distributing food out of her station wagon, a direct response to an unmet need that has evolved and grown into The Greater Boston Food Bank today. She arrived in Boston in her early 20s and met with writers and reporters who encouraged her to pursue a career in advertising. Eventually she became a successful copywriter with her own advertising agency. For the next 20 years, Kip had a fruitful writing career, creating mail order catalogues, direct mail pieces and all varieties of ads. In , she did some free work for priests who had invited activist Daniel Berrigan to speak at a church. It helps women find housing and avoid utility shut-offs. She also ventured into writing and producing musical reviews and, at the time of her death, was rewriting a play about housing, hope and humor she penned two decades earlier.