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27
Nov

The groundbreaking of our new Seaport Chapel

Tags: Main

Hello and welcome!

Like all of you, I am sure, I have been closely watching events surrounding the situation in Ferguson, Missouri. The announcement of the grand jury’s decision not to indict Police Officer Darren Wilson has occasioned great civil unrest, not only in Ferguson but also throughout the country, including demonstrations right here in Boston. The whole episode almost seems like a throwback to a time in our history when civil rights issues were constantly before us.

We have made great progress in the area of civil rights and race relations, but there are still things that need to be done, and the mistrust and pain surrounding this event demonstrates the need for us to continue to work for racial justice and harmony in our country.

– – –

This week, our Office for Black Catholics held their annual Bishop James Augustine Healy Award Dinner, which is always a beautiful event that celebrates the gifts of our Black Catholic Community.Healey2014_CPineo_IMG_0397Healey2014_CPineo_IMG_0435Healey2014_CPineo_IMG_0401

The evening’s honorees, Lorraine Smith and Lorna DeRoses, are both extraordinary women who were recognized for their years of faithful service.Healey2014_CPineo_IMG_0500Healey2014_CPineo_IMG_0506

With Lorraine

Healey2014_CPineo_IMG_0468Healey2014_CPineo_IMG_0474

Presenting Lorna with her award

Healey2014_CPineo_IMG_0479

Monsignor Ray East of Washington D.C. gave a stirring keynote address at the dinner.Healey2014_CPineo_IMG_0483

I knew Father Ray when he was a seminarian. I still remember his ordination well, and how enthused and pleased everyone was. We knew even then that his ministry would make a difference – and it certainly has.

The Archdiocesan Black Catholic Choir, under the direction of Meyer Chambers, performed for us.  Healey2014_CPineo_IMG_0410Healey2014_CPineo_IMG_0405

There was also a group of young adults from St. Angela’s that sang, as well.Healey2014_CPineo_IMG_0431

It was a wonderful evening and underscored the kind of respect and appreciation that needs to exist in our community.Healey2014_CPineo_IMG_0519

– – –

On Thursday, I went to Our Lady of Providence Seminary for a Mass and dinner. We have a number of young men from Boston studying there.olp-buildings

Our Lady of Providence is a wonderful institution that serves not just the Diocese of Providence, but various dioceses throughout New England. It is a place where college seminarians receive their priestly formation and, at the same time, are receiving academic formation most often at Providence College, which is an excellent Dominican institution.

The seminarians prepared a beautiful Mass for us and they had a great schola. photo (2)

Providence auxiliary Bishop Robert Evans was there with us along with the rector, Father Christopher Mahar, and the priests on the formation staff.

Afterwards we had an opportunity to have dinner and socialize with the seminarians.photo

– – –

Friday, we were very pleased to hold the groundbreaking for a new church that is going to be built in Boston’s Seaport District, which is an area of the city that is developing very quickly. Groundbreaking of the future Our Lady of Good Voyage (Seaport) Chapel on Seaport Blvd. in South Boston, Nov. 21, 2014.<br /><br />
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />

It is an area that business and thousands of people are moving into and, very happily, the Church’s presence in that neighborhood will be guaranteed by the construction of the new chapel.Groundbreaking of the future Our Lady of Good Voyage (Seaport) Chapel on Seaport Blvd. in South Boston, Nov. 21, 2014.<br /><br />
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />
Groundbreaking of the future Our Lady of Good Voyage (Seaport) Chapel on Seaport Blvd. in South Boston, Nov. 21, 2014.<br /><br />
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />

This new chapel will certainly be an upgraded version of the present chapel located on Northern Avenue, which was founded 60 years ago by Cardinal Richard Cushing to serve the fishermen, sailors and longshoremen working on the waterfront.SeaportChapel20140819_Church_North.psdOLGV Longitudinal SectionOLGV Section towards Altar-Crop

The nautical themes that characterize the original chapel will also be incorporated into this new church, which will be located in a very visible and accessible spot in the Seaport area.

We were joined the dedication by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and John Hynes of Boston Global Inc., whose grandfather was the mayor Boston and was present with Cardinal Cushing for the groundbreaking of the original Chapel. Groundbreaking of the future Our Lady of Good Voyage (Seaport) Chapel on Seaport Blvd. in South Boston, Nov. 21, 2014.<br /><br />
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />

Groundbreaking of the future Our Lady of Good Voyage (Seaport) Chapel on Seaport Blvd. in South Boston, Nov. 21, 2014.<br /><br />
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />

Mayor Walsh

Groundbreaking of the future Our Lady of Good Voyage (Seaport) Chapel on Seaport Blvd. in South Boston, Nov. 21, 2014.<br /><br />
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />
Groundbreaking of the future Our Lady of Good Voyage (Seaport) Chapel on Seaport Blvd. in South Boston, Nov. 21, 2014.<br /><br />
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />

John Hynes

Both the mayor and John gave very stirring talks supporting this project and underscoring how important it is going to be for the city.

Groundbreaking of the future Our Lady of Good Voyage (Seaport) Chapel on Seaport Blvd. in South Boston, Nov. 21, 2014.<br /><br />
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />
Before offering a blessing, I made remarks, as well.

Groundbreaking of the future Our Lady of Good Voyage (Seaport) Chapel on Seaport Blvd. in South Boston, Nov. 21, 2014.<br /><br />
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />

Despite the cold weather, the groundbreaking was very well attended. It was great to see the huge turnout and the great enthusiasm of the people.Groundbreaking of the future Our Lady of Good Voyage (Seaport) Chapel on Seaport Blvd. in South Boston, Nov. 21, 2014.<br /><br />
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />
Groundbreaking of the future Our Lady of Good Voyage (Seaport) Chapel on Seaport Blvd. in South Boston, Nov. 21, 2014.<br /><br />
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />
Groundbreaking of the future Our Lady of Good Voyage (Seaport) Chapel on Seaport Blvd. in South Boston, Nov. 21, 2014.<br /><br />
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />

– – –

That evening was the Community Leadership Award Dinner and Gala to benefit the Franciscan Hospital for Children.

During the evening, they presented awards to Dr. James Mandell, who is the former CEO of Boston Children’s Hospital, and Justin Ith, a 16 year old boy from Revere who received the hospital’s Profile in Children’s Courage Award.<br /><br />
Photo by Nate Photography

Justin Ith accepting his award

We are very proud of the wonderful work that Franciscan Hospital for Children is doing and I was happy to be able to give the invocation and to thank the supporters and benefactors of the hospital, which does such extraordinary work providing care and rehabilitation for children with a range of very difficult health issues.<br /><br />
Photo by Nate Photography

– – –

This year’s celebration of candidacy for men preparing for the permanent diaconate was held Saturday, during a Vigil Mass of the Feast of Christ the King in the Cathedral’s Blessed Sacrament Chapel.  This year we had seven candidates: Carlos DeSousa, Alan Doty, Robert J. Dourney, Charles Landry, Van-Vuong Nguyen, Elcio dos Santos and Brian Shea.Seven move to Candidacy

Deacon Dan Burns and Deacon Pat Guerrini and Sister Mary Reardon from our Office of the Permanent Diaconate were there with us for the celebration. We were also joined by Father Charlie Hughes, the pastor of St. Anthony’s in Lowell who had one of his parishioners receiving candidacy.

We are very grateful that the diaconate program is now presenting a new class each year for ordination and that this year’s class exhibits the ethnic diversity that we need to be able to serve the various linguistic groups in our archdiocese. Seven Candidates for Deacon with Families and Cardinal

– – –

This weekend, there was a gathering in Boston of around 200 members of the Neocatechumenal Way who are part of a new experience of evangelization in the Church aimed at reaching the far away and the unchurched. IMG_2109

As part of this effort, a group of several missionary families, some with many children, are sent together with a priest to form a small faith community in difficult areas that are, for example, poor or very secularized. They do one-on-one evangelization and visit the people in their neighborhoods. The goal is to reach those who are so far away from the Church that they would not respond to more traditional outreach efforts.

Currently in the United States, there are six “Missio ad Gentes” communities — three of them here in Boston, two in Philadelphia and one in Brooklyn, N.Y. It is a joy to see how these families are carrying out the message of Pope Francis to go out to the streets to announce the Gospel.

– – –

As we have each year since our Bicentennial Celebration, we observed the Feast of Christ the King by awarding our Cheverus Medal to about 100 recipients chosen from the parishes, regions and different sectors of the archdiocese.

Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley presents the 2014 Cheverus Award Medals for service to the Church to 116 recipients at a Vespers Service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross Nov. 23, 2014. Afterward, the cardinal joined the recipients and their families at a reception in neighboring Cathedral High School.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />
Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley presents the 2014 Cheverus Award Medals for service to the Church to 116 recipients at a Vespers Service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross Nov. 23, 2014. Afterward, the cardinal joined the recipients and their families at a reception in neighboring Cathedral High School.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />
Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley presents the 2014 Cheverus Award Medals for service to the Church to 116 recipients at a Vespers Service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross Nov. 23, 2014. Afterward, the cardinal joined the recipients and their families at a reception in neighboring Cathedral High School.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />

The medal is given to people who have given generous years of service to the community — these are the people without whom the life of the Church would be impossible, because of their faithful involvement over such a long period of time.Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley presents the 2014 Cheverus Award Medals for service to the Church to 116 recipients at a Vespers Service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross Nov. 23, 2014. Afterward, the cardinal joined the recipients and their families at a reception in neighboring Cathedral High School.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />
Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley presents the 2014 Cheverus Award Medals for service to the Church to 116 recipients at a Vespers Service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross Nov. 23, 2014. Afterward, the cardinal joined the recipients and their families at a reception in neighboring Cathedral High School.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />
Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley presents the 2014 Cheverus Award Medals for service to the Church to 116 recipients at a Vespers Service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross Nov. 23, 2014. Afterward, the cardinal joined the recipients and their families at a reception in neighboring Cathedral High School.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />
Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley presents the 2014 Cheverus Award Medals for service to the Church to 116 recipients at a Vespers Service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross Nov. 23, 2014. Afterward, the cardinal joined the recipients and their families at a reception in neighboring Cathedral High School.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />
Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley presents the 2014 Cheverus Award Medals for service to the Church to 116 recipients at a Vespers Service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross Nov. 23, 2014. Afterward, the cardinal joined the recipients and their families at a reception in neighboring Cathedral High School.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />
Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley presents the 2014 Cheverus Award Medals for service to the Church to 116 recipients at a Vespers Service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross Nov. 23, 2014. Afterward, the cardinal joined the recipients and their families at a reception in neighboring Cathedral High School.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />

The Cathedral was filled for the occasion and we were joined by many thousands more through the CatholicTV Network.Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley presents the 2014 Cheverus Award Medals for service to the Church to 116 recipients at a Vespers Service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross Nov. 23, 2014. Afterward, the cardinal joined the recipients and their families at a reception in neighboring Cathedral High School.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />
Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley presents the 2014 Cheverus Award Medals for service to the Church to 116 recipients at a Vespers Service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross Nov. 23, 2014. Afterward, the cardinal joined the recipients and their families at a reception in neighboring Cathedral High School.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />

Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley presents the 2014 Cheverus Award Medals for service to the Church to 116 recipients at a Vespers Service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross Nov. 23, 2014. Afterward, the cardinal joined the recipients and their families at a reception in neighboring Cathedral High School.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />
Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley presents the 2014 Cheverus Award Medals for service to the Church to 116 recipients at a Vespers Service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross Nov. 23, 2014. Afterward, the cardinal joined the recipients and their families at a reception in neighboring Cathedral High School.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />
Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley presents the 2014 Cheverus Award Medals for service to the Church to 116 recipients at a Vespers Service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross Nov. 23, 2014. Afterward, the cardinal joined the recipients and their families at a reception in neighboring Cathedral High School.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />
It is always a wonderful event and afterwards there was a reception at Cathedral high school. It was beautiful to see families gathering around those who receive the Cheverus Medal.Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley presents the 2014 Cheverus Award Medals for service to the Church to 116 recipients at a Vespers Service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross Nov. 23, 2014. Afterward, the cardinal joined the recipients and their families at a reception in neighboring Cathedral High School.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />
Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley presents the 2014 Cheverus Award Medals for service to the Church to 116 recipients at a Vespers Service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross Nov. 23, 2014. Afterward, the cardinal joined the recipients and their families at a reception in neighboring Cathedral High School.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />
Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley presents the 2014 Cheverus Award Medals for service to the Church to 116 recipients at a Vespers Service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross Nov. 23, 2014. Afterward, the cardinal joined the recipients and their families at a reception in neighboring Cathedral High School.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />

As I mentioned in my remarks, the medal bears the image of Gilbert Stewart’s portrait of Bishop Cheverus, our first Bishop of Boston, and it also has his motto taken from the Gospel of St. John: “Let us love one another”.Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley presents the 2014 Cheverus Award Medals for service to the Church to 116 recipients at a Vespers Service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross Nov. 23, 2014. Afterward, the cardinal joined the recipients and their families at a reception in neighboring Cathedral High School.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />

Certainly, our recipients are people who love Christ, love their brothers and sisters in the faith, and are so generous in serving the Church. We were happy to have this opportunity around the time of Thanksgiving to publicly thank them, and thank God for the gift of their lives.

You can hear my entire homily here:

– – –

Finally, I want to conclude this week by inviting all of you to join me in accompanying the Holy Father in prayer, as he travels to Istanbul to meet with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to further deepen the ties of respect and affection that join the Catholic Church to the Orthodox Churches.

As we were all poised to celebrate Thanksgiving, I am very happy that I will be with many members of my family tomorrow. I offer Thanksgiving for all of you, and all the priests, deacons, religious and faithful people of the Archdiocese of Boston, whose faith and fidelity is a source of strength to all of us.

Until next week,

Cardinal Seán

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22
Nov

Remembering the Vietnamese Martyrs

Tags: Main

Hello and welcome!

As many of you know, last Sunday I was featured in a segment on the CBS television program 60 Minutes. This week, I wrote a column reflecting on that interview which appeared in our archdiocesan newspaper The Pilot and I want to share it with you here, as well:

Reflections on my ‘60 Minutes’ interview

Last Sunday evening I was privileged to be featured on the CBS television program “60 Minutes,” which is actually three 20 minute segments. I was featured in segment two of the broadcast. The whole experience was fascinating. I was very impressed by the entire team, their work ethic, professionalism and dedication. Those 20 minutes are distilled out of many hours of hard work. Correspondent Norah O’Donnell and producers Frank Devine and Magalie Laguerre —Wilkinson are all Catholics. Their faith and their regard for the Church was evident. Frank is a very well-informed Catholic who can engage in theological debate about “internal form” or any aspect of the life of the Church.60Minutes_image (3)

From the beginning of the process I was aware that the questions would not be about the weather and the Red Sox. The program’s interviews include difficult questions that are often on many people’s minds. For some people, being featured on 60 Minutes would be exhilarating, but television interviews are not at the top of my list of favorite things to do. Newscasts these days can be about sound bites and quick messaging. In contrast, 60 Minutes does a good job of trying to go deeper into the topics they address. My interview touched on three provocative issues that are seldom addressed by members of the hierarchy, but which once raised capture everyone’s attention. These matters call for more time and consideration than can be given in a 20 minute broadcast segment.

Not surprisingly, Norah asked a question about Bishop Robert Finn of the Diocese of St. Joseph-Kansas City and accountability. While it is the case that the sexual abuse policies adopted by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops would preclude someone convicted of not reporting a crime from teaching religious education or having any position supervising children, some of the advance reporting about this matter did not reflect the nuances of my answer to the question. In response to Norah, I said that the Vatican must attend to this situation. The Holy Father is aware of this need, and recently an Episcopal Visitator was sent to Bishop Finn’s diocese. The Holy See had the sensitivity to send a Canadian bishop to conduct the visitation.

One of the significant concerns of the members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Children, on which I serve as President, is the accountability of bishops. We are all aware that Catholics want their leaders to be held accountable for the safety of children, but the accountability has been sporadic. We need clear protocols that will replace the improvisation and inertia that has often been the response in these matters. Bishops also deserve due process that allows them to have an opportunity for a fair hearing. The situation in the Diocese of St. Joseph-Kansas City is a painful one; we pray that the visitation will help. After all that American Catholics have been through in the past decade, survivors and the community at large understandably are demanding transparency and accountability. As a Church, the safety of children must be our priority. At the same time, we need to provide justice for all and avoid crowd-based condemnations.

Another topic that has garnered much attention is the recent visitation of Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and the communities of religious women. These were two different activities, conducted by distinct Roman congregations. I trust that there were serious concerns that gave rise to the visitations, but it would seem that better planning and a wider participation of American religious and U.S. bishops would have been helpful. The Church personnel who carried out these assignments have done an admirable job under very difficult circumstances. Unfortunately, many religious women have been alienated by the process and the bishops in this country have been blamed for shortfalls in communications and the process. Hopefully when the final report of the visitations is presented, it will be a more positive experience that will contribute to healing in our Church and be helpful for the cause of religious life. The upcoming Year of Consecrated Life called for by Pope Francis will be an opportunity to celebrate the great achievements of our religious and introduce a new generation of Catholics to consecrated life and its many opportunities to accomplish good works in the name of the Church.

A topic also of significant concern in the Church that was addressed during the interview is the discussion concerning the ordination of women to the priesthood. This is particularly painful to many Catholic women who feel that the teaching on women’s ordination is a rejection and unfair.

Throughout history, many wonderful Catholic women have wished to be priests, among them St. Therese, the Little Flower. In my comments I was trying to communicate that women are often holier, smarter and more hard-working than men, and that the most important member of the Church is a woman, the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Church is called to be faithful to Christ’s will, and that is not always easy or popular. Understanding the Church’s teaching is always a process that begins with faith.

As a person who is just an occasional viewer of television, I am amazed to learn of the number of people who watch 60 Minutes each week; this is certainly a credit to the quality of the program. I hope that one take-away from my 60 Minutes interview will be that cardinals, bishops and priests are human, and that we love the Church.

- – -

Now, on the the events of my week…

Friday, I celebrated the funeral Mass for Father Bob Doyle who had been retired for many years, but is still fondly remembered by many of his former parishioners. Boyle-Robert

He had also served as the principal of Cathedral High School, among the other posts that he held during his long and fruitful ministry as a priest of the archdiocese.

- – -

Later that day I was visited at the Cathedral by Father Tim Butler and his brother. Father Tim is home from the Air Force and he stopped in to say hello.Butler_photo_1

We are very grateful to the priests of the archdiocese who so generously serve our men and women of the Armed Forces as chaplains, and particularly those who have been deployed to war zones. Boston has a wonderful tradition of military chaplains. We are very proud of that tradition and very grateful for the service that they give. I am always very pleased when I have the opportunity to meet with our chaplains personally during their visits home.

- – -

Each year during November we celebrate a Memorial Mass for the deacons and deacons’ wives who have passed away, particularly those who have died in the last year. This year, our Mass for Deceased Deacons and Wives of the Archdiocese of Boston was held last Saturday.

The candles in front of the altar represent those who have died in the last year.photo (4)

Deacon Geoffrey Higgins assists Katherine Larsen to light a candle for Maureen MannionIt is always a wonderful event, bringing together many of the deacons, deacons’ wives, their children and grandchildren. Cardinal with Deacon Mannion after Mass

We are so grateful to Deacons Pat Guerrini and Dan Burns of our Permanent Diaconate Office for organizing the Mass and for all they do for the archdiocese.

- – -

On Sunday I celebrated the Mass for the feast of the Vietnamese martyrs at the Cathedral. The archdiocese is blessed with a great Vietnamese Catholic community. This year we gathered in the Cathedral to remember the Vietnamese Martyrs which, as I said in my homily, could be as many as 300,000 people — named and unnamed — over different periods of their history.

The Mass is always an extraordinary event with so many families and young children. We were also very pleased to have several of our Vietnamese seminarians serve the Mass and a number of Vietnamese priests concelebrating. MartrysMass_IMG_3746MartrysMass_IMG_3755MartrysMass_IMG_3756MartrysMass_IMG_3775a

MartrysMass_IMG_3769Father Linh Nguyen served as something of a master of ceremonies and, following the Mass, Mr. Tran from the Vietnamese Pastoral Council spoke. MartrysMass_IMG_3815

We are so grateful to Father Michael Harrington, and everyone at our Office for Cultural Diversity for all their hard work bring the Mass together.

I’d like to share my homily from the Mass with you here:

It is a great joy and a privilege for me to welcome all of you today, the Vietnamese Catholic community, to this your Cathedral of the Holy Cross. Your life of discipleship has been characterized by your fidelity to the cross. We all lament the tragic circumstances that led you to flee your native country, but we are filled with thanksgiving that God’s loving providence has brought you to our country, giving us such the faith filled brothers and sisters dedicated to the ideals that we all cherish and that form bonds stronger than blood. St. Augustine said: the bonds of the waters of baptism are stronger than the bonds of blood. When I became the Archbishop of Boston I thought I might learn some Vietnamese. But when I studied the elaborate tonal differences realizing that one syllable could have six different meanings depending on the pronunciation, allowing for an infinite number of possibilities to make a fool of oneself, I decided that the old English proverb is true. “You cannot teach an old dog new tricks.”MartrysMass_IMG_3786

But today I speak to you with the language of Pentecost, the language of love which transcends all barriers, all languages, all races, all geography. As members of Jesus’s Church we are members of his family and brothers and sisters to each other regardless of whatever language we speak or whatever ethnic heritage we enjoy.

In 1975 with the fall of Saigon, Vietnamese immigration to America began and now we have the largest Vietnamese community outside of Vietnam. We know that many thousands perished in their attempt to flee Vietnam and find their way to the United States. Today, in this month of the holy souls, we lift them up in prayer. My own ancestors were boat people, many who perished in their attempts to come to this country.

Our own diocese has been so blessed with the presence of so many wonderful Vietnamese Catholics. Both of our seminaries, St. John’s and Pope John have had a number of Vietnamese seminarians preparing for the priesthood to serve in Vietnam or in Boston. Last summer, a group of the Vietnamese seminarians came to the Cathedral and prepared that wonderful Vietnamese lunch for me before returning home to Vietnam. They were trained here at St. John’s for their dioceses back home. We were so glad to have them here; their presence and witness enriched our seminary and made a lasting impression on our future priests.

Very fittingly, the word of God in today’s readings speaks to us about martyrdom. In the first reading from the Old Testament, the story of the sons of the Maccabees, describes for us how our spiritual ancestors endured torture and suffering rather than to renounce their faith in God. It was their faith in the resurrection from the dead that gave these brothers the courage to withstand the threats and torture of the evil King. They said boldly: “the king of the world will raise us up to live again forever.” It is the faith in the resurrection and in God’s loving mercy that also gave our martyrs the courage to embrace the Cross and lay down their life as a witness to their faith.

The second reading describes for us the martyrdom of St. Stephen, the Deacon. In the history of the Church, St. Stephen is called the proto-martyr, the first martyr. In so many ways Stephen’s death parallels Jesus’s death on the cross. Even Stephen’s last words are lifted from some of Jesus’s seven last words: “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” As Jesus had said: “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” Stephen also asked God to forgive his executioners: “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” As Jesus had said: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Tertullian said that the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church. This was certainly the case after the martyrdom of Stephen, where the Acts of the Apostles described for us how the Church expanded due to the persecution. However the most stunning conversion was that of Saul, the fanatic persecutor of the Church who participated in the martyrdom of St. Stephen. He later becomes St. Paul the apostle.MartrysMass_IMG_3802

During the time of persecution of the early Church in Rome, the Christians hid in the catacombs where they celebrated Mass on the tombs of the martyrs. From that custom the practice of placing relics of the martyrs in our altars was established. Even today most of our altars have relics of the martyrs, so that even as we celebrate the Eucharist we are strengthened by the witness of their sacrifice.

Jesus in the gospel tells us: “if anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross. Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” The first generations of Christians were very inspired by these words of Jesus and saw in the martyrs the greatest ideal of our faith. In every century and throughout the world our brothers and sisters in the faith have lay down their life as a witness to their faith and fidelity to Jesus Christ. If ever you get to visit Rome, go to the catacombs, the place of the martyrs and visit also the church of San Bartolomeo. Pope St. John Paul II made that church into a sanctuary for the martyrs of the 20th century. In our modern times so many faithful disciples of Jesus are still shedding their blood for their faith.

Today we are anticipating the Feast of the Vietnamese Martyrs, canonized by St. Pope John Paul II in 1988. The Vatican estimates that there are between 130,000 and 300,000 martyrs in the history of the Church in Vietnam. Some of them date from the 17th century, including Dominicans, Jesuits and members of the Mission Etrangeres de Paris. One of those martyrs was Theophane Venard. His letters and example inspired the young St. Therese of Lisieux to volunteer to go to the convent of the Carmelites in Hanoi. The Saint died too young to fulfill that dream, but we see clearly how the Little Flower had the people of Vietnam in her heart.

In the 18th century there were also many martyrs in Vietnam. I read that those persecuting the Church commanded the Catholics to renounce their faith by walking over a wooden cross. It reminded me of the stories about the Japanese martyrs being commanded to walk on the fumi-es as depicted in the famous novel The Silence. It also reminded me of the stories of my own ancestors in Ireland when during the great famine, their persecutors offered them soup, telling them that they could eat if they would only renounce their Catholic faith. Countless Irish preferred to starve to death than to give up their faith. But also in modern times so many Vietnamese Catholics have suffered, even martyrdom rather than renounce their faith.

To me one of the most inspiring stories of modern martyrdom in Vietnam is the life of Cardinal François Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan whom I had the privilege to meet both here in Boston and in Rome. He spent 13 years in a reeducation camp, nine years in solitary confinement. In 2007 the beatification process for this great Vietnamese priest began. Pope Benedict the XVI referred to Cardinal Van Thuan as an example of holiness for Vietnamese Catholics and for the entire Church. He said “during 13 years in jail, in a situation of seemingly utter hopelessness, the fact that he could listen and speak to God became for him and increasing power of hope, which enabled him, after his release, to become for people all over the world a witness to hope, to that great hope which does not way even in the nights of solitude.” The martyrs are for all of us a sign of hope, hope in God’s loving mercy and in the resurrection. The very word martyr means witness. All of us are called to be witnesses to the resurrection. Our fidelity to the gospel and our desire to share the joy of the gospel with others will be a sign of hope to our contemporaries.

The world, more than teachers, needs witnesses. We must be those witnesses. That doesn’t mean necessarily that we will be called upon to shed our blood, but yes we will have to do difficult things, by the way that we love, and serve, and forgive. Our lives must be an invitation to others to follow the way of the Gospel. Pope Francis is challenging us to go out into the highways and byways and invite people to be part of Jesus’ family. The Holy Father tells us the Church is a field hospital. There are many wounded and sick who need to know that God loves and cares for them and has sent us to them to be messengers of His Gospel. A wonderful program for a life of missionary discipleship has been traced out for us by Cardinal Van Thuan in his 10 rules of life, which I keep in my breviary.

Let me conclude by sharing them with you:

— I will live the present moment to the fullest.

— I will discern between God and God’s works

— I will hold firmly to one secret: prayer.

— I will see in the holy Eucharist my only power.

— I will have only one wisdom: the science of the cross.

— I will remain faithful to my mission in the Church and for the Church as a witness of Jesus Christ.

— I will seek the peace the world cannot give.

— I will carry out a revolution by renewal in the Holy Spirit.

— I will speak one language and where one uniform: charity.

— I will have one very special love: the Blessed Virgin Mary.

- – -

Monday I went to Chicago to be present for the installation of the new archbishop there, Archbishop Blase Cupich. CUPICH-INSTALL (UPDATED)

I can say that Chicago lived up to its reputation as the Windy City — and to top it off, it was freezing cold. But, despite the weather outside, was beautiful celebration inside the Holy Name Cathedral, which is also a Keeley church like our own Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston, and that has been beautifully renovated. CUPICH-INSTALLCUPICH-INSTALLCUPICH-INSTALL

There was an enthusiastic welcome for the new archbishop, who was there with his nine brothers and sisters.CUPICH-INSTALL

The liturgy had substantial portions in Spanish and in Polish. Chicago is one of the largest Polish-American communities in the U.S., and that was recognized in the Archbishop’s comments, the songs and the final blessing of the Archbishop gave in Polish.

Archbishop Cupich gave a beautiful reflection on the gospel, which was the reading of Jesus walking on the water.

Of course, in addition to being an occasion of welcome for the new archbishop, there was also a great outpouring of love and appreciation for Cardinal Francis George who is stepping down after 17 years as the Archbishop of Chicago. CUPICH-INSTALL

Cardinal George has served the Church in many different ways and in many different capacities, including serving as the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. He is a great intellectual light in our Catholic Church and a man whose voice is always respected.CUPICH-INSTALL

At the end of Mass, Archbishop Cupich publicly thanked Cardinal George and there was a thunderous standing ovation. Then Archbishop Cupich said, “Now you know not just how we think, but how we feel.”

That just elicited peals of laughter, because whenever Cardinal George was interviewed — and remember, Cardinal George is a very cerebral sort of fellow — the press would always ask: “Cardinal, how do you feel about that…”

And the Cardinal would always respond, “Don’t ask me how I feel, asked me how I think!”

- – -

Back in Boston on Wednesday, we had one of our periodic gatherings with those priests who have been ordained within the last five years. As is our usual practice, we had a Holy Hour followed by dinner and a conversation.IMG_0456

This time, we had a long discussion about some of the themes that had been brought up at the bishops’ meeting a week ago: Catholic schools, the pastoral letter on pornography that is being produced, and the Synod on the Family.
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Finally, I’d like to invite all of you to join us at the Cathedral this Sunday, the Feast of Christ the King for Vespers Service at which we will present Cheverus Award Medals to 116 people who have done so much to serve our archdiocese.The 2013 Cheverus Awards are presented at an afternoon Vespers Service, Nov. 24, 2013 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.  Each year about 100 laypeople, deacons and religious are recognized with the award for their long-term service to the Church.
Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy

We initiated the Cheverus Medal in our bicentennial year to recognize those unsung heroes and heroines who are the engines that keep our parishes, agencies and services moving forward through their generous and faithful service. The 2013 Cheverus Awards are presented at an afternoon Vespers Service, Nov. 24, 2013 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.  Each year about 100 laypeople, deacons and religious are recognized with the award for their long-term service to the Church.
Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy

The service will begin at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross at 3 p.m. If you are unable to join us in person you can also watch the service live on CatholicTV through your cable service or at CatholicTV.com.

I look forward to seeing you all there!

Until next week,

Cardinal Seán

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15
Nov

At the bishops meeting in Baltimore

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I want to begin this week asking all of you to pray for the family of Ryan Morrissey, a teenager from Charlestown who attended St. Clement High School in Medford and was a victim of gang violence. He was a young man who had nothing to do with that world of gangs and drugs, but was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. He and a friend were shot coming out of a convenience store near his home last Wednesday.

This type of senseless violence and the proliferation of guns in our community is a very serious problem and it is a great sorrow to see young people’s lives ended so senselessly. We pray for his family, his classmates at the school, and all his friends and acquaintances who are very much affected by this young man’s untimely death.

- – -

I spent much of this past week in Baltimore for the fall gathering of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. But before I left, on Thursday, I met with Bishop Paul Hinder, who is the Vicar Apostolic of Southern Arabia, which consists of the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Yemen, Qatar, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia. Bishop Hinder is a Swiss Capuchin who was once our Definitor General in Rome.

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One of his seminarians is studying at St. John’s Seminary, and he was here for a visit.

Capuchins have worked in this very difficult part of the world for many years. There has been a great deal of persecution and violence against Christians in that region and we accompany all of them in our prayers.

He brought me a typical gift from Arabia, frankincense.

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- – -

During the annual bishops’ meeting we always have committee meetings before the larger sessions. I was, of course, involved in the meeting of the Committee on Pro-Life Affairs, of which I am chairman. I also attended meetings of the committee on Latin America and the committee on Africa, on which I also serve.

We also hold regional meetings of bishops. At the Region I meeting, which covers the Hartford and Boston Provinces, we discussed the strategic plan of the Bishops Conference, considering how the priorities of Pope Francis will be incorporated into our actions going forward. That was a very interesting discussion.

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There was also a very important discussion about the situation of Catholic schools as well as a document on pornography that is in the works. During our discussion on the Catholic schools, there was great emphasis placed on recruiting Hispanic students, promoting the faith formation of teachers and staff, and looking at new models of governance for our schools.

As chairman of the pro-life committee, I have been involved in the Bishops’ Working Group on the Life and Dignity of the Human Person. Archbishop Wenski, Bishop Malone and myself made a presentation on the research that has been done to assess the attitude of American Catholics towards Church teaching.

As I said in my remarks:

“The secular culture is defining the Church and its teachings for our people. We ask ourselves why we aren’t better able to reach them. Polls may tell us what people think, and how often they come to church but what is sometimes missing is the ‘why.’ Why do our people in the pews feel the way they do and how does that affect our capacity to transmit the gospel?”

BISHOPS ROUNDUP

Another issue that we discussed was immigration and, of course, everyone is very concerned about the issue of immigration reform. Our president Archbishop Kurtz committed to reaching out to President Obama and congressional leadership to discuss the Church’s concerns on that front.

We also heard a presentation from those bishops who attended the Extraordinary Synod on the Family. We heard from Archbishop Kurtz, as well as Cardinal Dolan and Cardinal Wuerl who were on the permanent Council of the Synod. Each of them gave a report on their experience of the Synod and there was discussion of how this and the document the synod produced will be the basis for next year’s Ordinary Synod and also for any kind of preliminary discussion. We are presuming there will be a consultation, something like the consultation that took place prior to the Extraordinary Synod. But the Synod Council will be meeting in a week or so, and we expect there will be more clarification coming at that time.

BISHOPS ROUNDUP

Another aspect of the Fall Assembly is the election of new board members and committee chairmen. On some of the committees, we have elections the year before the term of the committee head finishes to allow the incoming chairman to prepare for his new role. For example, Cardinal Dolan was elected to take my place when I finish my term as head of the Pro-Life Committee next year. Even now as chairman elect, he will begin to participate in our meetings, as I did three years ago.

I have been named to head up the Catholic Orthodox dialogue that will include six Catholic bishops and six Orthodox prelates.

The Holy Father will be visiting Constantinople for the feast of St. Andrew at the end of this month, where he will meet with the ecumenical patriarch. We are so pleased that our own Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Boston Methodios will be there.

Ordinarily here in Boston, I join Metropolitan Methodios at his Cathedral for the celebration of the feast, but this year he will be in Constantinople with the Holy Father and the patriarch.

I also want to mention that, during the meeting, we celebrated Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore to mark the 225th anniversary of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the oldest Catholic diocese in the United States.

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I took this photo before the Mass. The Basilica is beautiful and has been recently renovated.

We were more than 200 bishops concelebrating at the Mass. The diocese was established on Nov. 6, 1789, and was made an archdiocese in 1808, when it was split in several dioceses including Boston.

BISHOPS-MASS

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BISHOPS-

- – -

During the assembly, there are always various receptions, and so forth, for the bishops. For example, Pope St. John XXIII Seminary hosts a breakfast where we can speak with bishops about the possibility of their sending seminarians to our seminary for second career vocations.

Then RENEW International also has a reception at which they showcase their programs for the bishops. And at that reception there was a presentation of a new book called “The History of the National Encuentros” by my good friend Mario Paredes and they had asked me to introduce the book, which I had written the forward to.

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There was also a reception by MACC in San Antonio, which started out as the Mexican American Cultural Center and for many years was involved in training people for Hispanic ministry in such areas as language and culture. During his time there, Archbishop Gomez elevated it to a college. So while it is still called “MACC”, it is no longer the Mexican American Cultural Center, it is now the Mexican American Catholic College, and awards degrees in pastoral ministry for those training to work in Hispanic ministry.

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With Bishop Cantu, who is the president of the board and Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller the present Bishop of San Antonio, and the president of the college, Dr. Arturo Chavez

- – -

Finally, I want to leave you this week with this photo.

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We have been visited by turkeys at the Pastoral Center and our illustrious photographer, George Martell, had refused to take a picture of the turkeys next to the Pastoral Center sign, undoubtedly worried about what sort of commentary that might be taken as.

But I could not resist the temptation to take my own picture of them. So here they are, preparing for Thanksgiving no doubt, and are visiting the Pastoral Center in great numbers!

Until next week,

Cardinal Seán

Tags: Main
08
Nov

The installation of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre

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Last week, I was visited by the provincial of the Marists, Father Ted Keating. He is a good friend and was in town, so he came to visit me.1 (2)

We have served together on many different committees over the years and the Marists have had a very long-standing presence in the Archdiocese of Boston.

– – –

Also last week, we went to the house of the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master for vespers and dinner.11

We are very blessed to have the Sister Disciples working at the Pastoral Center in a number of capacities as well as at our Regina Cleri residence for retired priests and at their center on West Street in Boston.5

During the evening, they showed me the exhibit they have at the entrance to their house and we talked about the upcoming centennial celebration of the Pauline family. 6

As I mentioned in my post last week, I will be celebrating a special Mass for the members of the Pauline family in Boston in June.7

– – –

Last Friday I went to St. Paul’s Church in Harvard Square to celebrate a mass with the young adult community for “Jesus in Harvard Square,” part of the “Jesus in the City” series run by our Office of Lifelong Faith Formation and Parish Support.  These young adult masses are most often celebrated in St. Leonard’s Church in the North End but occasionally they also go to Harvard square, which is another area where there are many young people.JINE Fall 2014 flyer.2014.09.23

Friday was, of course, Halloween but we were celebrating the Mass for All Saints Day. There was one of the Capuchin brothers there, Brother Andrew, and I told him, “We have the same costume!”

We had a full church and it was a very beautiful celebration.photo 2

The choir from St. Paul’s Choir School sang for us during the Mass. They did just a spectacular job.photo 3

We are very grateful to the parish for hosting us.

– – –

Saturday, we had the annual Mass and Investiture Ceremony for the Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem at the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help (Mission Church). 2

The chapel in the Redemptorist residence

There was a very large number of new members inducted, including a number of priests, one of whom was Bishop Robert Deeley.2014HSOJ_gm04762014HSOJ_gm04872014HSOJ_gm06042014HSOJ_gm06082014HSOJ_gm0619

When it was founded hundreds of years ago, the order was a military organization, charged with protecting the sacred sites in the Holy Land. Today, the order maintains that tradition by supporting the works of the Church there, such as schools, clinics, hospitals, and churches. The symbolic role as protectors of the Holy Land is also carried out in other ways. For example, at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, the members of the order are the ones who take care of the important relics from the Holy Land such as the Crown of Thorns. Members of the order also join us for our celebration of Good Friday at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, where we have a relic of the True Cross.2014HSOJ_gm06672014HSOJ_gm0715

The speaker for the weekend’s installation events was Msgr. John Kozar, who is the president of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association. He addressed them about the situation of Christians and the Church in the Middle East. We were very glad to have him with us.

– – –

Sunday was All Souls Day and it is my custom to celebrate three Masses on that day. Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley celebrates Mass for All Souls Nov. 2, 2014 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.  The Mass, at which Catholics pray for the faithful departed, was celebrated for former Boston mayor Thomas M. Menino and his family.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />

One of them was here at the Cathedral and at that Mass we prayed in a particular way for former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, who had passed away on Thursday. Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley celebrates Mass for All Souls Nov. 2, 2014 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.  The Mass, at which Catholics pray for the faithful departed, was celebrated for former Boston mayor Thomas M. Menino and his family.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />
Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley celebrates Mass for All Souls Nov. 2, 2014 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.  The Mass, at which Catholics pray for the faithful departed, was celebrated for former Boston mayor Thomas M. Menino and his family.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />
Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley celebrates Mass for All Souls Nov. 2, 2014 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.  The Mass, at which Catholics pray for the faithful departed, was celebrated for former Boston mayor Thomas M. Menino and his family.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />
Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley celebrates Mass for All Souls Nov. 2, 2014 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.  The Mass, at which Catholics pray for the faithful departed, was celebrated for former Boston mayor Thomas M. Menino and his family.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />
Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley celebrates Mass for All Souls Nov. 2, 2014 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.  The Mass, at which Catholics pray for the faithful departed, was celebrated for former Boston mayor Thomas M. Menino and his family.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />

I’d like to share my homily at the Mass with you here:

Monday, of course, was the Funeral Mass for Mayor Menino at Most Precious Blood Church in Hyde Park, the church where he was baptized. His pastor at St. John Chrysostom Parish, Father John Connolly, celebrated and preached at the Funeral Mass.Mourners gather outside Most Precious Blood Church in Hyde Park for the Funeral Mass for former Boston mayor Thomas M. Menino Nov. 3, 2014.  The former mayor died Oct. 30 just week after announcing that he was suspending his treatment for cancer.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Christopher S. Pineo<br /><br />

Mourners gather outside Most Precious Blood Church in Hyde Park for the Funeral Mass for former Boston mayor Thomas M. Menino Nov. 3, 2014.  The former mayor died Oct. 30 just week after announcing that he was suspending his treatment for cancer.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Christopher S. Pineo<br /><br />
Mourners gather outside Most Precious Blood Church in Hyde Park for the Funeral Mass for former Boston mayor Thomas M. Menino Nov. 3, 2014.  The former mayor died Oct. 30 just week after announcing that he was suspending his treatment for cancer.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Christopher S. Pineo<br /><br />

Mourners gather outside Most Precious Blood Church in Hyde Park for the Funeral Mass for former Boston mayor Thomas M. Menino Nov. 3, 2014.  The former mayor died Oct. 30 just week after announcing that he was suspending his treatment for cancer.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Christopher S. Pineo<br /><br />
Mourners gather outside Most Precious Blood Church in Hyde Park for the Funeral Mass for former Boston mayor Thomas M. Menino Nov. 3, 2014.  The former mayor died Oct. 30 just week after announcing that he was suspending his treatment for cancer.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Christopher S. Pineo<br /><br />
- – –

Tuesday I met with Roy Peterson, the new president of the American Bible Society, and his board of directors in New York.

We spoke about their plans to open a national Bible Museum in Washington D.C. and also their desire to work closely with the Catholic Church on a number of projects.

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With my friend Mario Paredes and Roy Peterson

– – –

Wednesday, we had a Mass at the Cathedral to celebrate the Campaign for Catholic Schools. The Mass marked the fact that they have raised the $8 million necessary to renovate the Lower Mills Campus of St. John Paul II Catholic Academy. Father Vin Daily, the pastor of St. Gregory’s, concelebrated the Mass with me.20141105LowerMillsGM_01320141105LowerMillsGM_016

Many of the children from the school were with us and made a wonderful contribution to the Mass —singing in the choir, in the handbell choir and even serving the Mass. 20141105LowerMillsGM_00520141105LowerMillsGM_00320141105LowerMillsGM_026

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Mickey and Bob Atchinson who, with Jack Sebastian, co-chaired this campaign

Afterwards, we had a reception to thank those who helped make reaching this goal possible.

– – –

Thursday, we were visited by the Capuchin provincial of Eritrea, Father Amanuel Mesgun. He was visiting his sister, Olga, who is a parishioner here at the Cathedral. In fact, a number of the parishioners here have relatives who are Capuchins in Ethiopia and Eritrea. 10

With Father Amanuel, his sister Olga and his nephew Noe

Our community is very numerous there and are involved in many different social and educational outreach initiatives. For example he told me the capuchins want to build a new secondary school in southern Eritrea.

Until next week,

Cardinal Seán

Tags: Main
01
Nov

The Church’s social gospel

Tags: Main

Hello and welcome,

Yesterday we saw the passing of former Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino. Dedication of a bench in honor of former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino outside Catholic Charities’ Teen Center at St. Peter’s in Dorchester May 12, 2014.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />

Mayor Menino placed family, faith and public service above all else. His passing is a great loss to the City of Boston, the Commonwealth, our country, and to his family, who were the center of his life.

Generations of citizens of Boston benefitted from his care and concern, first as a City Councilor and then, most notably, as Mayor for twenty years. Under Mayor Menino’s leadership, the City of Boston achieved world class status while he always remained keenly focused on the needs and concerns of the city’s neighborhoods and its people.

It is a blessing for me to have known Tom and Angela since the time I arrived in Boston and to share in their faith and their good works. They always held providing support and assistance for people in need as a priority. It was not uncommon for the Mayor to attend several church services on a given day, at our Catholic parishes and the churches and worship sites of our ecumenical and interfaith brethren with whom he had very close and supportive relationships.

We pray for Mayor Menino as we give thanks for a life so well lived, for his wife Angela, their children and grandchildren, for the people of the City of Boston and all who mourn his passing. May his soul and all the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.

– – –

Last Thursday, we had our first meeting with our new vicars forane along with the regional bishops and episcopal vicars, to discuss their responsibilities and the very important role that the vicars have in promoting priestly fraternity and pastoral planning in the various regions of the archdiocese.

We have an excellent group of vicars forane, who are a crucial part of the archdiocesan structure. We have structured our Presbyteral Council to work in tandem with the vicariate meetings so that, in a sense, all the priests of the archdiocese are part of the conversations that take place at the Presbyteral Council, because each vicariate has representatives on the priest council that acts as a link between the council and the local vicariate.

– – –

That evening, I attended the annual Adopt-A-Student Foundation dinner to benefit Cathedral High School. I was very happy to learn that the event raised over $1.5 million.<br /><br />
Photo by Nate Photography<br /><br />
Photo by Nate Photography

<br /><br />
Photo by Nate Photography

The Head of School, Dr. Oscar Santos

The alumni of Cathedral High have been crucial in supporting the school. I think it is not an exaggeration to say that the school likely would have closed were it not for the wonderful response of the alumni. John Remondi in particular has been an important figure in the whole process of setting up the board of the school and leading their annual fundraising efforts.<br /><br />
Photo by Nate Photography

During the evening, they honored the Highland Street Foundation, which was founded 25 years ago by the late David McGrath. Today, it is headed by his wife, JoAnn and his children and continues to do so much to support important projects in our local area, including the Adopt-A-Student Foundation. <br /><br />
Photo by Nate Photography

– – –

Friday, we had our annual alumni gathering at St. John’s Seminary. We were joined by a number of priests from throughout the region who had studied at St. John’s and cherished the opportunity to come back to visit the seminary and see their classmates.DSC_0984

We always begin the evening with Vespers, followed by a dinner in the refectory. DSC_0992DSC_0987DSC_0989

It is always a very enjoyable event.IMG_5268IMG_5251IMG_5264IMG_5265IMG_5270IMG_5285

– – –

Saturday, we held our annual Archdiocesan Social Justice Convocation here at the Pastoral Center. The event is growing each year, and this year we had about 350 people in attendance.justice

The convocation is so important because many Catholics are unaware of the rich social gospel that the Church has. In today’s world, in which there are so many situations of injustice, it is important for Catholics to understand the vision that the Church’s social gospel presents of the dignity of the human person and our connectedness to each other.

The 2014 Archdiocese of Boston Social Justice Convocation held Oct. 25, 2014 at the archdiocese’s Pastoral Center in Braintree.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Christopher S. Pineo<br /><br />

It is also important to understand the function of wealth in society, and the fact that all wealth has a social mortgage. Because of this, we have a responsibility to those who are living in poverty and in situations of injustice. Certainly Pope Francis’s preaching has stirred great enthusiasm in people’s hearts because there is a longing for a world that is more just and more in conformity with the plan of our loving Creator.

Father Bryan Hehir delivered the day’s keynote address on the social justice themes present in Pope Francis’s Apostolic Exhortation Evangelli Gaudium.The 2014 Archdiocese of Boston Social Justice Convocation held Oct. 25, 2014 at the archdiocese’s Pastoral Center in Braintree.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Christopher S. Pineo<br /><br />

There were also two different panel discussions, one on living the social gospel of the Church on the parish level and the other on ways to help curb youth violence.The 2014 Archdiocese of Boston Social Justice Convocation held Oct. 25, 2014 at the archdiocese’s Pastoral Center in Braintree.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Christopher S. Pineo<br /><br />
The 2014 Archdiocese of Boston Social Justice Convocation held Oct. 25, 2014 at the archdiocese’s Pastoral Center in Braintree.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Christopher S. Pineo<br /><br />
The 2014 Archdiocese of Boston Social Justice Convocation held Oct. 25, 2014 at the archdiocese’s Pastoral Center in Braintree.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Christopher S. Pineo<br /><br />

The 2014 Archdiocese of Boston Social Justice Convocation held Oct. 25, 2014 at the archdiocese’s Pastoral Center in Braintree.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Christopher S. Pineo<br /><br />
I celebrated the day’s closing Mass.The 2014 Archdiocese of Boston Social Justice Convocation held Oct. 25, 2014 at the archdiocese’s Pastoral Center in Braintree.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Christopher S. Pineo<br /><br />
The 2014 Archdiocese of Boston Social Justice Convocation held Oct. 25, 2014 at the archdiocese’s Pastoral Center in Braintree.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Christopher S. Pineo<br /><br />
The 2014 Archdiocese of Boston Social Justice Convocation held Oct. 25, 2014 at the archdiocese’s Pastoral Center in Braintree.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Christopher S. Pineo<br /><br />
The 2014 Archdiocese of Boston Social Justice Convocation held Oct. 25, 2014 at the archdiocese’s Pastoral Center in Braintree.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Christopher S. Pineo<br /><br />

– – –

That afternoon, I was visited by Msgr. Felix Ojimba, who was living at the Cathedral when I first came to Boston. He is now back in Nigeria, but has relatives here in the states and was visiting them.photo

While he was in Boston he served as a hospital chaplain and also helped out for many years at St. Angela’s Parish in Mattapan.

It was wonderful to see him again.

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Sunday, we had our combined celebration of the Red Mass for members of the legal profession and the White Mass for physicians. There was a very good turnout from both communities.The Combined Celebration of the Red Mass and the White Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Oct. 26, 2014. The Mass was followed by a luncheon at the Seaport Hotel in Boston featuring a keynote address by U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See Kenneth Hackett.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Christopher S. Pineo<br /><br />

The guest of honor in the keynote speaker at luncheon following the Mass was U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, Kenneth Hackett. The Combined Celebration of the Red Mass and the White Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Oct. 26, 2014. The Mass was followed by a luncheon at the Seaport Hotel in Boston featuring a keynote address by U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See Kenneth Hackett.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Christopher S. Pineo<br /><br />
The Combined Celebration of the Red Mass and the White Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Oct. 26, 2014. The Mass was followed by a luncheon at the Seaport Hotel in Boston featuring a keynote address by U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See Kenneth Hackett.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Christopher S. Pineo<br /><br />

Ken Hackett had worked for Catholic Relief Services for over 30 years and been stationed in many parts of the world. He was the director of CRS for about a dozen years before being named ambassador.

It is remarkable that three of the recent U.S. Ambassadors to the Holy See have been from Boston, and all of them were present for the Mass:   Ambassador Hackett, Ambassador Mary Ann Glendon and Ambassador Raymond Flynn.

The Combined Celebration of the Red Mass and the White Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Oct. 26, 2014. The Mass was followed by a luncheon at the Seaport Hotel in Boston featuring a keynote address by U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See Kenneth Hackett.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Christopher S. Pineo<br /><br />

We were also very pleased that the international head of the St. Vincent de Paul society, Dr. Michael Thio, was also present for the event.The Combined Celebration of the Red Mass and the White Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Oct. 26, 2014. The Mass was followed by a luncheon at the Seaport Hotel in Boston featuring a keynote address by U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See Kenneth Hackett.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Christopher S. Pineo<br /><br />

Dr. Thio with Ambassadors Flynn, Hackett and Glendon

In his keynote, Ambassador Hackett gave a wonderful explication of the role of the Ambassador to the Holy See and the history of diplomatic relations between the United States and the Vatican.The Combined Celebration of the Red Mass and the White Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Oct. 26, 2014. The Mass was followed by a luncheon at the Seaport Hotel in Boston featuring a keynote address by U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See Kenneth Hackett.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Christopher S. Pineo<br /><br />
The Combined Celebration of the Red Mass and the White Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Oct. 26, 2014. The Mass was followed by a luncheon at the Seaport Hotel in Boston featuring a keynote address by U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See Kenneth Hackett.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Christopher S. Pineo<br /><br />

Also at the lunch, the Catholic Lawyers Guild presented the first annual Judge Joseph Nolan award to attorney Fran Hogan for her indefatigable life’s work on behalf of others and the community. The Combined Celebration of the Red Mass and the White Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Oct. 26, 2014. The Mass was followed by a luncheon at the Seaport Hotel in Boston featuring a keynote address by U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See Kenneth Hackett.<br /><br />
Pilot photo/ Christopher S. Pineo<br /><br />

We were so pleased that a number of the members of Judge Nolan’s family were there to witness the occasion.

– – –

Monday I joined the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Georgetown’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, more commonly known as CARA.

The venue for the Mass was the very historic Visitation Convent in Georgetown.245

We were honored to be joined at the Mass by the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Viganò; Archbishop Gerald Kicanas, who is the current president of the board; and Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans.15623249886_9b9d159613_z (1)15026237564_069f479e10_z (1)15026823103_b562e59f8a_z15461027957_3c8bed4d36_z

CARA was founded by Cardinal Richard Cushing 50 years ago and it serves as a research organization for the many different aspects of the Church’s pastoral activities. It certainly helps us to become more aware of the situation of the Church and is particularly helpful when it comes to pastoral planning or making decisions that are concerned with the apostolate, because they provide such careful studies and projections.50th

Because the center had been established by the Archbishop of Boston, they asked me to be there for the celebration. However, I joked with them that I had just been at the 50th anniversary of Pope St. John XXIII Seminary, recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of the St. James Society and, in a few months, I will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Cathedral in Galway, Ireland. I told them that I could spend my whole life going around celebrating the 50th anniversary of all the great things that Cardinal Cushing did half a century ago!

During the evening they presented an award to the Oblate School of Theology for the studies they have done on the priesthood.

– – –

Tuesday I traveled to New York for the funeral of my dear friend, Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete. IMG_5011

We gathered at St. Mary’s Church on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the church where for many years he celebrated the Spanish Mass. It is a very beautiful church and, in fact, is one of the oldest churches in the City of New York.Funeral mass for Msgr. Lorenzo AlbaceteFuneral mass for Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete

Concelebrating the Mass with me were Archbishop Roberto Gonzales, who was also very dear friend of Lorenzo’s; Bishop Octavio Cisneros from Brooklyn; Father José Gomez, who is now responsible for the Communion and Liberation movement in United States; and many members of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Charles Borromeo.Funeral mass for Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete

Of course, Lorenzo’s funeral brought together quite an eclectic crowd of friends, acquaintances and admirers. Among those present were the Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, Carl Anderson, and his wife Dorian. Certainly, there were also many members of Communion and Liberation.

I want to share my homily at the funeral with you here:Funeral mass for Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete

Allow me first of all to tender my heartfelt condolences to
Manuel, to Mary and Olivetta, to the many friends and the C.L. (Communion and Liberation) communities.

I spoke with Cardinal Wuerl yesterday, he wanted to be here and  sends regards and assurances of prayer and condolences.  The Cardinal has asked Father Lee Fangmeyer and Father Frank Early to represent him and the archdiocese of Washington.  Father Lorenzo was very proud to be a member of the clergy of Washington.

I also wish to express gratitude to the Parish of St. Mary’s where for many years Father Lorenzo celebrated the Spanish mass. Thank you, Father Andrew, for your gracious hospitality.

We are also pleased that Archbishop Roberto Gonzalez, such a close friend of Father Lorenzo’s, Bishop Cisneros, Father Jose Medina, and Father Chris Marino are all with us this morning.  We are especially pleased that the supreme Knight Carl Anderson and his dear wife Dorian are here as well.

“Harto dificil resulta para mi…”
These were the opening words of my homily at Lorenzo’s first Mass. they became sort of a code that I would throw into a talk if Lorenzo were present.  That would always get a rise out of him.

But today these words ring true: Harto dificil resulta para mi.

This is very hard for all of us who love this man.

Graham Greene, Evelyn Waugh and Garcia Marquez together did not have enough imagination and genius to invent Father Lorenzo Albacete Cintrón.  Only God could create a Lorenzo and then He broke the mold because the world did not deserve to have two Lorenzo’s.

In the English world, the day after Christmas is boxing day, a day when employees and tradesmen would receive gifts.  If Puerto Rico had a boxing day it would be the day after the feast of the Epiphany or” Reyes” as the Boricuas say; it would be January 7.  That is the day Lorenzo arrived in this world.  He has truly been a gift, a gift of the Magi to borrow the title from O’Henry’s story, but Lorenzo is the gift of the Magi, the Reyes.

He has certainly been a gift in my life for almost 5 decades.  I had met Lorenzo at that time in his life when he took his famous vacation to Bogota, Colombia.  A vacation Manolo arranged for Lolo (for Lorenzo).  Later Lorenzo told us how he disguised himself as a priest to get near Pope Paul.  When he confessed to the Pope he was not really a priest, Blessed Pope Paul said: “Why don’t you become a priest?

It was also around that time when Lorenzo first met Cardinal O’Boyle the Archbishop of Washington.  Lorenzo and I spent a lot of time at St. Matthews Cathedral where I was working with Rosario Corredera and the Hispanic community.  Lorenzo used to drive me very often.  One day, as he was wont to do, Lorenzo parked in the Cardinal’s parking space… (Any ‘no parking’ sign was an invitation to Lorenzo.)  At that moment Cardinal O’Boyle was approaching and confronted Lorenzo: “who are you,” he asked. Lorenzo replied: “I am the Cardinal”.  Cardinal O’Boyle, who was something of a curmudgeon, answered back: “I am the Cardinal!” To which Lorenzo said: “yes, you are the day Cardinal; I am the night Cardinal.”

It is no wonder that after his first Mass, Lorenzo’s mother asked me to bless her new apartment.  I said, “But, doña Conchita, your son was just ordained.”  She said, “Yes, padre, but I think he is joking.”

Sometimes Lorenzo ruffled the feathers of the hierarchy. 

Cardinal Hickey installed a special phone with an answering machine for priests so that a priest could call it any time if he had a problem.  Lorenzo used to call and say things like: “your Eminence, I’ve lost my car keys, could you help me find them.” After the Cardinal was convinced that Lorenzo was not a mental case, he made him his theological advisor.

When Lorenzo was working in Boston, he brought a car phone.  Only the president of the Unites States, the chief of police and the head of the mafia had a car phones in those days.  When Lorenzo had a car phone installed, I chided him for his extravagance and warned him that the auxiliary Bishop was very critical of Lorenzo’s spending habits.  So Lorenzo said: “really? Let’s call him up.” So Lorenzo called the Bishop from his phone in the car and said: “I’m out for a ride with Bishop Sean and I’m calling you on my new car phone.  Whoops.  I have to hang up, my other car phone is ringing now.”  Likewise in Boston when Lorenzo was asked to preach one of the Seven Last Words for the Good Friday services at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Lorenzo said: “which of the seven last words Am I supposed to speak on?” When he was told that he should preach on: “my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Lorenzo replied: “good, I won’t have to prepare.”

And when he was installed as the Rector Magnifico of the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico, he was standing next to me on the stage.  Lorenzo was wearing a baby blue academic gown with royal blue velvet panels in the ample sleeves, a colorful hood on his back, and a velvet bonnet with a golden tassel.  He was carrying something that looked like a wand.  Lorenzo turned to me and said: “If this gig as president doesn’t work out, I could get a job with Walter Mercado, (who is a very flamboyant Puerto Rican psychic and astrologer with a Liberaci-sque wardrobe.)

Lorenzo’s friendship with John Paul II dates to when the then Cardinal Wojtyla visited Washington.  Cardinal Baum asked Lorenzo to drive the future Pope around.  After he returned to Poland Cardinal Wojtyla wrote to Lorenzo with comments and ideas on the research Lorenzo was involved in at the time.  A few years later John Paul II returned to Washington.  When he met Lorenzo at St. Matthews he said: “Lorenzo, maybe now you will answer my letters.”

Years later Lorenzo was called to Rome to present plans for the John Paul II Institute along with a father from Opus Dei.  The priest from Opus Dei was impeccably dressed in his cassock, well groomed for the occasion.  He had his copious and well-developed notes in a beautiful leather binder.  The priest began by saying: “your Holiness, I did not sleep at all last night knowing that today I would have to make this presentation to the Vicar of Christ on earth.”  He then made a very formal and thorough presentation of his well-developed ideas.  Afterwards Pope John Paul turned to Lorenzo and asked him to make his presentation.  Lorenzo, with a menu of two weeks on his clerical shirt, began by saying: “your Holiness, Your Holiness, I slept very well last night.”   Lorenzo then produced an envelope from Riggs Bank, from his suit coat pocket and declared: “I had an overdraft in my checking account, so the bank notified me and sent me this envelope.”  He then read his brilliant notes from the back of the envelope and thoroughly entertained St. John Paul II.

We must be careful not to be so dazzled by Lorenzo’s incredible sense of humor.  (Fue el hombre más occurente que había conocido en toda mi vida).  There was so much more to Lorenzo.  What was so out there were: his zany wit, his unkept appearance, his disorganized life, his financial problems, his phobias and his eccentricities.  But as Erasmus said of Thomas More: “He was made and born for friendship.”  What a capacity for unconditional love!  He made everyone feel at home, you knew that you were with a friend.  “En el crepusculo de la vida, seremos juzgados solo por el amor,” said San Juan de la Cruz. “At the end of our life we will be judged only by how much we loved.”

Lorenzo’s love for his family, for Conchita, for Manolo, and for friends on every continent, Catholics and atheists, Jews and Protestants was unfailing  Lorenzo’s love touched everybody, whether they were from Triumph Magazine to the New Republic.  He had what the Spanish call “don de gente.”
That capacity for love, compassion, empathy, made Lorenzo a great friend and a great priest, because the goodness of the Good Shepherd could be glimpsed in his goodness.

Lorenzo’s was not an easy life and his problems were a great source of worry to those of us who were close to him.  There were so many false starts.  Lorenzo’s meteoric career as President of the Universidad Católica in Ponce.  After Lorenzo lost his job as Rector, I sent him two quotes from Fray Luis de León:

“Que descansada vida
la del que huye del mundanal ruido
y sigue la escondida senda
por donde han ido
los pocos sabios que en el mundo han sido.”
After experiencing what envy and intrigue can do to you, Lorenzo was like Fray Luis who wrote:
“Y con pobre mesa y casa
en el campo deleitoso
con solo Dios se compasa
y a solas su vida pasa
ni envidiado ni envidioso.”

Lorenzo’s tenure at Dunwoody was cut short; and his writing for the Sunday Magazine of New York Times came to naught.

But all of the pain and disappointment was dissipated because of Lorenzo’s friendship with Don Giussani.  Communion and Liberation was a God send for Lorenzo.  And I believe that Lorenzo was a God send for C.L.  God’s loving providence engineered this wonderful match.  Lorenzo loved young people and was such a gifted teacher and mentor to them.  His genius was to be able to dialogue with the culture, science, and with the media.  His intellect was so bright and still more illumined by his deep faith.

The love and devotion of the C.L. Community, Olivetta Danese and so many who really cared for Lorenzo and allowed him to accomplish so much, to blossom.  All of the wonderful articles inTracce and other publications, the retreats and conferences would never have happened without the help and support of CL.  Lorenzo dedicated his book God at the Ritz to Don Giussani from whom Lorenzo learned so much.  Lorenzo defines suffering as a thirst for meaning, for understanding, for solidarity, for friendship, for affirmation.  Lorenzo said: “The one who suffers wants to be assured that he or she is not crazy, guilty, an outcast for life.  I have tried to show how suffering can be a point of departure towards an encounter with Mercy as the origin and destiny of life.”

Today we are consoled that Lorenzo’s suffering was that point of departure, a preface to an encounter with Mercy.

The Emmaus story documents the encounter of two disciples, overcome with grief and fear, and the Risen Christ who seeks them out like the Hound of Heaven.  It is the story of a journey and an encounter, two concepts dear to Don Giussani and Lorenzo.  It is the story of pain and loss, being transformed into new life and joy.  The disciples are running from Calvary, they are seeking safety and they find Christ.  Or Christ finds them.

They engage in a conversation.  Cor ad cor loquitur.  Their hearts are burning within them.  Lorenzo engaged in so many of those conversations that allowed people to discover the reality of Christ.  Lorenzo’s journey touched the lives of many fellow travelers and allowed them to experience Christ no longer as a stranger, but as a friend.In his own brokenness, Lorenzo could break open the word of God and release its power.

To me, one of the most fascinating lines in this Gospel is where Luke records that Jesus “gave the impression that He was going on farther.”  At that moment the disciples might have said: “great talking to you.  So long.  See you around.”  This Gospel would never have been written if they had not invited Jesus to stay with them.  Christ wants to be invited.  At supper, Jesus shares with them His identity and allows them to recognize Him in His self giving in the breaking of the bread.  In St. Matthew’s Cathedral the De Rosen mosaic behind the altar of the Blessed Sacrament depicts the two disciples filled with Eucharistic amazement and the inscription declares: “they recognized Him in the breaking of the bread.”  The Lord disappears, but the bread remains, now in the tabernacle, the Body and Blood of Christ.

They set out at once and returned to Jerusalem.  They were now willing to risk their lives to share the Good News.  They become participants of the mission of their Master to bring glad tidings, to liberate those captive by fear in the Cenacle, to place on those who mourn in Zion a diadem instead of ashes.

I like to think that Cleopas and his buddy were at the Cenacle with Mary and the Apostles for the outpouring of the Spirit on the Church.  And I see them in today’s second reading from Acts, part of that community, devoted to the teaching of the Apostles, holding all their material goods in common, caring for the needs of all, and most importantly gathering in their homes for the breaking of the bread.  Discipleship really is about liberation and communion. And the joy of knowing that the Lord added to their numbers those who were being saved.

Lorenzo’s journey was an Emmaus journey where Christ the stranger becomes Christ the friend and liberator.Lorenzo was an eloquent messenger of the joy of the Gospel.  He found his strength in the Eucharist, he recognized Jesus in the breaking of the Bread.

Let me conclude with the prayer of an old priest, painfully aware of his own limitations and brokenness who reflects that when he lifts the host, he is overwhelmed by his own unworthiness, and he pleads with God that just as the priest held God in his unworthy hands, that God will never let him slip from God’s divine hands.

PLEGARIA DE UN SACERDOTE
(Lope de Vega)

Cuando en mis manos, Rey eterno, os miro
y la cándida víctima levanto,
de mi atrevida indignidad me espanto
y la piedad de vuestro pecho admiro.
Tal vez el alma con temor retiro,
tal vez la doy al amoroso llanto,
que, arrepentido de ofenderos tanto,
con ansias temo y con dolor suspiro.
Volved los ojos a mirarme humanos,
que por las sendas de mi error siniestras
me despeñaron pensamientos vanos;
no sean tantas las desdichas nuestras
que a quien os tuvo en sus indignas manos
vos le dejeis de las divinas vuestras.

Heavenly Father,
In thy hands we commend our brother, Lorenzo.
Hold on tight.

Funeral mass for Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete

One of the more typical “Lorenzo” touches to the Mass was that there were mariachis who played “Mi Viejo San Juan” as they carried the casket to the hearse.Funeral mass for Msgr. Lorenzo AlbaceteFuneral mass for Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete

 

The parishioners, many of whom are Puerto Rican, joined in the singing of that song, which is almost the second national anthem of Puerto Rico.

– – –

Wednesday, I had the opportunity to meet the new Episcopal Bishop of Massachusetts Alan Gates, who was just consecrated bishop in September. I was unable to attend his consecration because I was in Rome, so we were happy to invite him to have lunch with me and Bishop Arthur Kennedy at the Cathedral.3

Of course Bishop Gates succeeds Bishop Thomas Shaw who passed away in recent days and we express our condolences to the entire Episcopalian community.

– – –

That evening, I delivered the invocation at the annual dinner to benefit St. Francis House, which was founded 30 years ago by friars from St. Anthony Shrine in Boston.ATWH6

Though it is now headed by an independent board of directors, it still maintains many ties to the Archdiocese of Boston and the Friars. They provide wonderful services to homeless people and so I was very happy to be a part of their 30th anniversary celebration. During the evening they honored Jay Hooley, the president and CEO of State Street Corporation, for his remarkable support of St. Francis house.

– – –

Yesterday, I was visited by the Mother General the Daughters of St. Paul, Sister Anna Maria. She was accompanied by the provincial, Sister Leonora Wilson, and our Delegate for Religious, Sister Marian Batho.

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Sister Anna Maria is visiting all the Daughters’ houses in the United States and came for a visit during her stop in Boston. We had a very lovely talk.

They mentioned that they are preparing for the 100th anniversary of their foundation and that they will have a special gathering of the entire Pauline family with the Holy Father as part of that celebration. Also, I will be celebrating a Mass for them in June to mark the centennial of the Daughters of St. Paul and the other Pauline communities of which here in Boston we also have the Pious Disciples of the Divine Master, who were also founded by Blessed James Alberione.

– – –

Finally, with Election Day coming up next Tuesday, I want to take this opportunity to reiterate the positions that I and the other diocesan bishops of Massachusetts have taken on state ballot questions that will be decided by voters next week.I Voted!

We urge a Yes vote on Question 3, which would roll back the establishment of casino gambling in our Commonwealth. The law that we have now was crafted and enacted in a time of extreme economic hardship, a time in which the state was, understandably, looking for new ways of creating jobs and revenue. However, expanded gambling is an uncertain source of revenue — many casinos in our region are shrinking or closing — and its revenue comes disproportionately from those working people and families who can least afford to gamble. Thankfully, we are experiencing an economic recovery that is stronger here than in most parts of the country and we can see that revenues and employment can continue to grow without all the social ills that high stakes gambling brings with it. This ballot question presents us an opportunity to look back at the decision to bring casino gambling to our state and correct it.

We have also stated our support for a yes vote on Question 4 that would require all Massachusetts employers to offer earned sick time to their employees. The social gospel of the Church urges us to look with compassion on those who are struggling to make a living with low pay jobs. These are the people who, many times, need to choose between going to work sick or losing the meager hourly wage that provides for them and their loved ones. A yes on Question 4 would allow workers in Massachusetts to earn up to 40 hours a year of sick time to take care of their own health or to care for a family member. It is only fair.

Until next week,

Cardinal Seán

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