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19
Jul

Guest post: Father Michael Drea

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Hello and welcome!

This morning, I was pleased to take part in a press conference held by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, at which he expressed his willingness to allow either of two military bases in the Commonwealth to be used to temporarily house refugee children from Central America. This has been a request of the federal government and the governor Massachusetts wants to respond compassionately.

We are very pleased that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is responding to try to help these children who are entering the United States without their parents. Governor Patrick has contacted us and inquired if Catholic Charities and other Catholic organizations would be willing to help. Of course, we were more than happy to do whatever we can to lend our support to this project. I was pleased that representatives from Protestant, Catholic, Jewish and Muslim groups were also present to express their support, as well.

I would like to share my remarks at the press conference with you here:

Governor Patrick has recognized the authentic human tragedy, and indeed humanitarian crisis, presented by the children now at the border coming from Central America. This past week, Pope Francis in addressing the question of immigration globally, recognized both the complexity of the question in its broad dimensions, but then focused on the overwhelming immediacy of the needs of these children. The Holy Father addressed directly the human and moral crisis on our border through these words:

“I would also like to draw attention to the tens of thousands of children who migrate alone, unaccompanied, to escape poverty and violence: This is a category of migrants from Central America and Mexico itself who cross the border with the United States under extreme conditions and in pursuit of a hope that in most cases turns out to be vain. They are increasing day by day. This humanitarian emergency requires, as a first urgent measure, these children be welcomed and protected. These measures, however, will not be sufficient, unless they are accompanied by policies that inform people about the dangers of such a journey and, above all, that promote development in their countries of origin.”

The Catholic Church at every level, globally, nationally and locally has long experience in assisting immigrants and refugees often fleeing from danger, suffering and deprivation, and we are willing to enter a collaborative relationship with the government to meet this urgent emergency.

We do not have Church facilities that are appropriate, but we do have social service agencies in the Archdiocese with skilled resources to provide programs of assistance and support within the framework of a larger federal and state program providing finances and collaboration. It is crucial for all of us I believe to begin any discussion with our eyes on these children. The Archdiocesan agencies are already stretched by demands here at home, but we still wish to offer our help in facing this humanitarian emergency. I ask my own faith community and the wider public to understand compassionately the extreme circumstances these children are facing. As a country and a Church we are capable of providing crucial assistance.

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After concluding my meetings with the Holy Father earlier this month, I have been taking a few days to visit with my family and friends. Since I am only now getting back, this week I have asked Father Michael Drea to tell you a little about the many activities going on at his parish, St. Paul’s in Cambridge.

- Cardinal Seán

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I am honored to have been asked to ‘guest blog’ this week for His Eminence, Cardinal Seán.  5795322610031This entry comes to you from the Parish of St. Paul, Harvard Square – Cambridge – home of St. Paul’s Choir School, the only Catholic Choir School for boys in the United States, and the Harvard Catholic Center, providing for the spiritual well-being of the Catholic community at Harvard University. HarvardHolyHour-GTracy-01

As the pastor of this unique parish in our archdiocese and senior chaplain to the Harvard Catholic Center, it is a great privilege to be able to serve the Church and the faithful who are drawn from the four corners of the world in a community that so intentionally engages the vital work of the New Evangelization.  Joining me in this week’s post is John Robinson, our Music Director at St. Paul’s and the Choir School.  I have asked John to share with you some of the highlights of our Choir School for boys in grades four through eight, while I will speak about the ministry to the students, faculty, staff, alumni and parents of Harvard University.

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With Cardinal Sean and Choir School director John Robinson

Boston is the quintessential university town – home to some of the finest centers of higher education in America. Situated in this hub of academia, how important it is that we engage the talented, gifted and faith-filled young people who come to Boston and, for the purposes of this entry, to the shores of the Charles River, from the world over to undertake the academic pursuit at the highest level. 

Since 1893 at Harvard, the Church has had a vital and active presence on the campus of what many term the ‘greatest university in world’. With approval from Harvard President Charles Eliot and with the support of Bishop John Keane, the rector of The Catholic University of America, the Harvard Catholic Center officially came into existence that year. At the time, The Pilot stated that the Harvard Catholic Center’s purpose was to “increase the friendship between the Catholic and Protestants which now exists in the University and to make the Catholic faith better known to those outside of it. Moreover, through this Catholic organization, eminent laymen and clergymen will come to Cambridge and lecture on import moral and religious questions.”

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As I say so often, as Harvard engages these students in a variety of academic disciplines at the University, the Church must also form and shape these future leaders so as to be bright lights for Jesus Christ who go forth into the board rooms, courtrooms, surgical suites, labs, classrooms and the highest levels of government in the world as faith-filled Catholic leaders. Daily we strive to embrace the early motto of Harvard: Veritas Christo et ecclesiae – Truth for Christ and the Church!

As bright Catholic minds come to this University, the Harvard Catholic Center is fully responsible for providing for the spiritual well-being of the Catholic community on campus by offering an enriching faith experience sacramentally, spiritually, intellectually and through the lived witness of the Gospel in a social outreach context.

As chaplains, we never know whose lives we will touch through an encounter with Jesus. Just think for instance that at the Harvard Catholic Center the future-first Catholic American president, John Fitzgerald Kennedy ‘40, worshiped regularly at St. Paul’s and volunteered at the Center’s reception desk. Avery Cardinal Dulles, SJ ‘40, the great American theologian was received into the Church as an undergraduate at St. Paul’s. This year, Aurora Griffin ’14 of California, a Catholic Rhodes Scholar heads to Oxford in the fall having served as the president at the Harvard Catholic Student Association. Countless other Catholic alumni have gone on to distinguish themselves in the world around us and the Catholic Center has helped to prepare them to live their faith in the world.

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The work that my brother priests, Fr. George Salzmann, OSFS, graduate chaplain, and Fr. Mark Murphy, undergraduate chaplain, and I engage with our students helps them to live their faith with purpose and conviction in the midst of a world that does not always value faith.  Evangelization and outreach is enhanced by the work of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) who are now in their third year under the guidance of the Catholic chaplains at Harvard. Together our energetic and enthusiastic team serves as a ‘Beacon for Jesus Christ’ at Harvard drawing not only Catholic students, but also those who are exploring entry into the Catholic faith through our RCIA program.  How edifying it is to journey with these young people as they seek to grow in a relationship with Jesus that will impact, shape and forever change them as bright lights for the Lord in the world. 

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Young people are searching for the Truth, but unfortunately, the world offers conflicting and unfulfilling answers.  Only Jesus Christ can satisfy the heart of these young people.  This past Spring, we saw an evil message attempting to draw people away from Christ through the ‘black mass’ that threatened the Harvard Catholic community and the campus as a whole.

The Truth of Christ triumphed as over 2,000 young people along with Harvard President Drew Faust joined with us in prayer before our Eucharistic Lord to seek strength and guidance during a holy hour at St. Paul’s.  Many readers of this blog will recall that event and I wish to thank you for your prayers that helped our community through that dark moment.  That event confirmed so clearly that the presence of the Church at Harvard as well as on other campuses is so greatly needed for our young people. Please pray for us in our ministry!

And now, John Robinson will speak about another bright light for the New Evangelization at St. Paul’s – St. Paul’s Choir School.

- Father Drea

 

Directing the Choir at St. Paul’s is an incredible and varied job. First and foremost the Choir (the only Catholic Choir of men and boys in the United States) is here to raise hearts and minds to God each day at Mass. We sing great music from the history of the Church, which connects us to the prayers of Catholics throughout the ages. God’s great gift of music is a blessing we are thankful for on a daily basis. This great music is at the very heart of the boys’ development, and we are ever more grateful for the chance to sing it in its rightful liturgical context.

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In addition to that ‘core’ responsibility we engage in a number of wonderful and exciting musical adventures every year. This last academic year saw us sing alongside the Vienna Boy Choir, the Harvard Glee Club, and the Choir of Guildford Cathedral amongst many others. But the real highlight of the year came in the form of a long-anticipated musical pilgrimage to Rome, in celebration of the Choir School’s 50th anniversary year. It’s very hard to name a high point in a visit which included singing in the presence of the Holy Father, for Mass at the Chair of St. Peter at the very heart of Christendom, as well as singing Mass in the Basilica at Assisi, at Santa Maria Maggiore and at Sant’Andrea della Valle from the glorious 17th century Choir Loft. We sang wonderful Latin Polyphony appropriate to the All Saints season (when we were there) and it was deeply moving to feel the synergy between incredible Architecture, Music, and Liturgy all combining in reverent praise. Many of the boys named this Roman experience as the most memorable of their entire Choir School years. We were so lucky to have a Pastor who knows Rome so well, and who was able to make such a daunting visit run so smoothly and calmly!

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The Choir School was founded in 1963 by Dr. Theodore Marier in order to teach boys how best to serve the Church through music and to acquire an excellent Catholic formation and education. It was modeled on the great historic Cathedral and Collegiate Choir Schools in Europe, most of which now survive in England. In celebrating our 50th anniversary year which ran until June 2014, we were really able to ‘take stock’ of the achievements of this small but unique school. So many alumni returned during the year, especially from the early years, and spoke of all they owed to the Choir School. We are most honored to have nurtured a number of vocations to the religious life including even a Bishop in the form of our own Bishop Peter Uglietto ‘65.

Many alumni returned to some of our larger events and spoke of their joy at the Choir School continuing its core musical mission in singing works by great Catholic composers such as Palestrina, Bruckner and William Byrd. In addition to the tour to Rome, our 50th anniversary year also included a celebratory Vespers service with the Harvard Glee Club, an organ recital which featured alumni who have gone on to be organists and Directors of Music, and the highlight of a Mass celebrated by our own Cardinal Sean to round out the 50th anniversary year, at which we had the pleasure of singing his favorite setting: Mozart’s Coronation Mass.

Parents of boys in grade 3 and 4 are encouraged to consider St. Paul’s Choir School – the only Catholic choir school for boys in the U.S. When we work with boys to see if this could be a good fit, all we are looking for is potential. We know that many boys will not have had the chance to sing or be trained to the kind of standards we aspire to, so we are just looking for willingness to learn, and the ability to hold a tune.

When prospective pupils visit the School, we give them a short written test, designed to see how they are progressing academically, and a very friendly and informal singing session. Commitment to the Choir is essential, and so we always talk with parents at length about what this would mean for them, and about some of the challenges of attending such a unique School. In every case, however, the memories and experiences created by the School outweigh the level of commitment required, and Choir School parents are amongst the happiest of any School community.

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We were fortunate indeed to get to know Monica and Kevin Fitzgibbons of Aim Higher Media during the past year. Having been aware of the Choir School for many years since Monica was at Boston University, this dynamic Catholic recording company contacted the Choir School after hearing the boys live at an event in Holy Cross Cathedral. After hearing the remarkable story of their careers in the (very high-end) recording industry, this all began to get very exciting.

This couple has done something remarkable for Church music in making best-selling recordings out of Catholic music sung by nuns. It seems very clear they are blessed with great vision, and guidance. Over the months, Fr. Drea and I got to know this wonderful Catholic recording team better and better, and we were overjoyed to be able to get to the point of actually making a recording with them.

The best kind of distribution and promotion will be used, which will all go to help raise awareness of the wonderful tradition of Church music, as well as to raise the profile of St. Paul’s Choir School, and to help advance our mission of singing beautiful Church Music in service to the liturgy, and increasingly to draw people to the Church as well. We could not be happier to be involved with this great project. As the Choir develops, having a fine recording or two is always a great catalyst to higher-profile tours, concerts and recruitment. Our first recording (a Christmas release) will be available on Amazon from October 7th this coming year, so please do support the Choir School by purchasing this perfect Christmas gift.

Please do join us during term time at the 11.00 a.m. Solemn Mass at St. Paul’s, Harvard Square. Please also share this post with parents of boys in grades 3 or 4 who seek a unique Catholic education.

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- John Robinson

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12
Jul

Reflections of a newly ordained priest: Father Mark Storey

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Hello and welcome!

I hope you are all having a good start to the summer.

As I mentioned in my post last week, as I usually do this time of year, I have asked two of our newly ordained priests to introduce themselves to you through a guest post on my blog.

Last week, we heard from Father Karlo Hocurscak, who attended St. John’s Seminary and this week we have a post from Father Mark Storey, who attended Pope St. John XXIII Seminary in Weston.

- Cardinal Seán

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Hello everyone!

I’m Father Mark Storey, but please feel free to call me Father Mark.FrStorey

I was born in Montreal just shortly after the melting of the northern polar ice caps, and I grew up in southern Ontario in the city of Hamilton, Grimsby which is close to the city of St. Catharines and Niagara Falls in southern Ontario.

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In my late teens, my family moved back to Montreal for two years, just prior to moving to the Boston area in 1973. At that time we lived in Needham, right next door to Dedham. By the way, because inquiring minds want to know, I am a Boston Bruins fan, although I haven’t had much time to watch the game over the past four years.

I studied Chemical Engineering at Northeastern University where I received a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Chemical Engineering. Shortly afterwards, I joined an old historic Boston company with its origins in the mid 1800s, The Badger Company, located in Cambridge, where I worked with a great group of scientists, engineers and dear friends until the time that I left in 2010 — about 30 years.

The Badger Company specialized in the design, construction, startup and licensing of large commodity chemical plants, as well as refineries. Most of my work life involved projects and travel to the Far East, specifically in Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China and South Africa for projects.

I have been married twice, the first time in 1982, and the second in 1992. I have a 28 year old daughter from my first marriage, Elizabeth, who lives at the family home on the South Shore. My first wife, Sandra, died in 1989 after a lengthy battle with metastatic cancer. Elizabeth was three years old at the time. My second wife, Mary Catherine, died in 1999 after extensive complications from diabetes and an almost two year period of time in nursing homes and hospitals. I believe that they have both gone to our true home, which is in heaven, and that they are praying in support of my vocation to the priesthood.Cardinal Sean with my family

Cardinal Sean with my family

As for my faith life, I grew up in the Anglican Church in Canada and I remember as a youth regularly attending each Sunday morning. I was baptized, but not confirmed. It was convenient to attend each week since we lived right next door to the church. My mother sang in the adult choir and I sang in the children’s choir. But something happened in my life during my late teenage years and twenties. Either I grew complacent or perhaps just plain lazy, but I stopped going to church on a regular basis. I was searching for something, but I didn’t know just what. I certainly still believed in God and, if anyone were to ask me, I would have said that I was spiritual, but there was something lacking. There were even flirtations with other Christian denominations, which I attended only sporadically but I certainly had fallen away from any weekly praise and worship.

It wasn’t until my first wife Sandy died that I was suddenly shocked into the reality of being a single parent caring for a young child. As I mentioned previously, my daughter was three years old at the time. I realized that it was up to me, and me alone, to teach Elizabeth about the Christian faith. I was scared and I didn’t know how or where to begin. I prayed one afternoon for God to help me make the right decision. I remember like it was yesterday, that I committed my life to him if only he would help me. Soon thereafter, I began going back to church on a weekly basis, without missing a beat — first to the local Episcopal church, and then later with my fiancée, Mary, to the Catholic church in Hanover. Hanover_StMaryoftheSacredHeart_01

St. Mary’s, Hanover

At St. Mary of the Sacred Heart Parish in Hanover I was immediately drawn to the beauty of the liturgy and the welcoming community and pastor there. At long last, I had found my new home. I entered RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) and at the Easter Vigil 1992, I was officially confirmed into the Catholic Church, and Elizabeth was baptized.

Mass of Thanksgiving at St Marys Hanover L to R Fr Alfano dcn McLaughlin Dcn Joy, myself Bishop Dennis, Fr. Chris, Dcn Harrington and Fr. Henry Doherty

Celebrating a Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Mary’s Hanover in May. With me at the altar are  Fr. Alfano, Deacon McLaughlin, Deacon Joy, Bishop Dennis, Fr. Chris Hickey, Deacon Harrington and Fr. Henry Doherty

They say that “Man Plans and God Laughs.” Well, after Elizabeth graduated from Emmanuel College, I had thoughts of retirement and living part of the year in Florida and the other half in Massachusetts.

My plan. But God had a very different idea for me. Presbyteral ordination of Fathers Jeffrey Archer, Steven Clemence, Peter DeFazio, George Fitzsimmons, Kevin Hickey, Karlo Hocuscak, Mark Storey, Lawrence Tocci and Jiwon Yoon at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross May 24, 2014. Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

My vocation came very suddenly when one Friday evening I was praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament, and in a flash I just knew, I received an incredibly strong call that God was inviting me to study for the priesthood of Jesus Christ. Within a month, I was meeting with the Vocations Director for Boston and I entered Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary in Weston, in August 2010.

During my studies, I have been assigned to some great parishes with some wonderful priests, and friends. My assignments took me to St. Agatha Parish in Milton, St. Mary’s Parish in Franklin, the collaborative of Sacred Heart and St. John’s Parishes in Manchester-by-the-Sea and Essex, and last year to St. Catherine of Alexandria in Westford. FrStorey_photo (5)

Besides my seminary professors and pastors who helped in my formation, I have several friends who have guided me along the path to my own priesthood and shown me great examples of what parish priesthood is like. They have mentored me and stood by me when times got tough. Specifically, Father John Carmichael, Pastor at St. Ann’s in Marshfield, Father Chris Hickey Pastor of St. Mary’s in Hanover and St. Helens in Norwell, Father Richard Curran in Somerville, Father Henry Doherty former pastor in Hanover and Father Martin Connor a longtime spiritual director at St. John’s Seminary, who was my spiritual director before I entered Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary. In my opinion, the seminary Fathers, professors and staff are world class and all had a hand in taking “the likes of me” and forming me to become a priest of Jesus Christ.

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I am very excited, and blessed to have been assigned to St. Mary’s in Dedham by Cardinal Seán.  With the Help of God, I will always try to do my very best for each and every one there.

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God Bless you All,

Father Mark

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04
Jul

Reflections of a newly ordained priest: Father Karlo Hocurscak

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Hello and welcome!

Each year around this time, after they have had a chance to settle in to their new parish assignments, I like to invite some of our newly ordained priests to share some of their experiences with you.

This week, I have asked Father Karlo Hocurscak to tell you a little about himself. Next week, we will hear from Father Mark Storey.

I wish you a safe and happy Independence Day!

- Cardinal Seán

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When I look back on my ordination day of May 24th, I can only remember the joy I felt that day. I lived at St. John’s Seminary for six years leading up to my ordination to the priesthood. Studying at the seminary was a privileged time in my life as I was focused on learning about theology and deepening my relationship with Christ and his Church. Studying at St. John’s Seminary was challenging, but it affirmed in me the conviction that Jesus was calling me to be His priest. Now that my time in the seminary was over after six years, the day I dreamed about had finally arrived.

When the ordination began, the nine of us who were to be ordained processed into the Cathedral and I was able to see all the various groups of people who I knew from my journey toward priesthood. There was a group of people from my home parish of Sacred Hearts in Bradford, where I was for ten years before I decided to enter the seminary. There was also a large group from the tri-parishes in Brockton of St. Edith Stein, Christ the King, and Our Lady of Lourdes where I was assigned as a deacon who came out to watch my ordination. There were other people who came from other locations as well, such as my family and friends including a Third Order Carmelite who prayed for me every day for six years in her daily prayers. It was wonderful to see so many people who walked with me on my journey to the priesthood being able to see my ordination. image

The experience of being ordained is something that is hard to put into words. In the seminary, we learned a lot about what the priesthood is. While study of the priesthood is necessary and beautiful when I think about how Jesus wants me to share in His priesthood, no amount of study can cover the complete reality of the priest as it is wrapped into the mystery of Christ himself whom we can never know completely. God has an individual plan for each and every one of his priests and I will spend the rest of my life discovering what that is. Before the awesomeness of this moment in my life, all I could think to do was to ask the Holy Spirit to come into my heart and to make me a holy priest after the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

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You can sometimes worry about things that can go wrong and I had that moment during my ordination. After I was ordained Cardinal O’Malley anointed my hands with chrism oil. Since as a priest, I consecrate the Eucharist and carry out many of my priestly duties using my hands, they are anointed as a sign that my hands are to be used to carry out sacred works.

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After my hands were anointed, I was supposed to wipe the oil off of my hands, but the purificator that I thought was waiting for me was not at my seat. I can tell you that Cardinal O’Malley was very generous with the oil when he anointed my hands. Therefore I started to worry because I had a lot of oil on my hands. Next, we all had to go up and to receive the chalice and paten from the Cardinal as a sign of our priestly duty to offer the sacrifice of the Mass for the Christian people. During our rehearsal we were told to grab the chalice and paten like we were going to take it from the Cardinal. But as you can see, I was barely touching it because I still had the chrism oil all over my hands.

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Now I was really starting to worry because the next part was going to be the kiss of peace where all the priests were going to come up to me to welcome me into the priesthood. There was no way that I could possibly keep the oil on my hand with more than a hundred priests coming to greet me.

The reason that I wanted to wipe my hands clean with a purificator is because there is a tradition that a newly ordained priest gives it to his mother. When the mother of a priest dies, the cloth used to wipe the chrism from a newly ordained priest is placed in her hands and she is buried with it. Then at the resurrection for the final judgment, the mother would have the cloth with the chrism on it to show as a sign that she gave a son to the Church to share in the priesthood of Jesus Christ. Finally somebody saw that I still needed to wipe my hands and got me a purificator which the photographer from the Pilot caught me using.

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Now with oil free hands, I was able to exchange the sign of peace with Cardinal O’Malley and my new brother priests.

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After the ordination, we gathered all together for a group photo with the class. Our ordination class of nine was the largest ordination for Boston in over ten years. Let us pray that more men will listen to if Christ is calling them to the priesthood and to generously answer that call to serve Christ as his priest.

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I had my first Mass of Thanksgiving at Our Lady of Lourdes in Brockton. It was where I was assigned for my pastoral assignment for my final two years in the seminary which included my time as a transitional deacon. It was wonderful to be able to say Mass in a parish where many people were able to accompany me on my journey as I drew closer to my priesthood ordination. Having prepared for six years to be a priest, it is a surreal experience to be able to offer the sacrifice of the Mass. I would also like to thank the pastor, and my friend, Fr. Joseph Raeke. His example to me and his willingness to share his 34 years of priesthood with me made my pastoral assignment with him a joy and helped to prepare me for priesthood in a way that I would not have been able to do without his guidance.

My first assignment is in Beverly. I am currently serving in St. Mary Star of the Sea, St. John the Evangelist, and St. Margaret. I am assigned with Fr. Mark Mahoney who taught a course at the seminary during my last year at St. John’s Seminary. When I heard that I was assigned to work with Fr. Mahoney I was very excited to know that he would be my future pastor.

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St. Mary Star of the Sea

 

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The day before my starting date in the Beverly collaborative a fundraiser golf tournament was held for St. Mary’s School. I happily accepted an invitation to join. So I got to play golf for my first day in the parish. If my friends from the seminary learned that, they might be a little jealous.

It was a beautiful day, but my golf skills where not very good. I told anyone who saw me swing at the ball that I spent more time studying theology than working on my golf game. Even though my team did not win, it was a wonderful opportunity to meet people in the parish and for us to get to know each other.

My first few weeks in Beverly have been wonderful. The people have been very welcoming to me as I have been adjusting to life as a priest. I have had many first experiences as a priest in Beverly. In my first three weeks in Beverly, I have had my first anointing, confession, funeral, and many first Masses in the collaborative, as there are nine weekend Masses that are offered in Beverly. My first month of priesthood has been a joy. Yes, the life of a priest is busy, but if God gives strength to His priests to carry out His holy will. One thing that I would ask though is if you have some spare moment during the week, please pray for more holy priests who are willing to serve Christ and His Church to lead the people of God to Christ.

God Bless,

Fr. Karlo

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28
Jun

Celebrating our wedding anniversary couples

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We are gratified that this week the Supreme Court has unanimously ruled to strike down the Massachusetts law that allowed for the creation of 35-foot buffer zones around the entrance of abortion facilities.

For people to be able to express their convictions in public is a right, and we trust that those holding vigils at abortion clinics are not harassing people but rather praying for them and offering them an alternative because we know that many women opt to accept the help that is being offered to them by sidewalk counselors.

The Supreme Court’s decision is a very important one that protects religious freedom in a time when there are many challenges to religious rights.

I’d like to share with you the statement I released through the U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops shortly after the decision was announced:

Today the Supreme Court found unconstitutional a Massachusetts law imposing criminal penalties on pro-life Americans who peacefully pray for and offer alternatives to pregnant women approaching abortion clinics. This discriminatory law barred these citizens from gathering on nearby public sidewalks, while exempting “clinic escorts” trained to expedite women into the facility. Clearly this was an attack on pro-life Americans’ freedom of speech, and we welcome the Court’s decision to overturn the law.

This now overturned legislation reflects an ominous trend in our society. Abortion supporters, having long denied that unborn children have a right to life, would deny that their fellow Americans who seek to protect the unborn have the same rights as other Americans — the right to freedom of speech and freedom of association; the right to participate in the public square and serve the vulnerable in accord with our moral convictions. Increasingly we see this trend evidenced at various levels of government. We are encouraged and pleased to know that with regard to this particular issue, our highest court has affirmed the American tradition of basic constitutional rights for all.

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Last Wednesday we celebrated the Jubilee anniversary Mass for our priests and religious brothers in the archdiocese. Along with our diocesan priests who were celebrating 25 years of ordination, there were two Xaverian Brothers celebrating 50 years of religious life, two Brothers of Hope celebrating 25 years, and one Salesian father who joined us for the celebration.JubilarianPriests Bros-GTracy-IMG_4045

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With the jubilarian priests

There was a concelebrated Mass in Bethany Chapel and afterwards we had a gathering with them and their friends and families. JubilarianPriests Bros-GTracy-IMG_4057

With the jubilarian brothers

It was a very joyful occasion to be able to celebrate the jubilees of our priests and consecrated religious.

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Thursday, was the final meeting of the archdiocese’s Improved Financial Relationship Committee. They have been very successful in guiding and implementing the archdiocese’s financial new model that promotes greater cooperation between the archdiocese and the parishes.

Their dedication was extraordinary. I believe they have had more than 50 meetings over the years. We are very grateful to all those who volunteered and serve so generously on that board along with our staff members who have done extraordinary work and particularly Denise McKinnon-Biernat.IFRM-CPineo-IMG_1936

To thank them for all their hard work over these many years at the end of the last meeting we had a light reception with them.

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Friday, I was visited by Bishop John Baptist Kaggwa of the Diocese of Masaka, Uganda. He was accompanied by Father Joseph Kayongo, who is a priest from Uganda who ministers to the Ugandan Catholic community here in the archdiocese while pursuing a graduate degree at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, and Fathers Emmanuel Delli and David Ssenkaii.3

Bishop Kaggwa was in Boston for the annual Mass for the Ugandan Martyrs, celebrated at St. Mary Parish in Waltham. The Mass is always an inspiring tribute to the faith of the Ugandan people and an uplifting and joyous celebration.

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Saturday, I visited St. John Parish in Townsend to dedicate and bless their new parish center. It was the Feast of Corpus Christi so there was a Eucharistic procession at the conclusion of the Mass. IMGP7419

The whole parish participated in the celebration and part of the celebration was the blessing of the new parish center.

Father Jeremy St. Martin is pastor at St. John’s. He is doing just a fabulous job there and oversaw the construction of this new center. I know it will be a wonderful resource for the parish for years to come.

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Sunday, as we do each year in the spring, we have an opportunity for couples from throughout the archdiocese who are celebrating significant wedding anniversaries to come to a Mass at the Cathedral and to renew their vows. We had a full Cathedral for the celebration this year.

Couples celebrating more than 60 years of marriage:

Couples celebrating 25, 50 and 60-plus years of marriage join a special Mass celebrated by Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross June, 22, 2014.  At the Mass the cardinal led the couples in a renewal of vows. (Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy)

50th anniversary couples:

Couples celebrating 25, 50 and 60-plus years of marriage join a special Mass celebrated by Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross June, 22, 2014.  At the Mass the cardinal led the couples in a renewal of vows. (Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy)

Couples celebrating 25, 50 and 60-plus years of marriage join a special Mass celebrated by Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross June, 22, 2014.  At the Mass the cardinal led the couples in a renewal of vows. (Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy)

25th anniversary couples:

Aniversary25th_01Couples celebrating 25, 50 and 60-plus years of marriage join a special Mass celebrated by Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross June, 22, 2014.  At the Mass the cardinal led the couples in a renewal of vows. (Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy)Couples celebrating 25, 50 and 60-plus years of marriage join a special Mass celebrated by Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross June, 22, 2014.  At the Mass the cardinal led the couples in a renewal of vows. (Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy)

Among those renewing their vows were the parents of Father Jonathan Gaspar and Mary Ann McLaughlin co-director of our office of worship and spiritual life.McLaughlin

It is always a beautiful, happy occasion.

During this year’s celebration we were blessed to have a relic of St. John Paul II present at the Cathedral. The relic was brought in procession at the beginning of the Mass and placed by the altar. The relic of St. Pope John Paul II is displayed next the altar of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross during Mass Sunday June 22, 2014.  Following the Mass, the relic was carried in procession to the cathedral’s side chapel for veneration. (Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy)The relic of St. Pope John Paul II is displayed next the altar of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross during Mass Sunday June 22, 2014.  Following the Mass, the relic was carried in procession to the cathedral’s side chapel for veneration. (Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy)

Afterwards, it was taken to the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, where the lines to venerate it were out the door.JPIIRelic-GTracy_13JPIIRelic-GTracy_14Hundreds of Catholic faithful came to venerate the relic of Pope St. John Paul II at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross June 22, 2014.  The relic was at the cathedral June 21 and 22 as the first stop on a national tour being sponsored by St. John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, D.C. and the Knights of Columbus. (Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy)

Hundreds of Catholic faithful came to venerate the relic of Pope St. John Paul II at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross June 22, 2014.  The relic was at the cathedral June 21 and 22 as the first stop on a national tour being sponsored by St. John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, D.C. and the Knights of Columbus. (Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy)

Hundreds of Catholic faithful came to venerate the relic of Pope St. John Paul II at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross June 22, 2014.  The relic was at the cathedral June 21 and 22 as the first stop on a national tour being sponsored by St. John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, D.C. and the Knights of Columbus. (Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy)

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Then, in the afternoon, I went to greet the people at the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help (Mission Church). It was the Feast Day of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, who is the Patroness of Haiti.4

There was great enthusiasm because the new Cardinal from Haiti came to celebrate the Mass this year, Cardinal Chibly Langlois, who is staying with me at the rectory.Members of the Haitian community in Boston pack Mission Church for a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Chibly Langlois, the first cardinal from their homeland marking the Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help June 22, 2014. 
Pilot photo/ Christopher S. Pineo 
Members of the Haitian community in Boston pack Mission Church for a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Chibly Langlois, the first cardinal from their homeland marking the Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help June 22, 2014. 
Pilot photo/ Christopher S. Pineo 
Members of the Haitian community in Boston pack Mission Church for a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Chibly Langlois, the first cardinal from their homeland marking the Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help June 22, 2014. 
Pilot photo/ Christopher S. Pineo 
Members of the Haitian community in Boston pack Mission Church for a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Chibly Langlois, the first cardinal from their homeland marking the Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help June 22, 2014. 
Pilot photo/ Christopher S. Pineo 
Members of the Haitian community in Boston pack Mission Church for a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Chibly Langlois, the first cardinal from their homeland marking the Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help June 22, 2014. 
Pilot photo/ Christopher S. Pineo 
Members of the Haitian community in Boston pack Mission Church for a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Chibly Langlois, the first cardinal from their homeland marking the Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help June 22, 2014. 
Pilot photo/ Christopher S. Pineo

Members of the Haitian community in Boston pack Mission Church for a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Chibly Langlois, the first cardinal from their homeland marking the Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help June 22, 2014. 
Pilot photo/ Christopher S. Pineo 
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During Cardinal Chibly’s stay with us at the cathedral rectory we were visited by Brother Jim Peterson and Father Frantz Giles, a Capuchin from Haiti who is staying in Boston this month. 1

It was good to learn about the Capuchins’ ministry in Haiti and how they are assisting with the ongoing work of assisting people in need there and rebuilding the work of the Church following the devastating earthquake there.

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Then that evening, I attended the annual gala dinner to support our Redemptoris Mater Seminary which was held in Norwood. The Redemptoris Mater Seminary of the Archdiocese of Boston’s 5th Annual Gala Dinner held June 22, 2014 at the Four Points Sheraton in Norwood.  Honorees of the evening were Robert Mahoney, president of Belmont Savings Bank and John Garvey, president of The Catholic University of America. Photos by Gregory L. Tracy

This year, they honored Bob Mahoney, who serves on our archdiocesan finance Council and John Garvey, President of the Catholic University of America.The Redemptoris Mater Seminary of the Archdiocese of Boston’s 5th Annual Gala Dinner held June 22, 2014 at the Four Points Sheraton in Norwood.  Honorees of the evening were Robert Mahoney, president of Belmont Savings Bank and John Garvey, president of The Catholic University of America. Photos by Gregory L. Tracy

With Bob Mahoney and his familyThe Redemptoris Mater Seminary of the Archdiocese of Boston’s 5th Annual Gala Dinner held June 22, 2014 at the Four Points Sheraton in Norwood.  Honorees of the evening were Robert Mahoney, president of Belmont Savings Bank and John Garvey, president of The Catholic University of America. Photos by Gregory L. Tracy

With President Garvey and Bob before the dinner

The Redemptoris Mater Seminary of the Archdiocese of Boston’s 5th Annual Gala Dinner held June 22, 2014 at the Four Points Sheraton in Norwood.  Honorees of the evening were Robert Mahoney, president of Belmont Savings Bank and John Garvey, president of The Catholic University of America. Photos by Gregory L. Tracy

President Garvey was the evening’s keynote speaker. The Redemptoris Mater Seminary of the Archdiocese of Boston’s 5th Annual Gala Dinner held June 22, 2014 at the Four Points Sheraton in Norwood.  Honorees of the evening were Robert Mahoney, president of Belmont Savings Bank and John Garvey, president of The Catholic University of America. Photos by Gregory L. TracyThe Redemptoris Mater Seminary of the Archdiocese of Boston’s 5th Annual Gala Dinner held June 22, 2014 at the Four Points Sheraton in Norwood.  Honorees of the evening were Robert Mahoney, president of Belmont Savings Bank and John Garvey, president of The Catholic University of America. Photos by Gregory L. Tracy

The Redemptoris Mater Seminary of the Archdiocese of Boston’s 5th Annual Gala Dinner held June 22, 2014 at the Four Points Sheraton in Norwood.  Honorees of the evening were Robert Mahoney, president of Belmont Savings Bank and John Garvey, president of The Catholic University of America. Photos by Gregory L. TracyHe delivered a stunning address to the people on the effects that artificial contraception has had on modern society by separating sexuality from the transmission of life and from relationships. It was a very powerful exposition that I think was a very important one.The Redemptoris Mater Seminary of the Archdiocese of Boston’s 5th Annual Gala Dinner held June 22, 2014 at the Four Points Sheraton in Norwood.  Honorees of the evening were Robert Mahoney, president of Belmont Savings Bank and John Garvey, president of The Catholic University of America. Photos by Gregory L. Tracy

The Church’s teachings on contraception are often little understood and sometimes greeted with great condescension on the part of secular society. Even by some Catholics, this teaching is seen as another one of the Church’s “goofy rules.” The Church’s rules are not goofy. There is great wisdom behind them and President Garvey’s very erudite and cogent presentation of the Church’s teaching on contraception was one of the best that I have heard. Fortunately, there was a video taken of the talk, so you have a chance to hear it for yourself:

The dinner was a great success. I understand it was the largest attendance that they have had so far and many priests from throughout the diocese attended.

As they do every year, the seminarians sang a number of songs for us at the end of the dinner. The Redemptoris Mater Seminary of the Archdiocese of Boston’s 5th Annual Gala Dinner held June 22, 2014 at the Four Points Sheraton in Norwood.  Honorees of the evening were Robert Mahoney, president of Belmont Savings Bank and John Garvey, president of The Catholic University of America. Photos by Gregory L. TracyThe Redemptoris Mater Seminary of the Archdiocese of Boston’s 5th Annual Gala Dinner held June 22, 2014 at the Four Points Sheraton in Norwood.  Honorees of the evening were Robert Mahoney, president of Belmont Savings Bank and John Garvey, president of The Catholic University of America. Photos by Gregory L. Tracy

During one song, they even briefly put a sombrero on the head of Dr. Helen Jackson!The Redemptoris Mater Seminary of the Archdiocese of Boston’s 5th Annual Gala Dinner held June 22, 2014 at the Four Points Sheraton in Norwood.  Honorees of the evening were Robert Mahoney, president of Belmont Savings Bank and John Garvey, president of The Catholic University of America. Photos by Gregory L. TracyIt was just a very joyful evening and we were very happy to be able to honor two very fine Catholic laymen, Bob Mahoney and President Garvey.

Until next week,

Cardinal Seán

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21
Jun

Visiting the Cranberry Catholic Collaborative

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Hello and welcome!

On Saturday, on my way back from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ meeting in New Orleans I made a stopover in Chicago to celebrate the wedding of the son of my long-time friends, Dan and Pat Cheely. They have a beautiful, faith-filled family and I have had the joy of celebrating the Baptism, First Communion and/ or marriage of several of their eight children. This was the wedding of their son, Tommy, who works for the satellite Catholic radio network Relevant Radio, to Catherine Egan, who is a nurse.wedding2

It was a very beautiful wedding, and of the many young people who were there are very engaged in the life of the Church.

I got to know Dan about 40 years ago through my friend Javier Suarez, whom I have known since I was a young priest. Dan was Javier’s roommate at Harvard Law School. Together, they founded the Harvard Law School Students for Life and used to stay at the Centro Catolico when they came to Washington for the March for life and other events.

As Tommy was driving me to the church for the wedding, I was telling him about some of my memories of his family. I told him I still remember very well one day that I was in Rome and I was going to give First Communion to one of his siblings. The family — they had five children at the time — were coming to meet me, walking across St. Peter’s Square, when their father just spontaneously began to pray the Creed and I was very touched by that. Then, when we got to the door of St. Peter’s, the Swiss Guard stopped us because Pat had a short-sleeve shirt on and he wouldn’t let her in. Then he saw that she was pregnant — with twins. (Tommy was one of them.) He had mercy on her and let her in!

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Also, before I departed for the USCCB meeting, Joe McEnness, our Executive Director of Parish Services and Risk Management for the, hosted Michael Bemi and Pat Neal at the Pastoral Center for a presentation on the Virtus and Protecting God’s Children programs.Virtus photo 1

We are proud that our parishes, schools and institutions are recognized for their achievement in maintain safe environments for children by implementing the best practices as developed by skilled professionals. Michael and Pat also shared with me that Virtus is extending its programs and services to Europe, South America, Asia and Africa. It is good to know of this outreach, in order that children and families throughout the world can be active participants in the life of the Church knowing that they are protected from harm. I look forward to learning more about the ongoing development of the Virtus programs.

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Sunday morning I went to celebrate Mass at the Cranberry Catholic Collaborative of Sts. Martha and Mary in Lakeville, Sacred Heart in Middleborough and St. Rose of Lima in Rochester. Cardinal Sean's visitCardinal Sean's visitCardinal Sean's visit

We celebrated the Mass at Sacred Heart Church. The pastor, Father John Sheridan; the vicar, Father Mark Derrane; and the former pastor, Father Richard Crowley concelebrated with us. They had the choirs of the three different parishes together, and it was just extraordinary.

After the Mass, we blessed one of the buildings at Sacred Heart that they have just refurbished to be offices and a center for evangelization that they are calling St. Joseph House. Cardinal Sean's visitCardinal Sean's visitCardinal Sean's visitCardinal Sean's visitCardinal Sean's visitCardinal Sean's visit

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Monday I was visited by Archbishop Francis Chullikatt, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations. He was in town and came for a visit.5

The Church needs to have a voice in the international community and the Holy See’s Permanent Observer to United Nations plays a crucial role in presenting the Church’ view on human rights and the gospel of life.

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Also that day I was visited by a number of representatives of the group Physicians for Social Responsibility.Phys-4

This group advocates on many issues that affect people’s health and well-being but they came to speak to me about their efforts to promote nuclear disarmament with particular attention to the nations other than those we traditionally think of as the nuclear superpowers.

They have done a great deal of research and, according to their findings, if there were even a very limited nuclear exchange, it would cause climate changes that would result in the starvation of many millions of people because there is a very large segment of the population of the world that is just marginally able to meet their nutritional needs.

Apparently, these blasts put so much debris into the atmosphere that it would lower the temperature of the whole planet considerably. Some places would have frost constantly so that there would be no growing season at all and it could have a huge impact on world agriculture. So, besides the terrible destruction visited on those hit by the bomb itself, the aftereffect would impact an even larger portion of the population of the planet.

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Tuesday, I went to spend the day with our seminarians who are on retreat in Maine.

Ordinarily, we hold our beginning of the summer retreat for our seminarians down at the Sacred Hearts Retreat Center in Wareham. This year, however, there was a scheduling problem so Father Dan Hennessey arranged for them to go to St. Anthony’s Friary in Kennebunkport, Maine.FrancCntr_1

FrancCntr_3I had never been to the house before and I was very impressed. It is a very nice facility that has wonderful grounds with beautiful outdoor altars.

The Franciscans who run the friary are Lithuanian. So, throughout the monastery there are many artistic manifestations of their Lithuanian culture. For example, on the right is a stained glass window of St. Casimir, the Patron Saint of Lithuania. FrancCntr_2

During my visit there I gave a conference to the men, celebrated Mass for them and then we had a question and answer session.

They seemed to be having a good retreat experience and I was glad I was able to spend the day with them.

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Finally, I want to conclude mentioning that this weekend at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross we will be hosting a relic of St. Pope John Paul II thanks to the generous support of the Knights of Columbus.

Saturday at 3 p.m. there will be a Holy Hour and Divine Mercy Chaplet followed by 4:30 p.m. Mass and then veneration of the relic in the Lower Church. Sunday, there will be veneration of the relic following the 11:30 a.m. Mass at which we will honor those couples celebrating wedding anniversaries.

I encourage you all to join us.

Until next week,

Cardinal Seán

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