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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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- – -

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

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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

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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

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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.

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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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25
Oct

Thanking those who help our Appeal

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Hello and welcome!

I want to begin by saying what a great joy it was for me to see Pope Paul VI beatified by our Holy Father this past week. BEATIFICATION-MASS

Paul VI was the first pope I ever met in person. I met him because, as a young friar, I would go to our General Chapter to serve as an interpreter, and at the end of the chapter we would always have a private audience with the Holy Father. At each of those meetings, Pope Paul would talk to us about his relationship with the Friars that he had known growing up and those who took care of his parents at the end of their lives. He would also always give us a gift. One of those gifts was a Bible that I still cherish to this day. BEATIFICATION-MASS

– – –

Now on the events of my week…

Thursday evening, I went to Chestnut Hill to visit Mother Olga Yaqob and her sisters, the Daughters of Mary of Nazareth, a new religious community in the archdiocese that is thriving.

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We had a Mass and dinner with the sisters, as well as a number of their friends and supporters who were present. Father Robert McCreary was also with us at the Mass. He has been helping the sisters in his role as spiritual director and has been helping them draft their constitution.

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The Mass was held outdoors in a tent, but despite the rain it was a very beautiful occasion. The sisters sang a number of songs for us and it was an opportunity for people to hear Mother Olga speak about the progress that the community has made in the last few years.

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– – –

On Friday, I was visited by Father Joseph Bisson, SVD who was visiting from Papua New Guinea.6

With Father Bisson, his nephew Steven, and Father Emilio Biosca who was visiting me from Cuba, but was for 10 years in Papua New Guinea

Father Bisson is from Boston but he has been working in Papua New Guinea for almost 50 years. He is stationed in the town next to the diocese that is entrusted to the Capuchin mission, so he knows many of our friars there.

This week I was also visited by Bishop Bevard of the Virgin Islands who was in the area doing mission appeals in New Hampshire.

Of course, this was the week of World Mission Sunday and so I was happy to receive these missionaries. World Mission Sunday reminds all of us of our obligation to support the missions with our prayers and with our sacrifices.

– – –

Friday night I had evening prayer with our seminarians who are in their third year of theology. It is always a wonderful opportunity to have these meetings with the seminarians in order to get to know them better, answer their questions and hear first-hand about what is happening in our seminary.

– – –

Saturday, I went to East Boston for the celebration of El Señor de los Milagros (The Lord of Miracles) at Most Holy Redeemer Parish.

This is a Peruvian devotion that goes back to colonial times when there was a terrible earthquake in Lima. There was almost total devastation, but standing above the rubble, and seemingly untouched, was one wall of a church that had a mural of the crucifixion.2

That has been the object of great devotion in Peru, where each year in October they hold one of the largest processions in the world. I understand that at times they have had between 3 and 4 million people in the streets of Lima for the procession. Traditionally, the people wear purple for the feast.3

When I was a young priest in Washington I celebrated the feast every year with the Peruvians and we had the image of El Señor de los Milagros in our church, Sacred Heart.4

Father Tom Domurat, the pastor, is doing such a wonderful job at Holy Redeemer. He is very encouraging of the popular religiosity of the immigrants of his parish who come from many different countries. For example, earlier this year they had a very large Salvadoran celebration, Cristo Salvador Del Mundo.

– – –

Sunday, I was happy to celebrate the Mass at the Cathedral to honor of our Catholic Appeal donors and volunteers.20141019CAC_gm_008

It was moving to see the chapel nearly filled to capacity and to share the Eucharist with so many of our faithful who give generously to the Catholic Appeal. 20141019CAC_gm_08320141019CAC_gm_01020141019CAC_gm_015

20141019CAC_gm_01620141019CAC_gm_022After the Mass we had a light reception in the Cathedral Hall.

We heard remarks from Father Lou Palmieri, pastor of the Quincy collaborative, and John Corcoran, an Appeal volunteer at St. John the Baptist Parish in Essex. 20141019CAC_gm_043

Father Palmieri

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John Corcoran

Both Father Lou and John spoke about how his parish community has been strengthened through the more than 50 ministries and programs funded through the Appeal. 20141019CAC_gm_134

In my remarks, I thanked the people for their strong commitment to the Appeal and for being a sign of the joy of the faith we live and believe in as Catholics.20141019CAC_gm_09720141019CAC_gm_10820141019CAC_gm_11320141019CAC_gm_117

– – –

On Monday, I went to Immaculate Conception Parish in Malden to celebrate Mass with nearly 1,000 members of Cursillo in the archdiocese.

The wonderful thing about the Cursillo is that, more than any other group in the archdiocese, it really reflects the catholicity of the Church. For example, at the Mass we were joined by the Melkite Eparch Bishop John Elya and members of the Melkite Catholic community, a large Vietnamese contingent, a large Hispanic contingent, and a large Portuguese-speaking contingent along with many other parish groups.

Of course the pastor, Father Dick Mehm, stood up and said, “I want all of you to register in this parish right now!”

Of course the singing was just extraordinary. I was particularly struck by some of the songs that were sung in Vietnamese which were particularly beautiful.

The Cursillo movement is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. It is a wonderful apostolic movement in the Church, which has prepared a number of lay leaders. When I was in the seminary, I made the Cursillo with the Latin Americans in Washington. The Cursillo movement started in the United States in Texas. At first, they were only given in Spanish and it was not until the mid-60s that they began to give Cursillos in English. It made a very important contribution, because so many leaders of the Hispanic community – a very large percentage of them – were Cursillistas. Many of those people went on to become catechists, permanent deacons and members of parish councils. Even today, when you go to visit the prisons, all the volunteers are usually Cursillistas.

It is a wonderful blessing for us and we are very grateful to Neal Finnegan, Mary Ann McLaughlin, Father Martin Hyatt and so many other leaders who are involved in Cursillo. I encouraged the Cursillistas to continue to invite people to be part of the Cursillo itself. It is a wonderful experience that prepares them for ministry and evangelization in the Church.

– – –

Tuesday we had the Mass at Our Lady Help of Christians in Newton with the students who received Peter S. Lynch Scholarship from the Catholic Schools Foundation this year.unnamed

Peter Lynch was with us along with Mike Reardon who runs the Catholic School Foundation and our new Superintendent, Kathy Mears.

We are so grateful to the Catholic School Foundation for these scholarships, which will make such a difference in the lives of these young people. We know that it is a great encouragement to them to continue doing well in their studies and to continue on the path of their Catholic education.

– – –

That evening, we had a St. Andrews Dinner for young men considering a vocation to the priesthood at St. Mary’s High School in Lynn. Most often, we have these dinners at the seminary, which has the advantage of allowing the young men to see and experience seminary. But sometimes it is also good to have a change of venue.

There is a wonderful campus ministry at St. Mary’s and a very strong Catholic identity in the school, which was strongly reflected in the young men who were part of the evening. Andrea Alberti and Chris Carmody do a wonderful job with the campus ministry there.photo (2)

We began with Vespers in the school chapel followed by dinner in the library.

We did have sort of an icebreaker exercise that I found very amusing, guessing the identity of a “mystery priest” based on personality traits.photo

We ended with a birthday cake for Father Dan Hennessey.

– – –

Wednesday, I celebrated the Alumni Mass at Pope St. John XXIII Seminary in Weston, held as part of their 50th anniversary celebrations. There were about 60 priests who came from all over the country – from as far away as Alaska — to be there.10450008_875679749118290_181976139678259334_o10644575_875679995784932_699459179133501569_o10668879_875679895784942_7388763800610423437_o

Afterwards, we had a very nice dinner. 10359086_875681825784749_3387901412889357893_o10687467_875682809117984_9160021023729011883_o

I congratulated them on managing to get their patron canonized as part of their 50th anniversary celebration — I thought that was very ingenious of them!

Pope John XXIII had made the comment that “a vocation can come at any time in a man’s life” and that was the inspiration for Cardinal Cushing establishing what was originally called Pope John XXIII Seminary.

By the time the seminary was actually open, the Holy Father was Pope Paul VI. It was Pope Paul who gifted to the seminary the portrait of John XXIII that hangs outside the Chapel.photo 2

They have beautiful portraits of both John XXIII and Cardinal Cushing outside the Chapel. photo 1

I’ve always very much admired those portraits of two great men in the history of our Church.

Until next week,

Cardinal Seán

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18
Oct

A week of farewells

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Hello and welcome,

The tragic case of Brittany Maynard, the young woman with terminal brain cancer who has said she plans to end her life on November 1, has touched everyone’s hearts.

We want to hold her up in our prayers and encourage people to pray for her and to send messages of support so that she realizes that she is not alone in her suffering and hopefully will come to see that ending her life is not the solution.

Brittany

One way of showing such support is through the Facebook page weluvbrittany started by a priest in our archdiocese, Father Tony Medeiros. The page allows people to send Brittany messages of love and hope. I invite you to visit the page and show your support for Brittany.

– – –

On Friday I went with Bishop Octavio Cisneros and Mario Paredes to Sacred Heart Cathedral in Newark for the Funeral Mass of Father Benedict Groeschel, whom I have known for 40 years.FrGroeschel

Sacred Heart Cathedral is one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the United States, and so it was just an extraordinary venue for the Mass. It was a very beautiful sendoff, with many bishops, priests, religious and faithful present. 10

Father Andrew Apostoli, one of the founders of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal delivered an excellent homily.

– – –

From Sacred Heart Cathedral we drove to Westchester Medical Center to visit Monsignor Lorenzo Albacete. It was a very moving visit with him and we were able to pray together. Photo by Nicholas Erickson

With Lorenzo in January

I would ask all of you to keep them in your prayers because his health is very poor.

– – –

Saturday, we had a Mass at St. Thecla Parish in Pembroke, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the parish.Pembroke_StThecla_02

It was a lovely celebration and there was great enthusiasm on the part of the people.

– – –

Because it was Columbus Day Weekend, a special time to celebrate Italian heritage, it was fitting that I was in the North End celebrating Mass for the St. Joseph Society of Boston at St. Stephen Church.MattConti.comCardinal O'Malley - St Joseph's Feast-115-LCardinal O'Malley - St Joseph's Feast-131-LCardinal O'Malley - St Joseph's Feast-138-LCardinal O'Malley - St Joseph's Feast-157-L

Father Patrick Universal welcomed us and Antonio Nardoianni, the pastor of the Churches of the North End was with us as well.Cardinal O'Malley - St Joseph's Feast-166-LCardinal O'Malley - St Joseph's Feast-171-LCardinal-OMalley-St-Josephs-Feast-211

– – –

Following the Mass in the North end, I left for Pittsburgh to attend another funeral, that of Father Bill Wiethorn. He was a man who was a few years ahead of me in the seminary and who had, among his many roles, served as our Provincial and Definitor General. He was just a wonderful priest.Wiethorn1

His present assignment was as Vicar for Religious in the Diocese of Cleveland and so we were joined by Bishop Richard Lennon for the funeral.

It was a very sad but very faith filled event, celebrating the life of a man who lived his life in the service of the Church.

At the funeral I was happy to see two Poor Clare sisters who had come from Cleveland. One was from Mother Angelica’s order, Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration, and the other sister was Sister St. John from the Colettine Poor Clares in Cleveland, who in fact was at my ordination.8

– – –

On Tuesday I celebrated a Mass at Pope John XXIII High School in Everett to mark the canonization of their patron saint.Cardinal 011Cardinal 028Cardinal 031Cardinal 044Cardinal 047Cardinal 062Cardinal 067Cardinal 073Cardinal 092Cardinal 100Cardinal 103Cardinal 105

It was wonderful to have an opportunity to greet so many of the students and see the vibrancy that pervades the school.

– – –

That evening we had one of our regular meetings of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council.6

Among the subjects we discussed was the topic of vocations. We spoke about the formation of pastoral plans for the collaboratives and the need for those plans to have a clear strategy for the promotion of vocations including such things as prayer, witness and activities. Our vocations director, Father Daniel Hennessey gave us a presentation idea for promoting vocations and Sister Pat Boyle took us through how those documents are going to be prepared. We also heard from our Delegate for Religious, Sister Marian Batho, about the plans for the Year of Consecrated Life.

– – –

On Wednesday, we had one of our periodic meetings of the bishops from the Boston Province. It was the first time we had Bishop Edgar da Cunha of Fall River and Bishop Mitchell Rozanski of Springfield as part of our group.4

As we always do, we discussed the different challenges and issues that we share with the other six dioceses of the region.

– – –

That evening, we had an interesting dinner meeting with the leadership of the Mormon Church, including Elder D. Todd Christofferson, who is of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles from Salt Lake City. aephoto7

They came to speak to me about the recently launched media campaign “Faith Counts”. 2

The campaign has been prepared in conjunction with many different faith groups, including the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and aims to remind people, particularly young people, of the important and positive role religious faith plays in our society.faith-counts

The campaign will utilize the web (FaithCounts.net) and social media, including Facebook (Facebook.com/MyFaithCounts) and Twitter (@MyFaithCounts).

I invite you to give them a look and spread the word!

– – –

Yesterday, of course, we gathered to bid farewell to Bishop John Boles, a very beloved figure in the archdiocese who, after a long illness, has gone home to God.

His Funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Paul’s Church in Cambridge where he had been pastor and headed the Harvard-Radcliffe Catholic Student Center. There the local street was named after him by the people of Cambridge in recognition for his wonderful pastoral care of the area.Funeral Mass of Boston Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus John P. Boles, Oct. 16, 2014 at St. Paul’s Church in Cambridge, Mass. (Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy)Funeral Mass of Boston Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus John P. Boles, Oct. 16, 2014 at St. Paul’s Church in Cambridge, Mass. (Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy)Funeral Mass of Boston Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus John P. Boles, Oct. 16, 2014 at St. Paul’s Church in Cambridge, Mass. (Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy)

Bishop Emeritus of Manchester, New Hampshire John McCormack was the homilist at the Mass and he did a wonderful job relating the spirit of Bishop Boles’ life.Funeral Mass of Boston Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus John P. Boles, Oct. 16, 2014 at St. Paul’s Church in Cambridge, Mass. (Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy)Funeral Mass of Boston Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus John P. Boles, Oct. 16, 2014 at St. Paul’s Church in Cambridge, Mass. (Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy)Funeral Mass of Boston Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus John P. Boles, Oct. 16, 2014 at St. Paul’s Church in Cambridge, Mass. (Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy)Funeral Mass of Boston Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus John P. Boles, Oct. 16, 2014 at St. Paul’s Church in Cambridge, Mass. (Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy)Funeral Mass of Boston Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus John P. Boles, Oct. 16, 2014 at St. Paul’s Church in Cambridge, Mass. (Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy)

Funeral Mass of Boston Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus John P. Boles, Oct. 16, 2014 at St. Paul’s Church in Cambridge, Mass. (Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy)Also at the Mass we heard from the bishop’s cousin, Jim Brett, who offered a brief reflection. He spoke about Bishop Boles’ great love of birdwatching – which is certainly a very Franciscan pastime!Funeral Mass of Boston Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus John P. Boles, Oct. 16, 2014 at St. Paul’s Church in Cambridge, Mass. (Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy)

Before the Final Commendation, I read a message from the Holy See expressing the Holy Father’s condolences.Funeral Mass of Boston Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus John P. Boles, Oct. 16, 2014 at St. Paul’s Church in Cambridge, Mass. (Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy)Funeral Mass of Boston Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus John P. Boles, Oct. 16, 2014 at St. Paul’s Church in Cambridge, Mass. (Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy)Funeral Mass of Boston Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus John P. Boles, Oct. 16, 2014 at St. Paul’s Church in Cambridge, Mass. (Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy)Funeral Mass of Boston Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus John P. Boles, Oct. 16, 2014 at St. Paul’s Church in Cambridge, Mass. (Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy)

Bishop Boles was a gentle and wise pastor of souls and he will be greatly missed and fondly remembered.

Until next week,

Cardinal Seán

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