◄ Back to Cardinal's Corner Subscribe to RSS Feed
 
20
Dec

A week of encouraging news

Tags: Main

This week, we were delighted to receive the news that Allan Gross had been released from prison and that the United States and Cuba are on a path towards normalization of diplomatic relations after so many decades of isolationist policy. This is going to have profound changes in the lives of millions of people. We are very pleased that our Holy Father had an important role in these negotiations. It certainly is part of the mission of the Church to promote reconciliation and peace between peoples. We understand that some people are very much in favor of maintaining the embargo, but so many people were suffering because of that. After 54 years, it obviously was not an effective way of forcing a change in government in Cuba. So, now on a new path, hopefully more will be able to be achieved.

Also this week, we got news of the conclusion of the apostolic visit to women religious in the United States. On Tuesday there was a press conference in the Vatican with Brazilian Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, the congregation’s secretary, Archbishop Jose Rodriguez Carballo, OFM, Mother Mary Clare Millea, superior general of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Sister Sharon Holland, IHM, of the LCWR, Sister Agnes Mary Donovan, SV, of the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious, and Father Thomas Rosica.

Everyone, I think, was pleased with the report that began with a very clear recognition of the incredible contribution of religious women in the history of our country. It struck a hopeful note for the Year of Consecrated Life. It mentioned some of the challenges, but I think it was a positive document that has been well accepted in the Church. I think a special note should be made how wonderful a job Mother Clare did as the visitator, working under very difficult circumstances. During the actual time of the visitation there was a lot of misunderstanding, and she was a very thoughtful, articulate, and gracious visitator. One of the reasons that things have been able to come to a peaceful conclusion is because of her commitment and capabilities that she brought to the job.

Also this week, the Holy Father appointed more members to the Commission for the Protection of Children. We were very pleased that the Holy Father named the rest of the commission, because it’s very important that the commission reflects the universality of the Church. We will be looking forward to our first meeting of the full commission in February. I am very pleased also that we have offices, and Msgr. Bob Oliver, a Boston priest who is the secretary of the commission, has done great work in setting up those offices.

– – –

As you know from my last post, I spent time in Rome last week and want to share with you some more pictures from that trip.

27

Setting the Christmas tree outside St. Peter’s

32

The crèche at Casa Santa Marta

30

I visited with the Capuchins while in Rome. I found out that our monastery there was declared a House of Life by  the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, because they hid Jews during the Second World War.

22

15

This is a picture of St. Conrad, who is the only saint from the Capuchin German province, which is my province.

8

This is myself with Father Rainiero Cantalamessa, preacher of the papal household,  so that people can see that we really are two different people. We took the picture in the refectory, and there’s the Pater Noster in Latin on the wall.

6

With Father Charles and Father Cantalamessa. Father Charles is from Boston, but he is working in Rome now

Then I went to the Basilica of San Lorenzo.

25

29

It must be the most historic Church that the Capuchins have. It’s just amazing. There are catacombs there, and five popes are buried inside that church, the last one being Pius IX.

4

This priest who showed us around was in the seminary with Padre Pio. He was one year behind him. He’s been a priest for 64 years.

They have mosaics from the second century. It’s just an extraordinary place.

The church is named after St. Lawrence Martyr. He is buried there, as well as St. Stephen Martyr. His relics were brought from Constantinople by Justinian’s daughter.

10

This is the tomb of Pius IX, known in Rome as Pio Nono

18

19

This is the cloister

5

This is the grill where St. Lawrence was grilled on

14

This is the papal chair

23

The pillars of the church were brought from pagan temples

9

This is a Roman sarcophagus depicting an old Roman wedding and there is some cardinal buried in it, so I told Father Kevin O’Leary that he has to get one of those for me in the basement of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross!

– – –

Sunday we had the Leadership Circle Advent Mass at the Cathedral. Bishop Uglietto celebrated for me, because I was just arriving back from Rome, but I greeted people after Mass and addressed them at a gathering.

15841506780_3486c2d63b_z

We had a reception where Father Bryan Hehir gave a short talk and we took questions and answers. It was an opportunity for us to thank people in the Leadership Circle for all of their support for the ministries and the works of mercy of the Archdiocese of Boston.

16026810581_dd8912a71d_z

– – –

That night, Bishop Sam Jacobs, retired bishop of the Houma-Thibodaux Diocese in Louisiana, visited me. Bishop Jacobs was here to give a retreat to the daughters of Mary of Nazareth. He has been very active in the Charismatic Movement and in giving retreats to priests, religious, and laypeople throughout the United States. We were very happy to have him come and join us for dinner at the cathedral.

33

– – –

The next day I was visited by Father Antonio Fidalgo, whose mother and 10 of his brothers live here. He is a Capuchin in Cape Verde. He has one sister who belongs to the Irmãs Franciscanas Imaculada Conceição, which is an order that Padre Pio founded.

– – –

Tuesday, I had the north region advent retreat in Reading hosted by Father Colarusso and organized by the Episcopal Vicar Jerry Petringa. It was a very good turnout of priests. Father Bill Murphy from the seminary led the reflection. We also had a Holy Hour. It was a lovely gathering. I was happy to be with them.

20

St. Athanasius church with a beautiful crèche

That evening, Father John Worhley visited me. Father Worhley is a diocesan priest from Rockville Center who is a missionary in China and has had teaching positions there. His original involvement in China was because of his ministry with Mother Teresa. It was very interesting to get a report from him about the experience of the Church in China.

21

Wednesday morning, I had a board meeting with Catholic Charities. They were explaining about the immigration situation. The immigration department of our Catholic Charities is working on educating people on changes related to President Obama’s executive order on immigration.

cc

The displayed a Powerpoint presentation about their immigration serrvices

Later on that day we visited the women’s prison in Framingham.

3

I had an Advent Mass and a confirmation of a young woman. We visited the other prison as well, the section that is for minimum security. We had a prayer service there and then visited the women in solitary confinement as well as the women that are in the prison hospital. Sister Maureen Clark, who has been there for many years, has done an extraordinary job. It was also wonderful to see the faithful volunteers who do so much in our prisons supporting the prison ministry there. Deacon Jim Greer accompanied me, and there are also two seminarians who were assigned there for this semester.

2

With Sister Clark and Deacon Greer

Then I went to the Women@Work graduation for St. Mary’s Center in Dorchester. They had their graduation in the auditorium at Carney Hospital, so we were there to congratulate the women. These are women that have just gotten their GED or graduated other training programs. Deirdre Houtmeyers, the president, and members of the board of directors were there. They are doing extraordinary work to help single mothers who are experiencing challenges like homelessness, such as giving people job training and educational opportunities.

1

Thursday we had a Presbyteral Council meeting and afterwards we had our annual advent gathering here with the archdiocesan staff at the Pastoral Center.

IMG_0647

IMG_0663

The Sister Disciples arranged our crèche at the Pastoral Center. It’s a beautiful crèche.

IMG_0673

– – –

I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and share with you an image of the Christmas card we will be sending out this year. The card depicts Luc Olivier Merson’s Rest on the Flight into Egypt.

Merson_Rest_on_the_Flight_into_Egypt

This painting is at the Museum of Fine Arts here in Boston, and it’s a painting that I like. The theme portrays the Holy Family as immigrants into a strange land, caused to flee from their home country because of oppression. During this particular time where we are focused on the millions of immigrants in our own country, I wanted to relate it to the Christmas event.

At the cathedral we have another painting also of the flight into Egypt, which I brought from Peru and put it in the lower church.

flight

Merry Christmas.

Cardinal Seán

Tags: Main
13
Dec

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Tags: Main

Hello and welcome!

I am writing to you this week from Rome, where I have been for much of this week for meetings with the Holy Father.

But before I left, on Friday I went to St. Augustine School in Andover for the celebration of their 100th anniversary.StAug_10

We blessed the cornerstone for the school’s new gymnasium, followed by Mass in the parish church with the entire school. StAug_Cornerstone Blessing

Blessing the cornerstoneStAug_9

The parish is run by the Augustinians and the pastor there is Father Peter Gori. The school was founded by the sisters of Notre Dame, and there is still a presence of the sisters at the school.StAug_Faculty Photo with Cardinal O'Malley

With the faculty and staff

A century is a great landmark, and the school is thriving and continues to expand. I was very happy to be a part of this very joyful celebration. We were also pleased that a number of parents were able to join the celebration along with the students and teachers.

- – –

That evening, I attended the Labor Guild’s annual Cushing-Gavin Award celebration at the Sheraton Boston. It is always a very large event, with nearly 1,000 people in attendance.CGA2014

Each year at the banquet, the Labor Guild presents awards to a union official, a representative of management, a labor attorney and a mediator. I was there to give the invocation and to congratulate the evening’s honorees.

This year’s award recipients were William McLaughlin, International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 4; Thomas Ryan III, director employee-labor relations at National Grid, New England; Attorney Shelly Kroll of the law firm Segal Roitman LLP; and Paul Chabot, commissioner of Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.

C-GAward2014_WilliamMcLaughlin-sm

William McLaughlin

C-GAward2014_ThomasRyanIII-sm

Thomas RyanC-GAward2014_ShellyKroll-sm

Shelly Kroll

C-GAward2014_PaulChabot-sm

Paul Chabot

- – –

From there we went to the clergy Advent gathering that was being held at Sacred Heart Parish in Roslindale. The gathering is sponsored every year by Msgr. Frank Kelly. It was a great opportunity to be together with so many of our priests.

- – -

From there, I went to Cathedral for the final night of the God of this City Tour, which is sponsored by our Faith Formation of Youth and Young Adult Ministry. GodCity_5GodCity_6GodCity_7GodCity_8

I was there for the Holy Hour, after which I addressed the young people. It was December 6, so I spoke to them about the Advent tradition of St. Nicholas.

- – -

On Sunday I left for Rome, and arrived on Monday, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Being the patronal feast of the United States, there is always a big celebration at the Pontifical North American College.ML-20141208-9692ML-20141208-9577ML-20141208-9585ML-20141208-9656

Cardinal Pell was the main celebrant of the Mass and I concelebrated along with several other bishops and priests.ML-20141208-9648ML-20141208-9651

 

- – -

Tuesday we began our meetings with the Holy Father, and in the evening I had dinner with the Boston seminarians studying in Rome.Sems_4

- – -

Wednesday, we had the funeral for Cardinal Jorge Mejia, who is an old friend of mine from Argentina. Cardinal Mejia was also a good friend of the Holy Father, both of them being from Argentina.OBIT-MEJIA

He was one of the most influential figures in Catholic Jewish relations. Argentina has one of the largest Jewish populations in the Western Hemisphere and he was brought to Rome by Pope Paul VI to be involved in the work of building Jewish Catholic relations.OBIT-MEJIAMejiaOBIT-MEJIA

He was a very cultured man who spoke English perfectly, without an accent. Over his many years in Rome, Cardinal Mejia held many important positions, including Vatican archivist. OBIT-MEJIA

He died at age 91; he had a long and full life.

- – –

Thursday, Msgr. John Abruzzese, a Boston priest working at the Holy See’s Synod Office, brought us relics to bring back to the offices of the CatholicTV Network – it is a relic of Blessed Luigi and Zelia, parents of St. Therese the Little Flower. Relic_photo 2The relics of St. Therese and her parents had been brought for the opening of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family to stress the importance of holiness and the family — here was a daughter who was a saint, now and her parents are also being canonized.

The CatholicTV network is under the patronage of the Little Flower and we have a small shrine to her with the relics of St. Therese, and now there will be relics of her parents there, as well.

- – -

Throughout the week, we have been holding meetings with the Holy Father and the group of Cardinals advising him. During our meeting, I gave a report on the work of the Commission for the Protection of Children, of which I am the head, and we were very pleased to say that we hope to announce the new members of the commission soon. We will hold the first meeting of the full commission in February.

We have now received office space in the Vatican. So I was there for the first time this week.Offices_IMG_0891Offices_IMG_0892

This is my office:

Offices_IMG_0893

- – -

And finally, today is, of course, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Pontifical Commission on Latin America organized a Mass with bishops from throughout the Americas.

We prayed a rosary in the Vatican Gardens followed by Mass in the Basilica with the Holy Father.

MALLORCA-GRAVESMALLORCA-GRAVESMALLORCA-GRAVES

MALLORCA-GRAVES

At the Mass, they sang a typical Argentine Mass called a Misa Criolla, which was written 50 years ago. It is a Mass that uses many different folk instruments and tunes of Argentina and incorporates them into the liturgical texts. MALLORCA-GRAVES

The Holy Father has a great devotion to that Mass — so much so that he gave me a CD of it when I first met him a few years ago. In fact, I still play it often.

Until next week,

Cardinal Seán

Tags: Main
06
Dec

Saying farewell to Bishop Joe Maguire

Tags: Main

Hello and welcome,

In this Holy season of Advent the Church’s message is one of hope and peace. It is a time for reflection, prayer and reaching out to those in need. These themes – hope, peace and compassion – are urgently needed in our nation as we pray for the Brown and Garner families and all who have been impacted by the turmoil of recent weeks.

Issues concerning race in our society call for recognition of our shared humanity. We are all well served by productive dialogue and cooperation between the members of our communities and those in public service. Each person’s dignity must be respected and protected, while the safety and good of all people is upheld.

We are grateful for the thoughtful leadership shown by Governor Patrick, Mayor Walsh and Boston Police Commissioner Evans as citizens have expressed their concern that there be effective means of providing social justice, equality of opportunity and respect for all. May peaceful dialogue on these important issues be a source of betterment for our society.

- – –

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is such a beautiful American feast. It brings families together and reminds us that the way to express our gratitude to God for the blessings we have received is to share them with others. It also reminds us to be grateful for the relationships in our lives, particularly our families.

I was grateful that I was able to be with my family for Thanksgiving. We had Mass at St. Richard’s Parish in Miami. Miami-s7

Afterwards we went back home for a dinner with probably around 50 O’Malley’s. Much of my family lives in Miami, which is very convenient place for this type of gathering because there you can hold an outdoor dinner, even in late November. Otherwise, I’m not sure anyone’s house could hold all those people at one time!

- – –

After the holiday, I returned back to Boston and on Sunday we had the dedication of the renovations at St. Francis Xavier Church in Weymouth, where Father Charles Higgins is the pastor. Weymouth_s2We were also joined for the celebration by former pastors Father Dick Deveer and Father Eugene Sullivan, as well as by one of our seminarians who is from the parish, Joe Hubbard.

This is something the parish has been working on for a very long time and we were fortunate to have such a beautiful day to bless the final renovations.

- – -

The following day, Monday, I went to Springfield for the funeral Mass of Bishop Joe Maguire.Eucharistic Prayer

He was ordained a priest of Boston in 1945 and served as Cardinal Cushing’s secretary. He went on to become an auxiliary bishop here and then became Bishop of Springfield in 1977. He was a very kind and pastoral man who was always present to the people. Even after he retired in 1991, he was very generous with his time. I particularly remember him giving priest retreats. A few years ago, when I was Bishop of Fall River, he led a retreat for us in Assisi.

011009

He had a very long ministry and he was a very beloved man, which was evidenced by the many priests and bishops who were able to be there for his funeral Mass.017

At the funeral, they distributed this prayer card with a very nice prayer on the back that seemed to be attributed to Bishop Maguire:BishopMaguire 001

A Priest

I never could complain, Lord,

About my work for you.

I find delight and meaning

In the things a priest can do.

 

There is joy in serving others

And sharing in their trials –

In quieting their heartaches

And quickening their smiles.

 

There is charity in listening

With a sympathetic ear

To distressed and lonely people

Who need someone just to hear.

 

There is peace in understanding

That your way, not mine, is best –

That when I’ve done my utmost,

Your grace will do the rest.

 

I am more convinced and certain

The longer, Lord, I live –

That every earnest priest receives

Much more than he can give.

 

And so my heart is grateful

For your goodness, Lord, to me.

A priest now and forever

Is all I wish to be.

- – -

Also that day, I was visited by my good friend Bishop Adalberto Martínez from Paraguay, who is the Bishop for the Military Services of Paraguay as well as the Secretary General of the Bishops Conference of Paraguay. He stopped in Boston for a visit on his way to New York, where he was invited to preach a triduum and the celebration of Nuestra Señora de Caacupé, the patroness of Paraguay. A few years ago I was in Paraguay celebrating that feast for over 1 million people at the shrine there. It was the largest Mass I have ever celebrated.

- – -

I invited Bishop Adalberto to accompany me to the St. Andrew’s Dinner for young men discerning a vocation to the priesthood hosted by Father Joe Raeke at St. Edith Stein Parish in Brockton. StAnd_s11This is one of the larger turnouts we have had. I would say there were about 100 young men that came to join us. As we always do, we had vespers and, afterwards, there was the dinner and witness talks.

StAnd_4

I was very happy to introduce him to the young men there, because he had been a parishioner of mine in Washington, and was very active with young people in the parish. StAnd_s12

Eventually, he entered the seminary and I had the joy of ordaining him to the priesthood. And now we see that his vocation has flourished and touched so many lives — but it all begins in the life of young people like these young men who had gathered for the St. Andrew’s Dinner.

It is always an opportunity for young men to be invited to become interested in vocations, and their own personal vocation. It is also an opportunity for us as Catholics to be promoting vocations in our communities of faith. We were so pleased that so many different parishes responded and sent young men to the St. Andrew’s Dinner. It is a very important part of our vocational promotion in the archdiocese. We are also very grateful for the work that Father Dan Hennessey, Father Carlos Suarez and Father Mike Harrington did in preparing for the evening.

- – -

Wednesday, I went to St. Anselm College to give a conference as part of the Advent Day of Recollection for the priests and deacons of the Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire. They asked me to give them a talk about the Holy Father and his ministry.Anselm_8

Bishop Labasci was with us. We were also joined by Bishop McCormick and Bishop Joe Gerry, who is now a resident at the monastery there. Anselm_9

It was a very nice gathering, infused with an attitude of prayer. Anselm_s1

We had midday prayer in the Chapel with the Benedictine monks.Anselm_s9

It is the second time I have been to St. Anselm for a Day of Recollection with priests. I have always been very impressed by the atmosphere there and find it a spiritual oasis for many priests who go there for prayer, confession and spiritual direction. Anselm_s15Anselm_s5

Abbott Mark and all those at the college were very gracious in hosting us.Anselm_1

This is a picture of the plaque that commemorates the Chapel that was a gift of Cardinal Cushing. As I have said before – I could easily fill all my time doing nothing else but going around to the 50th anniversary celebrations for all the things that Cardinal Cushing established!Anselm_s10

Also during my visit I met St. Anselm’s president, Dr. Steven DiSalvo. He was inaugurated as their first lay president last year and I was very glad to have the opportunity to meet him.

- – -

Wednesday night, back at the Cathedral, I met with the Dominican Sisters of the Presentation working in Honduras.

In the year 2000, when I was still the Bishop of Fall River, as a Holy Year activity we took over the pastoral care of two parishes in the Archdiocese of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. At that time, I sent a team of two priests, a deacon and his wife and two Sisters of the Presentation to help.Tess

This is the same community of sisters that worked with me for 20 years in Washington and their motherhouse is in Dighton. So, when we opened the mission in Honduras, we asked them to send sisters. They responded, and their community and commitment there has grown since. They have started a clinic and a school as well as a farm where they grow much of the food for the children at the school.IMG_3194celebrate

We were so happy to see them and to hear about the wonderful work that is being done there. Their presence there has made an extraordinary difference in a very poor and rural part of Honduras.

Until next week,

Cardinal Seán

Tags: Main
27
Nov

The groundbreaking of our new Seaport Chapel

Tags: Main

Hello and welcome!

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

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

– – –

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

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

With Lorraine

Healey2014_CPineo_IMG_0468Healey2014_CPineo_IMG_0474

Presenting Lorna with her award

Healey2014_CPineo_IMG_0479

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

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

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

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

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

– – –

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

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

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

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

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

– – –

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mayor Walsh

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

John Hynes

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

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

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

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

– – –

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

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

Justin Ith accepting his award

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

– – –

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

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

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

– – –

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

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

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

– – –

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can hear my entire homily here:

– – –

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

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

Until next week,

Cardinal Seán

Tags: Main
22
Nov

Remembering the Vietnamese Martyrs

Tags: Main

Hello and welcome!

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

Reflections on my ‘60 Minutes’ interview

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- – -

Now, on the the events of my week…

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

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

- – -

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

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

- – -

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

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

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

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

- – -

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let me conclude by sharing them with you:

— I will live the present moment to the fullest.

— I will discern between God and God’s works

— I will hold firmly to one secret: prayer.

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

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

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

— I will seek the peace the world cannot give.

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

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

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

- – -

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- – -

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

This time, we had a long discussion about some of the themes that had been brought up at the bishops’ meeting a week ago: Catholic schools, the pastoral letter on pornography that is being produced, and the Synod on the Family.
- – -

Finally, I’d like to invite all of you to join us at the Cathedral this Sunday, the Feast of Christ the King for Vespers Service at which we will present Cheverus Award Medals to 116 people who have done so much to serve our archdiocese.The 2013 Cheverus Awards are presented at an afternoon Vespers Service, Nov. 24, 2013 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.  Each year about 100 laypeople, deacons and religious are recognized with the award for their long-term service to the Church.
Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy

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

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

I look forward to seeing you all there!

Until next week,

Cardinal Seán

Tags: Main