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22
Aug

The Jubilee Mass of Galway Cathedral

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Hello and welcome!

Last week I had the joy of presiding at the Mass to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St. Nicholas in Galway, Ireland. 11034224_343259845871227_6612791604791553286_n

The reason I was asked to preside at the celebration was that 50 years ago this cathedral was built in Galway City with the help of Cardinal Cushing and the Irish of Boston.  Galway_04_1

In fact, Cardinal Cushing was named as the papal legate to preside at the dedication of this beautiful Cathedral. It was a magnificent celebration with many important Irish officials in attendance.

I celebrated the Jubilee Mass on Friday evening. The Cathedral was packed and there were many concelebrants. Bishop Martin Drennan was very welcoming, as was the pastor, Canon Peter Rabbitte, and the curate Father Martin Walsh.11899886_405720372958507_7439264802447770134_n

There were also quite a number of Boston priests with us for the Mass.11836857_405707359626475_1372130694193468211_n

With the famous Irish singing trio, “The Priests,” who put on a performance in honor of the Cathedral anniversary. You’ll notice that behind us is a portrait of Cardinal Cushing.08162015_2232_33

The Cathedral is the newest of any cathedral in Europe but is still very grand. The stonework is magnificent and the ceiling is California redwood.Galway_02_1Galway_03_1

One of the more interesting details that stood out to me was a mosaic of President Kennedy in the Resurrection Chapel. Galway_05_1

One of the important figures of Easter Rising, Patrick Pearse, is on one side, and John F. Kennedy is on the other.Galway_06_1

I was also amused by this stained-glass window. Galway_07_1

Obviously, it’s an image of the Holy Family but, if you look carefully, you see that Jesus is serving tea to St. Joseph. I thought that was very original! Also, you’ll notice that the Blessed Mother is knitting – presumably an Irish sweater!

– – –

While we were in Galway, we had some time to see the city and the surrounding area.Galway_11_1

The River Corrib runs through the city and over the bridge you see the dome of the Cathedral. Galway_10_1Any anglers who read this blog may be interested to know that the river is full of salmon. So, they might consider a stop here on their next visit to Ireland.

While we were walking downtown I noticed this shop had the O’Malley crest on it. Galway_12_1

I also got a kick out of the sign that said “Reidy,” because my mother was a Reidy.Galway_18_1

This cross marks a cemetery for unbaptized babies right on the edge of the ocean. Those types of cemeteries were very common at one time.Galway_19_1

Also, as I was visiting a local bookstore, I saw these buttons with the Arabic letter N, for Nazarene, which is what they call the Christians in Arabic.08182015_1248_34

I was very pleased that people are beginning to identify with the Christians of the Middle East.

– – –

Saturday morning we celebrated Mass in the crypt of the Cathedral with Father Rabbitte for Bishop Michael Browne, who oversaw the construction of the new Cathedral.08152015_1456_2108152015_1455_20

– – –

In the afternoon we went out to Connemara, which is west of Galway. I thought it was interesting that when you are in Galway all the signs are bilingual, English and Irish, but as soon as you get into Connemara English signs are nowhere to be found.

I also thought it was very interesting that virtually everybody we met told us they have relatives in Boston. And not only that, but they can tell you what parish they are from and what neighborhood they live in. It was just incredible.

It made it very clear why they received so much support from the Irish in Boston for the building of the Cathedral.

– – –

On Sunday morning, I celebrated Mass with the community of Poor Clares in Galway, which has been there since the 1600’s.08162015_1031_25

With the sisters. The sister in the very center, between the two novices, is Father George Carlson’s niece.

At the time of Cromwell, the sisters fled the middle of the country and came to Galway, where they were hidden with families until they were able to build this monastery.Galway_09_1

On the wall is a parchment, listing the sisters who have served in the monastery since the 1640s.08162015_1021_23

You will notice that many of the first sisters came from Spain. 08162015_1021_23 copy

I learned that, besides the sisters, there was another interesting historical connection between Galway and Spain: Christopher Columbus went to Mass in the oldest church in Galway, St. Nicholas Church, before heading to the New World. In the time of Cromwell, that church was confiscated by the Protestants. So, that’s why the Cathedral was given the name Our Lady Assumed into to Heaven and St. Nicholas, to preserve the name of the church.

This is the Chapel the Poor Clares. The tabernacle opens up and contains a monstrance visible from both sides. The sisters remain on the other side.08162015_0913_22

The superior of the sisters gave me the gift of this tile with the “IHS” monogram of the Holy Name of Jesus.08162015_1029_24

The Poor Clares and the Franciscan Friars in Galway have long promoted devotion to the Holy Name. It comes from the Franciscan saint, St. Bernardine of Siena. So, wherever you go in Galway, you see tiles like this with the IHS, indicating the Holy Name of Jesus, over the front door of houses.

– – –

After the Mass with the sisters, we had brunch with a group of Boston pilgrims who were in Galway for the anniversary celebration and joined us for the Mass.GalwayBostonPilgrims

Then, around midday, we drove out to the Shrine of Our Lady of Knock, which is the Marian shrine in the part of Ireland near where my family is from. They were celebrating the novena, and Cardinal Dolan had just been there the day before leading a pilgrimage from New York.

08162015_1323_27The Chapel of the Apparitions at the Shrine

In this photo you can see one of the gardens around Knock, which are always very beautiful and well-kept.08162015_1321_26

This plaque explains the apparition of knock.08162015_1323_28

08162015_1341_29While we were visiting the shrine, we ran into Father Mark Storey, who happened to be in Knock at the same time we were.08162015_1345_30

With Father Bob Kickham, Father Kevin O’Leary and Father Storey

During our visit to the shrine, there was a Mass going on in the Basilica. The Basilica holds 4,000, and on that Sunday they had 4 or 5 Masses with the Basilica being full each time. In fact, the shrine gets over 1 million visitors per year, making it the most visited site in Ireland. 08162015_1438_32

At the shrine, there are ladies who serve tea and cake for all the pilgrims.08162015_1424_31

– – –

That day was also Cemetery Sunday, when local parishes celebrate an outdoor Mass in their cemetery to remember the dead. All the cemeteries we passed were full of people.

In the U.S., we usually hold commemorations like this around All Souls Day, but in Ireland they do it in the summer when the weather is better.

In this particular cemetery, Father Brendan Darcy, who is in SMA Father from Boston, celebrated Mass for 3,000 people on that day. Galway_17_1

 

Until next week,

Cardinal Seán

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15
Aug

Celebrating with St. Mary’s in Hull

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Hello and welcome!

Last week we held our annual Vianney Cookout for priests at St. John’s Seminary.Boston clergy share priestly fraternity in a casual setting at the Annual St. John Vianney Cookout hosted by St. John Seminary, Aug. 6, 2015. The gathering began with a talk on the papal encyclical “Laudato Si’” by Father J. Bryan Hehir.
Pilot photo/ Christopher S. Pineo

Boston clergy share priestly fraternity in a casual setting at the Annual St. John Vianney Cookout hosted by St. John Seminary, Aug. 6, 2015. The gathering began with a talk on the papal encyclical “Laudato Si’” by Father J. Bryan Hehir.
Pilot photo/ Christopher S. Pineo 
Boston clergy share priestly fraternity in a casual setting at the Annual St. John Vianney Cookout hosted by St. John Seminary, Aug. 6, 2015. The gathering began with a talk on the papal encyclical “Laudato Si’” by Father J. Bryan Hehir.
Pilot photo/ Christopher S. Pineo 
Each year we have this summer gathering for the priests, which consists of a lecture and praying Vespers together followed by a cookout.

There was quite a cross-section of priests as well as some religious who work in the diocese, including some of the SMA Fathers who are here helping out during the summer.Boston clergy share priestly fraternity in a casual setting at the Annual St. John Vianney Cookout hosted by St. John Seminary, Aug. 6, 2015. The gathering began with a talk on the papal encyclical “Laudato Si’” by Father J. Bryan Hehir.
Pilot photo/ Christopher S. Pineo

This year, I asked Father Bryan Hehir to give an exposition of the Holy Father’s new encyclical, Laudato Si’. Father Hehir provided a great explanation of the encyclical and connected the Holy Father’s writings particularly to those of Pope John Paul II. He also showed how the new elements in this encyclical flow from the past social encyclicals of the Church.Boston clergy share priestly fraternity in a casual setting at the Annual St. John Vianney Cookout hosted by St. John Seminary, Aug. 6, 2015. The gathering began with a talk on the papal encyclical “Laudato Si’” by Father J. Bryan Hehir.
Pilot photo/ Christopher S. Pineo 
Boston clergy share priestly fraternity in a casual setting at the Annual St. John Vianney Cookout hosted by St. John Seminary, Aug. 6, 2015. The gathering began with a talk on the papal encyclical “Laudato Si’” by Father J. Bryan Hehir.
Pilot photo/ Christopher S. Pineo

Obviously, there is a great deal of interest in the new encyclical, and there was a very lively question-and-answer session.

Afterwards, we prayed Vespers together in the same hall where we had the lecture, because the seminary chapel was closed while they repair the organ.Boston clergy share priestly fraternity in a casual setting at the Annual St. John Vianney Cookout hosted by St. John Seminary, Aug. 6, 2015. The gathering began with a talk on the papal encyclical “Laudato Si’” by Father J. Bryan Hehir.
Pilot photo/ Christopher S. Pineo

Our gathering concluded with a very nice summer barbeque.Boston clergy share priestly fraternity in a casual setting at the Annual St. John Vianney Cookout hosted by St. John Seminary, Aug. 6, 2015. The gathering began with a talk on the papal encyclical “Laudato Si’” by Father J. Bryan Hehir.
Pilot photo/ Christopher S. Pineo 
Boston clergy share priestly fraternity in a casual setting at the Annual St. John Vianney Cookout hosted by St. John Seminary, Aug. 6, 2015. The gathering began with a talk on the papal encyclical “Laudato Si’” by Father J. Bryan Hehir.
Pilot photo/ Christopher S. Pineo 
Boston clergy share priestly fraternity in a casual setting at the Annual St. John Vianney Cookout hosted by St. John Seminary, Aug. 6, 2015. The gathering began with a talk on the papal encyclical “Laudato Si’” by Father J. Bryan Hehir.
Pilot photo/ Christopher S. Pineo

– – –

On Sunday, I went to St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Hull, for the celebration of the patronal feast of the parish, the 125th anniversary of their parish, as well as the 100th anniversary of their church.Blog-IMG_4497Blog-IMG_4498

To celebrate their feast, they have a custom of bringing the statue of Our Lady in from the sea and have a procession from the docks into the church.A Mass and festival was held Aug. 9, 2015 at St. Mary of the Assumption in Hull to mark three special occasions of the parish: the 5th anniversary of their feast day celebration, the 125th anniversary of the parish and the 100th anniversary of their church.
Pilot photo/ Courtesy Christine Duclos
A Mass and festival was held Aug. 9, 2015 at St. Mary of the Assumption in Hull to mark three special occasions of the parish: the 5th anniversary of their feast day celebration, the 125th anniversary of the parish and the 100th anniversary of their church.
Pilot photo/ Courtesy Christine Duclos
A Mass and festival was held Aug. 9, 2015 at St. Mary of the Assumption in Hull to mark three special occasions of the parish: the 5th anniversary of their feast day celebration, the 125th anniversary of the parish and the 100th anniversary of their church. 
Pilot photo/ Courtesy St. Mary of the Assumption Parish
A Mass and festival was held Aug. 9, 2015 at St. Mary of the Assumption in Hull to mark three special occasions of the parish: the 5th anniversary of their feast day celebration, the 125th anniversary of the parish and the 100th anniversary of their church. 
Pilot photo/ Courtesy St. Mary of the Assumption Parish
A Mass and festival was held Aug. 9, 2015 at St. Mary of the Assumption in Hull to mark three special occasions of the parish: the 5th anniversary of their feast day celebration, the 125th anniversary of the parish and the 100th anniversary of their church. 
Pilot photo/ Courtesy St. Mary of the Assumption Parish

There was a great turnout of people, it was standing room only in the church and we were very happy to be joined by a number of priests who had formerly served in the parish.A Mass and festival was held Aug. 9, 2015 at St. Mary of the Assumption in Hull to mark three special occasions of the parish: the 5th anniversary of their feast day celebration, the 125th anniversary of the parish and the 100th anniversary of their church. 
Pilot photo/ Courtesy St. Mary of the Assumption Parish
A Mass and festival was held Aug. 9, 2015 at St. Mary of the Assumption in Hull to mark three special occasions of the parish: the 5th anniversary of their feast day celebration, the 125th anniversary of the parish and the 100th anniversary of their church. 
Pilot photo/ Courtesy St. Mary of the Assumption Parish
A Mass and festival was held Aug. 9, 2015 at St. Mary of the Assumption in Hull to mark three special occasions of the parish: the 5th anniversary of their feast day celebration, the 125th anniversary of the parish and the 100th anniversary of their church. 
Pilot photo/ Courtesy St. Mary of the Assumption Parish

After Mass, they had kind of a fair on the grounds of the church with all sorts of food and activities — and even a petting zoo! A Mass and festival was held Aug. 9, 2015 at St. Mary of the Assumption in Hull to mark three special occasions of the parish: the 5th anniversary of their feast day celebration, the 125th anniversary of the parish and the 100th anniversary of their church. 
Pilot photo/ Courtesy St. Mary of the Assumption Parish
A Mass and festival was held Aug. 9, 2015 at St. Mary of the Assumption in Hull to mark three special occasions of the parish: the 5th anniversary of their feast day celebration, the 125th anniversary of the parish and the 100th anniversary of their church. 
Pilot photo/ Courtesy St. Mary of the Assumption Parish
A Mass and festival was held Aug. 9, 2015 at St. Mary of the Assumption in Hull to mark three special occasions of the parish: the 5th anniversary of their feast day celebration, the 125th anniversary of the parish and the 100th anniversary of their church. 
Pilot photo/ Courtesy St. Mary of the Assumption Parish
A Mass and festival was held Aug. 9, 2015 at St. Mary of the Assumption in Hull to mark three special occasions of the parish: the 5th anniversary of their feast day celebration, the 125th anniversary of the parish and the 100th anniversary of their church. 
Pilot photo/ Courtesy St. Mary of the Assumption Parish
A Mass and festival was held Aug. 9, 2015 at St. Mary of the Assumption in Hull to mark three special occasions of the parish: the 5th anniversary of their feast day celebration, the 125th anniversary of the parish and the 100th anniversary of their church. 
Pilot photo/ Courtesy St. Mary of the Assumption Parish

It was a very beautiful and happy celebration and we were certainly blessed by the weather. I think everyone will agree, to have sunny 70 degree weather in mid-August is truly a gift!

– – –

On Monday I met with Father Bob Monagle who has served as a military chaplain for many years and just came back from a deployment in the Middle East. His next assignment will be to Aviano Air Force Base in northern Italy.Blog-IMG_4504

I reminded him that Aviano is the birthplace of the Capuchin Blessed Marco of Aviano who is the patron of military chaplains.415ce936-b48e-4998-a6ab-b42e6efa9e2b

– – –

Also on Monday I went to the Connors Retreat Center in Dover to participate in the gathering of the Catholic Conversation Project, an annual summer meeting of young theologians who come together to dialogue on a particular theme with experts and invited guests.

This year, the gathering included theologians from colleges such as Catholic University, Georgetown, Boston College, Mount St. Mary’s and Loyola. This is the second or third time I have met with them when they come here for the summer meetings.Blog-photo 3

The conference focused on preparation for the upcoming Synod on the Family and I joined them for a panel discussion.Blog-photo 2

There was great interest in the themes of the Synod. One of the panelists focused on indicating universality of the Church that will be reflected in the Synod, since over half the participants will come from the Southern Hemisphere, bringing the kinds of issues and pastoral concerns of a group of Catholics who have had a much different experience than those from the northern industrialized nations.Blog-photo 1

In my remarks, I spoke about the importance of the name given to the Synod: "The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and Contemporary World". In analyzing the different aspects of that title, I pointed out that there has been a loss of the sense of vocation in the Church.

When people marry in the Lord, and have a sense of vocation, the family will be able to carry on its mission. And one of its most important missions is passing on the faith to new generations of disciples in the Church and working in the contemporary world to create a world that is more just, promotes the gospel of life, and promotes care of the poor, the elderly and those on the margins.

I also reflected on some of the aspects of the Instrumentum Laboris.Blog-photo 5

It was a very lively group, and I was very happy to be able to join them.

Until next week,

Cardinal Seán

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08
Aug

The Knights of Columbus Supreme Convention

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Hello and welcome!

Anyone who has visited the Cathedral recently will notice that we’ve been doing some sprucing up.cath3

Father Kevin O’Leary established a committee to raise funds to clean and re-point the exterior of the Cathedral and to make repairs on the roof. And install new bells as well. The work has begun and will be completed in the next few months but the difference is absolutely stunning.

As you can see in this photo of a section that has been partially cleaned, the difference is tremendous.IMG_4468

In this photo from the back of the church you can see a section that has already been done. IMG_4450IMG_4451

This is the first time in 150 years at the Cathedral has been cleaned in this way — and, as we like to say around here, it’s good to clean it every 150 years, whether it needs it or not!

I think the Catholics of the archdiocese will be very proud of their Cathedral once all the work is complete. We are very grateful to Father O’Leary and all those who have collaborated with him on this very important endeavor.

– – –

Also this week, the U.S. conference of Catholic Bishops weighed in on the current controversy surrounding Planned Parenthood with a letter that I, as chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities, sent out to senators explaining the Church’s objections to Planned Parenthood’s activities, particularly in regard to the latest revelations that they are harvesting organs from aborted children and selling them.USCCB-Logo

It is curious that many of the same people who claim that an unborn child is simply part of the mother’s body or merely a lump of tissue are very quick to recognize that the unborn child has human organs that can be sold. So, in many ways it is diminishing the humanity of these children while, at the same time, recognizing that they are in fact human beings.

– – –

On Friday, I attended the funeral for Cardinal Baum who was probably the oldest living American Cardinal, and almost all the U.S. Cardinals were there for his funeral.cardinal-baum1

Cardinal Wuerl gave a very beautiful homily, in which he talked about the long ministry of Cardinal Baum, beginning with his involvement in the ecumenical movement that came out of his own experience. His father was a Protestant and, when his father died his mother married a Jewish gentleman. So, in his own family he had these relationships and was able to do so much in those post- conciliar days to promote ecumenism and interreligious dialogue.

As I have mentioned before, he became Archbishop of Washington at a time when there was great controversy and division, but in his characteristic and gentlemanly way he brought a sense of serenity and reconciliation into the archdiocese. Later he went on to serve in Rome for many years. There have actually been three Archbishops in Washington since his tenure, because the longest part of his ministry as a Cardinal was heading up the Congregation for Catholic Education and later the Tribunal of the Apostolic Penitentiary.

I’d like to share Cardinal Wuerl’s homily with you here:Cardinal Donald Wuerl celebrates the Funeral Mass for Cardinal William Wakefield Baum on July 31 at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle.

Dear brothers and sisters in the Lord:

One week ago, William Wakefield Baum, Cardinal Priest of the Holy Roman Church and titular of the Church of the Holy Cross in Via Flaminia in Rome, was called to the Father’s house. In response to the call, he passed through the doors of death in anticipation of the life to come.Cardinal Donald Wuerl celebrates the Funeral Mass for Cardinal William Wakefield Baum on July 31 at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle.

We gather today so that we might with faith in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and his pledge to us of new life remember and celebrate the life and ministry of Cardinal Baum, thank God for it and pray to God for our dear beloved pastor and friend.

The first reading today is taken from the Prophet Isaiah and speaks of that day when we will rejoice as we stand before God, all our tears will be wiped away and we will see the Lord and be glad and rejoice in him. Saint Paul expands on this hope-filled expectation. No longer shall we see God merely by faith, but we shall see him “face to face” (1 Cor 13:12).Cardinal Donald Wuerl celebrates the Funeral Mass for Cardinal William Wakefield Baum on July 31 at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle.

This reading was explicitly chosen because some months ago I had a conversation, one of many, with Cardinal Baum at his residence at the Little Sisters of the Poor. The fact that he was able, at the Jeanne Jugan Residence, to continue to receive visitors and have conversations with the same style and ease as he did at his apartment in Rome and later on his retirement here is a tribute to the care and love provided by the Little Sisters.

This time Cardinal Baum raised the question of the beatific vision. There are few people whom I visit with the infirmities he bore who continue to have such a range of interests. All of us who spoke with His Eminence know that his conversations could go from questions about what is happening in the Church today, to reflections on the current culture and, as often as not, to theological matters. This particular day we reflected on what it will mean to say we see God face to face. I have to admit that the question caught me a little off guard and I immediately began mentally to retrieve my old university theology notes.

After some time, we concluded that the only thing we can be certain of is that in God’s mercy there will be such an encounter and that the nature of it is something we will simply have to await.

Now he knows the answer. As Isaiah reminds us, it is in God’s presence prefigured by his holy mountain that the Lord of hosts will destroy the veil that separates us from the face of God.

Cardinal Baum was a man of faith who many times in his life heard God’s call and responded. His journey as a disciple began with a call that was heard not so much with his ears but with his soul. It was in the baptismal outpouring of the waters of salvation that he responded to the call to a new way of life. He began a journey that only over time would he become more and more aware of, committed to and live.

In the second reading we are told that those who are baptized into Christ Jesus are baptized into his death but also into newness of life. “We who are baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death…so that just as Christ was raised from the dead…we too might live in newness of life” (Rom 6:34).Cardinal Donald Wuerl celebrates the Funeral Mass for Cardinal William Wakefield Baum on July 31 at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle.

It was his profound faith in this call that was at the very core of Cardinal William Baum. In this Liturgy, as with all who have been baptized, the Church fondly prays for William. In the waters in the font of salvation we all become simply children of God. All of the accomplishments of life and all the honors and dignities, civil and ecclesiastical, however earned and merited, pale before the designation that in baptism we become adopted children of God.

Saint Paul confirms this unique Christian vocation, “The spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ…so that we might also be glorified with him” (Rom 8:16-17).

As a man of faith, William Wakefield Baum recognized the special role of the Church in this process of adoption and transformation. In the Creed we profess our faith in the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit and the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. It was the wonder of incorporation into the Body of Christ that guided so much of the vision and activity of our late archbishop and cardinal.Cardinal Donald Wuerl celebrates the Funeral Mass for Cardinal William Wakefield Baum on July 31 at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle.

The Second Vatican Council Dogmatic Constitution on the Church describes this vision that captivated the imagination and heart of Cardinal Baum over fifty years ago. “For by communicating his Spirit, Christ mystically constitutes as his Body those brothers of his who are called together from every nation” (L.G. 7).

His ecumenical vision was nurtured by this call to communion. It also grew out of his own personal experience. With a Protestant father and a Jewish step-father, Cardinal Baum was profoundly aware of the implications of interfaith and ecumenical relations. This experience colored his priestly ministry.

In his thirties he was already recognized as one of the Catholic Church’s authorities on interfaith relations. We all with great pride can recall how during the Second Vatican Council Cardinal Baum served as advisor on ecumenical matters to the Fathers of the Council. He was engaged in some of the work in developing drafts of documents that helped reshape the Church’s appreciation of ecumenical and interfaith relations.

Here in Washington he had ample opportunity to apply the new perspectives and directives. From the end of the Council until 1967, the then Monsignor Baum was the first Executive Director of the Bishops’ Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs. Closer to home, he was one of the co-founders of the Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington. This was one of the first such institutions in our nation bringing together leadership of many religious traditions.

His life might well be described as some have as scholarly, quiet and cultured. I would add another adjective, “serene.” His serenity came from his profound conviction that the Church is the living presence of Christ in the world and that our efforts to serve the Church and to be open to our brothers and sisters who have different faith convictions is a mark of an adopted child of God.

In this Cathedral Church are many who can attest to the quiet, profound and absolutely unshakable faith in the Church as part of God’s plan that marked the life of Cardinal Baum.Cardinal Donald Wuerl celebrates the Funeral Mass for Cardinal William Wakefield Baum on July 31 at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle.

His episcopal ministry began in the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau and continued later with his 1973 transfer to lead the Archdiocese of Washington. This was not a quiet time in the life of the Church. He spoke then about the need to bring healing and unity to a Church that was divided in its clergy and faithful over the encyclical of Pope, now Blessed, Paul VI, Humanae Vitae. Some who objected to this teaching asserted that it was an overreach of Papal Magisterium because it dealt with matters that were less than dogmatic. There were those who insisted that it clearly did not enjoy the approbation of those who had expertise in this field. Yet the overriding vision of Cardinal Baum was to do everything possible to sustain and maintain the unity of God’s family.

His episcopal motto, which was drawn from Saint Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians, was “Ministerium reconciliationis” — a ministry of reconciliation.

 

His was a ministry of engagement not confrontation. Nowhere was this more evident than in his ministry here in this archdiocese.

From 1973 to 1980 he carried out this ministry as our archbishop. During those days I came to know him primarily through the work on the catechism, The Teaching of Christ. This was an adult catechism published several decades before the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I recall with affection visiting Cardinal Baum with Capuchin Father Ronald Lawler, God rest him, to ask advice about the possibility of such an adult catechism and how it would be developed. His immediate response was to highlight two elements: the Church as God’s instrument among us, and the need for an ecumenical outreach to try to restore the unity of that Church.

It was during his tenure as our Cardinal Archbishop that he welcomed Pope John Paul II to the capital of our nation during his historic first pastoral visit in 1979.

His deep faith in the Church as the living presence of Christ in the world and the manifestation of God’s kingdom coming to be in our time, I think, is the most remarkable characteristic of Cardinal William Baum. This identification led him gladly to accept the change in responsibilities that caused him to step aside from his beloved ministry in Washington and go to Rome.

Here in 1980 he became the Prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education where for ten years he oversaw seminaries and Catholic colleges and universities around the world. Here again, his motto of a ministry of reconciliation was evident. As head of the Vatican Office for Education, he was responsible for oversight and relations with Catholic colleges and universities throughout the world. He met regularly and continually with the leadership of Catholic higher education during a decade that witnessed the significant realignment of university governance and structures that continues to be operative today.

Once again, our paths would cross as Pope, now Saint, John Paul II entrusted to Cardinal Baum the apostolic visitation of all of the 220 seminaries and houses of formation in the United States. I had the great privilege of serving under the direction of Cardinal Baum in this vast effort. In every step on that six year process he was involved and encouraging. For him, the institutions of the Church were the manifestations of the life of the Church. Maybe this is why he also served as a member of the Congregation for Bishops, Oriental Churches, Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and the Evangelization of Peoples.

Underlining this diversity of assignments was Cardinal Baum’s total dedication to a single vision — the vision of the priesthood as Christ at work in the world and his personal, firm commitment to serve the Lord as his priest, which he did for 64 years. He lived the words of today’s Responsorial Psalm, “The Lord is my light and my salvation” (Psalm 27). In that light, he responded faithfully to the call to become an image of Jesus, dedicated to maintaining Christ’s love and teaching, leading and sanctifying those entrusted to his care.

 

How appropriate that after a decade of service overseeing the universities, colleges and seminaries throughout the world Cardinal Baum would become the head of the Vatican Sacred Penitentiary, that office that oversees the realm of sacred space where conscience gives unto the very presence of God in our lives.

I do not know what goes on at the Sacred Penitentiary because it was a topic that Cardinal Baum never addressed. Matters of conscience, privacy, confidentiality were realities he held dear and sacred.

In our day where confidentiality and the respect for others have so greatly diminished, his ministry can be a model for many of us.

His personal spiritual life was focused on the Eucharist, the Blessed Sacrament. Many of us can remember seeing him at his apartment in Rome or his various residences here in this archdiocese and the visit to the Blessed Sacrament before and after lunch. His prayer that we shared was a very simply one: O Sacrament most holy, O Sacrament divine, all praise and all thanksgiving be every moment thine.CLuysCPWsAAy6r2

To this day when I say that prayer I can still hear his quiet and gentle voice.

At the heart of all of his wisdom, humility and dedication was the faith of one who experienced and encountered the living Lord.

The Gospel today tells us of that encounter, the encounter between Martha and Jesus at the death of Lazarus. Jesus reminds her that “your brother will rise.” But she replies, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus retort is clear and simple, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die,” and then he asked her, “Do you believe this?”

Her answer, the answer of William Baum, the answer of his Eminence Cardinal William Wakefield Baum, the answer to the faithful gathered in this Church today is the same, “Yes Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.”

Those who come to eternal life will enjoy every manner of blessing but at the core of their joy will be the possession of God himself. No longer shall we see God merely by faith, but we shall see him “face to face” (1 Cor. 13:12). It is in that expectation that we pray that we will hear these words of our Lord at our own judgment and pray that it is also the invitation directed now to Cardinal Baum, “Come share your master’s joy” (Mt. 25: 21).

 

This brings us back to where we began — Cardinal Baum’s room at the Little Sisters of the Poor.

I will always carry in my mind’s eye the scene at his deathbed as together with the Little Sisters of the Poor we offered the prayers for the dying. I administered the apostolic absolution. He had been many times anointed, several times by myself, and most recently by his faithful secretary Monsignor Patrick E. Dempsey.

The Little Sisters who had so well cared for our Cardinal and who do so for so many with such great love gathered around the bed and prayed. I can easily recall the tears in the eyes of some of the sisters who also saw with the eyes of faith and love that it was a holy passing that we were witnessing.

My brothers and sisters, that holy passing is what we also witness. Those tears are wiped away today. We pray with confidence that our brother now may enter the presence of God whom he now sees face to face.

May his life be a blessing for all of us, may his witness be an example to each of us and may his faith and ours be the force that wipes away our tears in anticipation of when we too hope to see God face to face.

Thank you.

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Following the funeral, I went to Philadelphia for the annual Supreme Convention of the Knights of Columbus.IMG_4471IMG_4469

We had a very good representation from the Archdiocese of Boston.

 

I was very happy to see Father Bob Reed and the folks from CatholicTV at the convention providing coverage of this important event.CLhcux5UcAAjVVm

Bishop Uglietto and Bishop Kennedy were also able to join us though Bishop Hennessey had to return early for the funeral of the mother of Father Wayne Belschner.Report_06

The theme of the convention, “Endowed by their Creator with Life And Liberty” was inspired by the words from the Declaration of Independence, which was of course signed in Philadelphia. In keeping with the theme, many of the talks addressed the subject of religious freedom, including the report of the Supreme Knight, Carl Anderson. IMG_4472

He spoke about one of the Grand Knights who, during the Cristiada War, spoke out against the persecution of Catholics in Mexico, lamenting the fact that no one was mentioning this problem at the time. He said that today we have a similar problem in Eastern Europe. Report_11Report_17Report_08Report_09

In this picture we see the Knights holding up a wooden cross. They gave these wooden crosses, made of olive wood from the Holy Land, to everyone. This is a new initiative of Knights of Columbus to raise money to support the Catholics in the Middle East. IMG_4474

Report_16The Supreme Knight also reviewed some of the works the Knights have carried out over the last year, which included $173 million in charitable donations as well as over 71 million volunteer hours. He also reported that The Knights of Columbus had a very large increase in membership last year, adding 256 new councils with a membership of almost 2 million overall.

I’m very anxious for us to do more to promote membership of the Knights of Columbus in Massachusetts. One of the things that Carl Anderson asked was that over the next year each Knight should bring in three new members. I want to echo that call. When a parish sets up a council it becomes an instant way of achieving men’s ministry in the parish. In addition it’s a great help to the pastor.

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This year at the States Banquet, instead of the typical keynote they had the two bishops from the Middle East, where the Church is so persecuted, give witness talks about the situation of the Church in their countries.5153

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The Supreme Convention is always an inspiring occasion. But one of the events that particularly struck me this year was our celebration Wednesday of the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom yesterday in solidarity with the people of the Ukraine.04DivineLiturgy06DivineLiturgy11DivineLiturgy12DivineLiturgy19DivineLiturgy20DivineLiturgy28DivineLiturgy

Philadelphia is not only a Latin Rite archdiocese but also Ukrainian Eparchy. So, Archbishop Chaput celebrated the Opening Mass on Tuesday and on Wednesday the “other” Archbishop of Philadelphia, Metropolitan Archbishop Stefan Soroka, celebrated their liturgy. There were nine Ukrainian Catholic bishops present for the Liturgy, which was very impressive.

 

Another detail from this year’s convention was that we were joined by the Cardinal Archbishop of Lyons, France, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, who was attending because they are establishing the Knights in France. It was interesting to have them there to because on Monday the Mass was celebrated for families, but it was also the Feast of St. John Marie Vianney, who was from Lyons. Philippe_Barbarin

He gave us a copy of this book about the Martyrs of Lyons.Lyons 001

Until next week,

Cardinal Seán

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01
Aug

People of Life Awards

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All of us were shocked by the recent revelations concerning Planned Parenthood harvesting organs from aborted children and then marketing those organs. On the one hand Planned Parenthood wants us to believe that a fetus is not a child, but on the other hand they are harvesting human organs from the fetuses.

It’s very macabre and shocking given the history of Planned Parenthood, which was founded to eliminate poor people. We see that once again they put a price tag on life.

In my role as chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops I issued the following statement  in response to recent videos showing leaders from Planned Parenthood discussing the provision of fetal organs, tissues, and body parts from their abortion clinics:

Pope Francis has called abortion the product of a “widespread mentality of profit, the throwaway culture, which has today enslaved the hearts and minds of so many.” The recent news stories concerning Planned Parenthood direct our attention to two larger issues involving many institutions in our society. The first is abortion itself: a direct attack on human life in its most vulnerable condition. The second is the now standard practice of obtaining fetal organs and tissues through abortion. Both actions fail to respect the humanity and dignity of human life. This fact should be the center of attention in the present public controversy.

If the Planned Parenthood news coverage has caused anyone to experience revived trauma from their own involvement in abortion, be assured that any and all persons will be welcomed with compassion and assistance through the Church’s post-abortion healing ministry, Project Rachel.  If you or someone you know would like confidential, nonjudgmental help, please visit www.projectrachel.com.
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Last Saturday I ordained a new transitional deacon. Tom Olson, who was a Jesuit seminarian who has come to the archdiocese, was ordained in St. Columbkille’s, the parish where he has been working.

 

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The parishioners were very pleased to be having an ordination there, and a number of priests from the archdiocese accompanied us. Father Bill Palardy was there from Pope St. John XXIII, where Deacon Olson has been studying for the last year. He’ll be part of the next ordination class, which will be next spring.

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That afternoon I met with Abbot Archimandrite Nicholas Zachariadis from Holy Resurrection Monastery in St. Nazianz, Wisconsin. He was sent by Bishop David L. Ricken for a visit and to tell me about their experience in Eastern Monasticism. It was a very nice visit.

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I had the Spanish Mass at the Cathedral on Sunday, and then the next day I went to the pro-life conference in Kansas City, Kansas where I celebrated Mass in the Cathedral there with Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann and a number of priests.

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It was a meeting of the diocesan directors of pro-life ministry and other pro-life organizations.

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That evening after the Mass, we had an awards banquet at which three pro-life leaders were honored. I presented the awards.

Nancy Valko, Molly Kelly, and Michael Taylor received the 2015 People of Life Award for their pro-life commitments throughout their lives. There were pro-life leaders from more than 120 dioceses, and the USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities sponsored the dinner. Nancy, who has experience as a nurse and serves as spokesperson for the National Association of Pro-Life Nurses, was recognized for her work on disability and end-of-life issues. Molly received the award for her time serving the Church as a pro-life speaker and chastity educator. Michael received the award for 46 years working as a leader in the pro-life movement. The award is given for answering the call of Evangelium Vitae by Pope St. John Paul II, and we value and appreciate the work of these pro-life leaders.
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Wednesday we had a reception at the United Nations Nunciature in New York to talk about the works of the New Evangelization and particularly of our efforts to expand our Redemptoris Mater Seminary.

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The seminary is located at the old rectory of St. Lawrence in Chestnut Hill, but it is at full capacity and cannot host all the seminarians. There are currently 24 seminarians assigned to the Redemptoris Mater and we hope to expand that number as soon as we can host them in the new facilities.

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We are very grateful to Archbishop Bernardito Ausa for his hospitality and support.

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A number of benefactors interested in the seminary and our plans for the future were assembled there.

We are very grateful to Marina Perna for arranging to bring this group of people together.
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From there I flew to Washington to attend the funeral of Cardinal Baum today.

Until my next post

In Christ

Cardinal Seán

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25
Jul

Attending the Steubenville East Conference

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Hello and welcome,

We learned with great sadness yesterday that, William Cardinal Baum, the former Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Washington had passed away. In addition to his ministry in Washington, he had been the former Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education and the former Grand Penitentiary.

U.S. Cardinal William W. Baum, who died July 23 at age 88 after a long illness, is pictured in a 2008. He was archbishop of Washington from 1973 to 1980 and a cardinal for 39 years, the longest such tenure in U.S. church history. (CNS photo/Paul Fetters, courtesy Archdiocese of Washington) See OBIT-BAUM July 24, 2015.
Cardinal Baum came to Washington in the 1970s, at a time when there was great conflict in the archdiocese and chose for his motto Ministerium reconciliationis, “The ministry of reconciliation”. His motto reflected his gentle and kind pastoral approach, which was a very important means of healing many divisions in the archdiocese.

At the time I was at the Centro Catolico and he was very supportive of Hispanic ministry, allowing us to organize and expand pastoral services to the newly arriving immigrants throughout the archdiocese. He was also very supportive of the Hispanic newspaper “El Pregonero,” the Hispanic diaconate program and many other initiatives that responded to what was really the beginning of an enormous wave of Catholic immigration into the Archdiocese of Washington.

For the last few years he had been living at the house of the Little Sisters of the Poor on Harewood Road in Washington, very near Catholic University. He was a very dear friend and I was always happy to see him.

In the last couple of years he’s been more limited in his mobility, but I would occasionally be able to visit him and he was always very engaged and interested in everything that was happening in the Church. He was a very cultured gentleman who was very much committed to the intellectual life of the Church and very much involved in ecumenical outreach to other churches.

Though there have been three archbishops in Washington since the time he left, he is still fondly remembered. His long years of ministry were characterized by his gentleness, kindliness, gentlemanliness and his concern for people. He will be sorely missed.

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Earlier this week, in my role as the chairman of the USCCB’s Committee for Pro-Life Affairs, I issued a statement together with Archbishop Wenski, the chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, calling for an end to the death penalty in our country.USCCB-Logo

Since the time of St. John Paul II, the death penalty has been seen as one of the issues that needs to be addressed in our modern world, as part of our commitment to the Gospel of Life and to show how precious life is. The Catechism of the Catholic Church and the papal magisterium reflect this important idea.

There are very few countries in the modern world that still apply the death penalty. The only justification for the death penalty is self-defense and the inability of the country to provide any other type of solution. Here, in the wealthiest and most technologically advanced country in the history of the world, we have alternatives to capital punishment. Therefore, we have an obligation to abolish the death penalty and initiate alternatives.

I’d like to share the text of that statement with you here:

Ten years ago, the Catholic bishops of the United States initiated the Catholic Campaign to End the Use of the Death Penalty. Speaking as pastors and teachers, we issued a statement at that time, A Culture of Life and the Penalty of Death, in which we considered the reality of capital punishment in the United States. We urged a prudential examination of the use of the death penalty, with the aim of helping to build “a culture of life in which our nation will no longer try to teach that killing is wrong by killing those who kill. This cycle of violence diminishes all of us.”

Since that time, significant gains have been made. Several states, including New York, New Jersey, New Mexico, Illinois, Connecticut, Maryland and most recently Nebraska, have ended the use of the death penalty, and other states have enacted moratoria. Death sentences are at their lowest level since the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976. However, there is still a great deal of work to be done, and we must recommit ourselves to end this practice in our country.

We join our Holy Father, Pope Francis, in anticipation of the forthcoming Jubilee Year of Mercy, and renew our efforts in calling for the end of the use of the death penalty:

“Today the death penalty is inadmissible, no matter how serious the crime committed. It is an offense against the inviolability of life and the dignity of the human person, one which contradicts God’s plan for man and society and his merciful justice, and impedes the penalty from fulfilling any just objective. It does not render justice to the victims, but rather fosters vengeance.”

– Pope Francis, March 20, 2015

Our faith tradition offers a unique perspective on crime and punishment, one grounded in mercy and healing, not punishment for its own sake. No matter how heinous the crime, if society can protect itself without ending a human life, it should do so. Today, we have this capability.

We are all sinners, but through the Father’s loving mercy and Jesus’ redeeming sacrifice upon the Cross, we have been offered the gift of life everlasting. The Lord never ceases his loving pursuit of us in our sin and brokenness, offering us the choice of life over death. The use of the death penalty cuts short any prospect for transforming the condemned person’s soul in this life. Catholic opposition to the death penalty, then, is rooted in mercy. It is also eminently pro-life, as it affords every opportunity for conversion, even of the hardened sinner. As followers of Jesus, we have the “inescapable responsibility of choosing to be unconditionally pro-life” (Evangelium Vitae, # 20).

Our Catholic faith affirms our solidarity with and support for victims of crime and their families. We commit ourselves to walk with them and assure them of the Church’s compassion and care, ministering to their spiritual, physical and emotional needs in the midst of deep pain and loss. We also acknowledge the inherent human dignity of those who have committed grave harm, affirming that, even as they repay a debt to society, they too should receive compassion and mercy. As we seek to tend to the eternal needs of those who commit serious crimes we must build up a culture of life in matters of justice and punishment.

The Church’s opposition to the death penalty should not be seen as indifference to the sinfulness of crime and attacks on human life, but as an affirmation of the sacredness of all life even for those who have committed the most heinous of crimes. As Archbishop Joseph Naumann of the Archdiocese of Kansas City, whose own father was murdered, recently said: “Our refusal to resort to the death penalty is not because we fail to appreciate the horror of the crime committed, but because we refuse to imitate violent criminals.”

Through our recommitment to work to end the use of the death penalty, we also renew the call for all people of good will to:

1. Pray for victims of crime, those facing execution, and those working in the criminal justice system;

2. Reach out to the families of those affected by violent crime by bringing Christ’s love and compassion;

3. Learn about the Church’s teaching on capital punishment and educate others in this vital area of concern;

4. Advocate for better public policies to protect society and end the use of the death penalty.

The Scriptures remind us: “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy” (Lk 5:7). As Christians, we are called to oppose the culture of death by witnessing to something greater and more perfect: a gospel of life, hope, and mercy. To help build a culture of life, capital punishment should be abolished.

 

Faithfully In Christ,

Most Reverend Thomas G. Wenski

Archbishop of Miami

Chairman, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development

 

Seán Cardinal O’Malley

Archbishop of Boston

Chairman, Committee on Pro-Life Activities

There are so many aspects of the criminal justice system that are broken and require reform. Nearly a quarter of all incarcerated people in the world are in U.S prisons or jails, and the percentage of those prisoners who are minorities is astonishing. African-American men comprise a mere 6 percent of the American population, but according to the Department of Justice, they make up nearly half of the 2 million inmates in this country. The Huntington Post recently reported: “there are more African-American men incarcerated in the United States than the total prison populations in India, Argentina, Canada, Lebanon, Japan, Germany, Finland, Israel and England combined.”

These are moral issues that have a great impact in our country. Indeed, I would not be surprised if the Holy Father addresses some of these issues when he makes his visit to the U.S. later this year.

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Also this week, a conference was held at the Vatican with mayors and local government officials from throughout the world on the problems of climate change and human trafficking.

The conference, “Modern Slavery and Climate Change: The Commitment of the Cities,” was held by the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences. On this Academy they have established experts — Catholics and non-Catholics alike — who study different themes that have an ethical and social dimension. LAUDATO-MAYORS

We are very happy that Mayor Marty Walsh of Boston was able to represent us at this gathering.

It is ironic that some people see faith as being in contrast to reason and science. Instead, throughout history, the Church has always been a leader in trying to promote scientific knowledge and discovery. This Vatican Academy continues in that same tradition, trying to promote science and ensure that scientific genius serves the common good and is not used for selfish or violent ends.

As we have commented before when the Holy Father’s encyclical Laudato Si’ came out, the Holy Father makes a very clear connection between the situation of the poor in the world and the fragility of the environment. The conference held this week in Rome reflects those themes that are so well delineated in that encyclical.

Within the Holy See, there is a very strong awareness that the population of the world is very quickly moving from rural areas into large metropolitan cities. There have been many conferences on the issue, including when I was invited to address in Milan on evangelizing the cities. So, we shouldn’t be surprised that the Holy See, particularly this type of Academy, would reach out to mayors of major cities to invite them to be part of this reflection on these themes.

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Saturday, I went to Pittsburgh for the profession of four Capuchin novices.IMG_4371IMG_4378

The profession was held in the motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Francis of Millvale. The motherhouse is very close to our provincial headquarters.IMG_4372

This is a community of sisters who were originally of German origin, so they had a very close connection with the Capuchins when we were running German parishes in the area.

These were also the sisters who worked in the missions with us. One of them was Sister Jane Schmidt, who worked with me in the Virgin Islands many years ago. She helped set the Third Order community on St. Croix and she is now living at the motherhouse.IMG_4379

On a wall in the motherhouse is a map of all the mission countries where the sisters work.IMG_4373

This is a picture of the newly professed with some of the other Friars. In the photo is Bishop Bill Fey, who is the Bishop of Kimbe in New Guinea, who was also there for the profession.

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On Sunday, I went to Lowell for the closing Mass of the Steubenville East Catholic Youth Conference that was held at the Tsongas Center there. It was a wonderful event, attended by nearly 3000 young people.SteubenvilleEast_CPineo-21

SteubenvilleEast_CPineo-03SteubenvilleEast_CPineo-01SteubenvilleEast_CPineo-05SteubenvilleEast_CPineo-04In my homily, I spoke to them about the gospel reading from Mark 6.

In the gospel reading for the previous Sunday, Jesus sends the apostles out two-by-two. This, I said, was Jesus’s training program for the apostles, the formation of leaders and that’s what I said Steubenville East is about. Then, in the gospel reading we had that day, we see those novice apostles coming back, all excited and sharing their experiences.SteubenvilleEast_CPineo-06

I said that the Sunday gospel of the apostles coming back shows the two modes of Christian life: one is gathering in a secret place with Jesus to be renewed and the other is being out “running the field hospital” and preaching the gospel. That pericope of the gospel is sandwiched between two banquet scenes. The first is Herod’s birthday party where they killed John the Baptist, which puts in context the sense of urgency — as well as the dangers and difficulties — of the ministry to which these twelve apostles are being sent out. They are taking up where John the Baptist is ending.

Then, after the passage of the Sunday gospel, is where Jesus performs the miracle of the loaves and the fishes. So I told the young people, we have to choose, do you want be part of Herod’s banquet or do you want to be part of Jesus’s banquet?

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At the end, we had an altar call for those considering a vocation to priesthood or consecrated life. Before making the call, I spoke to them about having a sense of vocation, saying that their happiness and happiness of many other people, will depend on their making the right vocation decision. If you don’t have that sense of vocation, you can make the wrong choice and that will introduce chaos and sadness into your life.SteubenvilleEast_CPineo-20SteubenvilleEast_CPineo-15SteubenvilleEast_CPineo-17

I mentioned the story of the rich young man who, when Jesus told him to leave everything he owns and follow him, went away sad. Hearing that story, you almost want to chase him down the street saying, “Come back, you dummy! Your decision is making you sad, but don’t you see it is also depriving all those people you would have affected had you followed your vocation?”

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Having just had the gospel that morning about the apostles coming back two-by-two and telling Jesus their experience, later that day I had a living experience of much the same thing.IMG_6984

Over the previous ten days or so, following the example of the apostles in the gospel, 800 members of the Neocatechumenal Way had fanned out two-by-two throughout the United States to announce the Good News wherever they went. They came without money or possessions, just depending on upon God’s providence, as the gospel the previous Sunday had said.

Groups came to all four dioceses of Massachusetts and we had seven pairs of men visit the archdiocese of Boston. As their journey was coming to an end, I met with several of them at the Cathedral to hear how it went.IMG_3626IMG_3633

It was interesting to hear their experience, even in some cases an experience of homelessness and living with homeless people. I was impressed that some reported back how kind the homeless people were to them, and that there was a charity among the very poor they had not been aware of before.

Several of them were priests, but there were also several laymen one of whom was John Leonard, the brother of Dorothea Leonard, who was a very close and dear friend of mine.DorotheaLeonard_1 I taught her at university, she was involved in the Third Order of St. Francis and the Neocatechumenal way, and was a teacher in a Catholic school — just a very holy woman. Meeting her brother was a nice treat!

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Finally, also this week I met with two young men sent by Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the nuncio in Poland, to visit us here to talk about World Youth Day preparations and some of the communication issues involved. They came for lunch and met with Father Matt Williams and myself.IMG_6989

Until next week,

Cardinal Seán

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