header image
◄ Back to Cardinal's Corner Subscribe to RSS Feed

Addressing the John Carroll Society

Tags: Main

Hello and welcome,

We are very pleased that Msgr. Robert Oliver was appointed this week as Secretary of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. This is a very important step forward in the organization of the office and the work of the commission.VATICAN-ABUSE

Monsignor has been working as Promoter of Justice of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and is very well-versed in the issues surrounding child protection. He has been supporting the commission very actively on a volunteer basis, so we are very glad that he has officially been given this responsibility by the Holy Father. The next meeting of the commission will be in October and we know that he will make a great contribution to our work.

At this moment there are a number of projects that are in the offing, but one of the most urgent tasks is trying to identify membership from parts of the world beyond Europe. We are especially seeking participation from Asia, Latin America, and Africa. That process is ongoing and we hope to have the full complement of members in the near future.

– – –

I am on the board of the Catholic Leadership Institute and so, Friday, CLI President Matt Manion, and vice president Dan Cellucci visited me to give me an update on some of the organization’s recent activities.2

CLI has been a very valuable help to our archdiocese, with the Good Leaders, Good Shepherds program, training our parish staffs and leadership as well as promoting best practices in evangelization and parish leadership.

– – –

That evening at the Cathedral, I hosted one of my regular dinners for seminarians. This time, I met with the seminarians in their fourth year of theology — these are the men who will be ordained transitional deacons in a few months.

As always, we began with Vespers and afterwards we had a very nice discussion. It gave the seminarians a chance to share a bit about their summer experiences.

– – –

On Saturday I left for Washington D.C. to attend the regular September meetings of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities and the Administrative Board.3

At the meeting of the Pro-Life Committee we heard a report on the ongoing collaboration between the Archdiocese of Washington and the national office of the post-abortion healing ministry, Project Rachel. About 50 dioceses have been trained, and our own Marianne Luthin is very much involved in that.

During the meeting we learned that the national website of Project Rachel, HopeAfterAbortion.com, is receiving about 40,000 visits a month, which shows that the outreach is working but also how much need there is for healing after abortion.

During the meeting of the Administrative Board, we were visited by Cardinal Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches. He was in Washington with a group of Eastern Patriarchs for the In Defense of Christians (IDC) Summit for Middle East Christians, which brought together the patriarchs and U.S. lawmakers to speak to our government about the situation of Christians in the Middle East.

– – –

While I was in Washington I stayed at the Capuchin house. 5

They have made some very nice renovations to the chapel at Capuchin College

Just down the street is the Ukrainian Catholic National Shrine. So, I made a stop there to pray for Catholics in the Ukraine.1

Also just down from the Ukrainian shrine is the Pope St. John Paul II National Shrine, which is now run by the Knights of Columbus. So I stopped in there as well.46

– – –

The John Carroll Society of the Archdiocese of Washington hosts an annual Fall Lecture, which was held at the Newseum on Tuesday.1409_OMalley_0067

This year I was asked to give the keynote talk on “Pope Francis and The New Evangelization”. There were over 500 people in attendance, which I think indicates the great interest people have in the topic of the Holy Father and his message.

You can listen to a recording of my talk here:

The director of the Society is Msgr. Peter Vaghi, whom I have known since he was a young lawyer who had not yet entered the seminary. He has been working with the John Carroll Society for almost 30 years.1409_OMalley_0125

The Society has as its roots in the Red Mass planning committee, but over the years it has grown into a wonderful instrument of ongoing formation for professionals in Washington, as well as a means of channeling pro-bono services to the poor and the needy. They have done an extraordinary job, so I was very happy to lend my support to their event.1409_OMalley_0206

– – –

We are very happy this week to note that our archdiocesan newspaper, The Pilot, has just recently marked its 185th anniversary. pilot-1st_issue

We are very proud of our newspaper, which was founded by Bishop Fenwick in 1829 and is among the oldest newspapers in New England and is certainly the oldest Catholic newspaper in the United States. Of course, one of its most notable early editors was the famous Irish author and poet John Boyle O’Reilly who was a “POME” (Prisoner of Mother England) who escaped the penal colony in Australia and made his way to Boston and went on to led The Pilot to glory!

Until next week,

Cardinal Seán

Tags: Main

Opening the academic year at our seminaries

Tags: Main

Hello and welcome!

Last Thursday I was visited by Jeff Robbins and Robert Trestan, who are president of the board and the executive director of the New England Anti-Defamation League. Also with us was Father David Michael of our Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs.photo (8)

We meet periodically, and at this meeting we spoke about a number of current events including a recent rise in anti-Semitic acts, particularly in Europe but also in our local area. People seem to be targeting the Jewish community to express their disapproval of what they see happening in the Middle East.

Going forward, we are working to bring together a group of local religious leaders to assess the wellbeing and mutual concerns of the different faith communities they represent.

- – -

As I mentioned last week, around the beginning of September I always try to celebrate the opening Mass at each of our seminaries.21040829 D80 Cardinal Mass 150

So, on Friday, I celebrated the opening Mass for Pope St. John XXIII Seminary.21040829 D80 Cardinal Mass 255

Friday was the Feast of the Passion of St. John the Baptist. I joked with them that, when I was ordained, it was “The Beheading of John the Baptist” but political correctness seems to have crept into the liturgy. I said the next thing it is likely to be called is “King Herod’s Birthday Party!”21040829 D5000 Cardinal Mass 255_2

- – -

That evening, I traveled to St. John the Baptist Parish in Peabody for a Mass and blessing of their new renovations.

They very much wanted to have the celebration on the actual Feast Day of St. John the Baptist, though I was a little skeptical about the number of people who would be willing to come out on the Friday of Labor Day weekend. But my doubts proved to be unfounded. It was a beautiful celebration and they had a wonderful turnout.IMG_0015IMG_0026IMG_0032IMG_0038IMG_0041

We blessed the new handicapped access ramp and elevator to the Church as well as the lower chapel that has been refurbished.IMG_0002IMG_0005

IMG_0052We were honored to be joined by Peabody Mayor Ted Bettencourt, who is a graduate of the parish school, and long-time State Senator Fred Berry, who is a prominent figure in the disabilities community.

It was great to see the fine job that Father John MacInnis is doing there, assisted by one of our newly ordained priests, Father Steven Clemence. They minister to the large Hispanic community at St. John’s and at St. Thomas in Salem they have a very large Brazilian community.IMG_0157

Following the Mass they had a very nice reception at the Holy Ghost society Hall.

- – -

Saturday, I celebrated my final opening Mass of the academic year at the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Brookline. IMG_0851

During the Mass we instituted five new lectors, which is one of the ministries or what were formerly called the minor orders.IMG_0840

At each of the seminaries, I spoke about the three qualities that Pope Francis says attracted him to religious life: the missionary spirit, the sense of fraternity and the discipline, of the Jesuit Fathers that he knew as a young man in Buenos Aires. I pointed to those characteristics as being important in the life of any priest.IMG_0861_2

Afterwards I joined the seminarians for lunch.IMG_0872

- – -

Monday, of course, was Labor Day. As I like to do every year, I joined in the Labor Day barbecue for priests hosted by Father Bob Casey at St. Brigid’s in South Boston. I think we had about 130 priests join us, which was just a wonderful turnout.photo (11)photo (10)

We are very grateful to Father Bob, who sponsors this gathering every year. We were blessed with beautiful weather and a good time was had by all!

I was very happy that earlier in the weekend, our Episcopal Vicar for the Central Region, Father Jim Flavin, celebrated a Labor Day Mass for workers at the Seaport Chapel in South Boston. LaborMass-CPineo_IMG_8875LaborMass-CPineo_IMG_8887

As I mentioned in my post last week, the Church has always had a deep concern for the plight of workers and particularly in today’s world. Though I was not able to attend, I was happy to lend my support to this Mass held in solidarity with workers in difficult labor situations.LaborMass-CPineo_IMG_8902

- – -

Tuesday, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh came for a visit to the Cathedral.photo (14)

We had a very nice talk, and it was an opportunity to discuss issues of mutual concern to the Church and the City of Boston.

Until next week,

Cardinal Seán

Tags: Main