header image
◄ Back to Cardinal's Corner Subscribe to RSS Feed
 
18
Oct

A week of farewells

Tags: Main

Hello and welcome,

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

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

Brittany

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

– – –

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

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

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

– – –

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

With Lorenzo in January

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

– – –

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

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

– – –

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

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

– – –

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

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

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

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

– – –

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

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

– – –

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

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

– – –

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

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

– – –

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

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

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

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

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

– – –

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next week,

Cardinal Seán

Tags: Main
11
Oct

‘Evangelizing cities today’

Tags: Main

Hello and welcome!

I begin this week with the sad news of the passing of our retired Auxiliary Bishop John Boles. He had been ill for quite a while and died Wednesday in the early morning hours at St. Patrick’s Manor in Framingham, where Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm had given him such fine care.Boles

I want to share with you the statement that I issued that day after being informed of his passing:

“It is with sadness that I inform you of the passing of the Most Reverend John P. Boles, D.D., Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of the Archdiocese of Boston. Bishop Boles, who was a resident of Regina Cleri during retirement, passed away last night at St. Patrick’s Manor in Framingham, where he has been receiving care during recent months.

Over the course of nearly sixty years of priesthood and twenty two years of service as a bishop, Bishop Boles was a beacon of warmth to all who met him as he showed pastoral care and concern for the Catholic faithful and the wider community. He brought a sense of joy, kindness and fidelity to the Church that inspired us and provided an example for others to follow.

Please join me in praying for Bishop Boles as we give thanks to God for the blessing of his life and ministry. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Bishop Boles’ family and friends, his fellow bishops and priests, and all who mourn his passing. May his soul and all the souls of the faithfully departed rest in peace.”

- – -

As I mentioned in my post of last week, Saturday and Sunday I attended meetings of the Child Protection Commission.

We have been given our new office space and made progress on a number of projects of the commission, including the final preparation of the list of potential new members of the commission from other parts of the world.

- – -

Because Saturday was also St. Francis’s Day, I went to celebrate Mass with the Capuchin Friars in Rome, and bless their new Chapel and dedicate the altar.

These are some pictures of the Chapel. It is very simple with light colors.10042014_114515_rome210042014_114525_newchapelcapuchins

10042014_114445_general2v2With the Minister General, Father Mauro

- – -

Sunday morning at 7:30 a.m. we had Mass in the Clementine Chapel of St. Peter’s Basilica with the members of the commission for the protection of children. We were also joined by our seminarians from Boston studying in Rome. Our seminarian, Kevin Staley-Joyce gave us an a very good explanation of the chapel and its relationship to the tomb of St. Peter.10072014_142428_10659315_750932074944192_6383519000838446148_n10052014_075930_peter310052014_075936_peter

- – -

Cardinal Scola of Milan had asked me to give conferences to the clergy and people of his archdiocese on the topic of “Evangelizing cities today”. So, on Tuesday morning, I addressed about 1,200 priests and deacons of the Archdiocese of Milan in their cathedral, known as the Duomo.10062014_150925_photo (46)10072014_113822_photo (49)

The conference went for about an hour and was followed by a question and answer session. If you speak Italian, you can watch it here:

Talk to clergy of Milan

Afterwards, I said Mass at the tomb of St. Charles Borromeo, who was Archbishop of Milan and his tomb is in the Duomo.

10072014_123612_borromeo

- – -

The address to the laypeople wasn’t scheduled until the nighttime, so in afternoon we went to visit the Capuchin church in Milan. 10062014_164032_photo (44)10062014_164252_photo (30)10062014_164433_photo (42)10062014_164612_photo (40)10062014_164425_photo (41)10062014_171416_photo (37)

At the church they have a very large center that serves the poor and the homeless where they provide about 3,000 meals a day.10062014_172517_photo (32)10062014_172615_photo (36)10062014_173102_photo (34)10062014_181747_photo (33)10062014_172421_photo (38)

- – -

We also went to see the Cenacolo, Leonardo da Vinci’s famous painting of the Last Supper, which is in the refectory of Santa Maria delle Grazie, an old Dominican Friary in Milan.10072014_163950_rome410072014_160937_lastsupper

Many do not know how close that famous painting has come to being destroyed over the years: In the 1600’s a door was put in the wall, cutting off Christ’s feet; Napoleon used the refectory as a stable and during World War II a bomb leveled almost the entire refectory, except the wall with the fresco!

- – -

Returning that night to the Duomo, I gave a talk based on the same theme of “Evangelization in the City” to about 3,000 lay people. 10062014_185005_photo (27)10062014_185739_photo (25)

10072014_212555_Duomo3We began around 9:00 and ended at around 11:00 p.m., but despite the late hour we were amazed at the crowds.10072014_210905_photo (48)10072014_221634_photo (50)

- – -

From Milano, we returned to Rome and at the North American college the seminarians prepared a very nice dinner for us on the roof.10052014_210604_seminarians

With the seminarians, Father O’Brien and Father Steve Madden.10052014_214700_NAC

Also, while at the North American college I attended the Rome launch of Crux, at which Cardinal Dolan and Cardinal Pell spoke.

- – -

Finally, like many of you, I have been following the developments from Extraordinary Synod on the Family  taking place in Rome. It is important that we continue to pray for all those taking part in the synod and in particular with the prayer to the Holy Family that the Holy Father has composed for the synod:

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,

in you we contemplate

the splendor of true love,

to you we turn with trust.

Holy Family of Nazareth,

grant that our families too

may be places of communion and prayer,

authentic schools of the Gospel

and small domestic Churches.

Holy Family of Nazareth,

may families never again

experience violence, rejection and division:

may all who have been hurt or scandalized

find ready comfort and healing.

Holy Family of Nazareth,

may the approaching Synod of Bishops

make us once more mindful

of the sacredness and inviolability of the family,

and its beauty in God’s plan.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,

graciously hear our prayer!

Amen.

Until next week,

Cardinal Seán

Tags: Main