News & Press

1,600 Attend Archdiocese Of Boston Priest Appreciation Dinner

Event Recognizes Cardinal Seán’s 25 Years as a Bishop

Braintree, MA (September 16, 2009) – Priests from the Archdiocese of Boston, and Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, gathered this evening at The Seaport Hotel in Boston in order to be recognized for their commitment and dedication to their calling.   In recognition of this Year for Priests, 1,600 guests, including more than 300 priests, joined together in celebration of the blessings of their ministries, and their call to the priesthood.  This event also provided an opportunity to recognize the 25th anniversary of Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley’s Episcopal Ordination. 

Pope Benedict XVI has declared a “Year for Priests” which began with the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on June 19, 2009. The year concludes in Rome with an international gathering of priests with the Holy Father from June 9-11, 2010.  With the announcement of this Year for Priests, the Pope has declared St. John Vianney the Universal Patron of Priests on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the death of the Curé d’Ars.

Cardinal Seán said, “We are blessed by the commitment of our priests to serve Christ and His Church.  Tonight’s celebration is an opportunity for us to give thanks for their ministry and to offer our continued support and prayers as they continue their work for our Lord.  The Holy Father has named this the Year for Priests. We pray that across our Archdiocese, and throughout the world, our priests are renewed in Christ’s love for them and for those whom they serve.”  

Remarking on the Cardinal’s 25 years as a Bishop, Very Rev. Richard M. Erikson, Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia for the Archdiocese said, “We are inspired each and every day by the grace and leadership of Cardinal Seán.  As our shepherd and our pastor, he guides us with love, respect and hope for a bountiful Catholic community of believers.  He has lead us through tumultuous times and we are better for his presence here in the Archdiocese.  I join with our priests, religious, deacons, laity and people across the 144 cities and towns of the Archdiocese in asking God’s blessing on Cardinal Seán as he continues the Lord’s work in Boston.”

Event General Chairpersons were John A. Kaneb, CEO, HP Hood LLC, Jill Ker Conway, Author, and Monsignor Dennis F. Sheehan, Moderator, Presbyteral Council, Chaplain, Order of Malta.

Father Robert Reed, Class of 1985, Director of CatholicTV served as emcee.  Those who participated in the program included among others, former Ambassador to the Vatican & Former Boston Mayor Raymond L. Flynn, Monsignor Dennis Sheehan, Clergy Funds Advisor Joseph D’Arrigo, Rev. John MacInnis, Former Senate President William M. Bulger, Monsignor Cornelius McRae and Monsignor Francis Strahan.  A video presentation on the priesthood in the Archdiocese of Boston was shown during the speaking portion of the program.  This video is available at www.priest2009.com.

Proceeds from this evening’s event will benefit the Clergy Funds, which provide for the retirement, medical and financial needs of our priests.  Currently, there are 755 Priests in the Archdiocese of Boston, with 275 in retirement.  Over the next five years, approximately 100 priests will be eligible to receive retirement benefits.

Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley, O.F.M. Cap. 

Cardinal Seán was born June 29, 1944 in Lakewood, Ohio, and was raised in Western Pennsylvania, where he entered a Franciscan seminary. At 21, he was professed into the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin and at 26 he was ordained a Catholic priest.

After earning a master’s degree in religious education and a Ph.D. in Spanish and Portuguese literature from the Catholic University of America, he taught at Catholic University and founded Centro Católico Hispano (Hispanic Catholic Center) in Washington, D.C., an organization which provided educational, medical and legal help to immigrants. 

Since his ordination to the episcopacy on August 2, 1984, he has served as the Bishop of the dioceses of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands; Fall River, Massachusetts; and Palm Beach, Florida. Pope John Paul II appointed him Archbishop of Boston in July 2003. Pope Benedict XVI named him a Cardinal in 2006.

About the Archdiocese of Boston: The Archdiocese of Boston was founded on April 8, 1808 and was elevated to Archdiocese in 1875. Currently serving the needs of nearly 2 million Catholics, the Archdiocese of Boston is an ethnically diverse and spiritually enriching faith community consisting of 292 parishes, across 144 communities, educating approximately 46,000 students in its Catholic schools and 156,000 in religious education classes each year, ministering to the needs of 200,000 individuals through its pastoral and social service outreach and in support of a health care ministry that meets the needs of some 1 million patients each year.   Mass is celebrated in nearly twenty different languages each week. For more information, please visit   www.BostonCatholic.org .