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The Magnificat Day of Thanksgiving

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Hello and welcome!

Last Friday, we had our meeting of the Board of Trustees of Pope St. John the XXIII National Seminary in Weston.POPESTJOHNLOGO2014-200x281

We were very pleased to get the reports from the various committees that work so hard there and we were happy to congratulate them on the very successful Lawn Party which was held last month.

We are so blessed to have an institution in the archdiocese that serves so many dioceses throughout the country. I have been bishop of four dioceses and, in every diocese where I have served, I have had excellent priests who were trained at Pope St. John XXIII. It really is a great treasure for the Church in Boston.FrontPSJSXXIII

We are so grateful for the work that the Board of Trustees does in supporting the seminary, working closely with Father Brian Kiely and his staff.

Saturday was a very busy day, which began with the wedding of my nephew at Our Lady of the Isle on Nantucket.IMG_9219 - Copy

I celebrated the wedding of my nephew Nicholas who married a young woman named Amelia, whose family has a home on the island. My sister and many of my cousins were able to be there, so it was a wonderful family gathering.Nicolas-Amelia

It was also good to see Father Tom Lopes who, although he is now living at the Medeiros House in Fall River, was taking care of the parish. Of course, he had been the pastor there when I was Bishop of Fall River, and it was so nice to see him again.

We had a beautiful celebration but, afterward, I very quickly went down to Brooklyn because that night I gave a talk for the Magnificat Day of Thanksgiving, which was held in King’s Theater, a magnificent auditorium.IMG_9221 - CopyMagnificat is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and they had about 4,000 participants in this Magnificat Day, which had quite a line-up of speakers and a wonderful music program.

IMG_9225With Archduke Rudolph of Austria and his wife. Archduke Rudolf is the grandson of Blessed Karl I and Servant of God Empress Zita of Austria

As I said in my address, Magnificat has really done so much to promote liturgical spirituality and uses the beauty of the liturgy as a way of helping to inspire people to deepen their life of faith. We are very grateful to the Montagne and Dumont families for all the support they have given to Magnificat in the United States.Magnificat-203x300

Father Peter John Cameron, who has been the American editor for so many years and will be retiring from that post, has done an extraordinary job of making Magnificat such a valuable publication for so many Catholics. It has helped people’s spiritual lives and introduced them to the daily praying of the Liturgy of the Hours and a deeper understanding of liturgical spirituality. They have done a great service of the Church and so I was very happy to be a part of this special day.

I’d like to share the video of my talk with you here:


You can see from the introduction that my visit to New York coincided with the Red Sox-Yankees game in New York. I got a bit of a ribbing for being a Red Sox supporter, but we were all happy to see that the Red Sox eventually managed to vanquish their archrivals in the ALDS.

The next morning was the 150th-anniversary celebration of the Capuchin parish on the Lower East Side, Our Lady of Sorrows.IMG_1369

Since I was in New York for the Magnificat conference, I accepted their invitation to offer the Mass for the occasion.

Father Thom McNamara and Father Mike Vricella are the two priests working there and the provincial of the New York province, Father Michael Greco, was also with us.IMG_9227

With Father Tom, Father Mike and parishioners

Our Lady of Sorrows is a very historic parish and the place where Father Solanus Casey was stationed for many years.IMG_1368IMG_9234

This photo shows Solanus Casey standing before the grotto to Our Lady of Lourdes in the monastery garden

It was originally a German parish and the tabernacle was a gift of King Ludwig II of Bavaria, who was very generous in supporting German Catholic communities in the United States.IMG_9230IMG_9228IMG_9229

Today, it is mainly a Hispanic parish, with most people coming from Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic, but also countries all over Latin America.IMG_1304IMG_1340IMG_1354IMG_1397IMG_1424

Then, earlier this week I had a meeting with Father Daniel Kenna and Father Tom Gallagher, Franciscan Friars of Holy Name Province who were here making a visitation to St. Anthony Shrine. They came to see me to discuss the ministry of the shrine and some of their plans for future projects.IMG_9237

We are so blessed for the work of the friars at Arch Street, particularly for the availability of confession and their outreach to the poor that has been so much appreciated by the priests and people of Boston.

Until next week,

Cardinal Seán

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Ordaining eight new permanent deacons

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Hello and welcome!

This past Saturday, I had the joy of ordaining eight men as permanent deacons for the archdiocese of Boston. Now, with our permanent diaconate program functioning the way it is, we have an ordination every year, which is a great blessing for us.2018PermanentDeacons-GTracy-0032018PermanentDeacons-GTracy-0052018PermanentDeacons-GTracy-007

Because the cathedral is still under construction, the ordination Mass was held at Holy Name Church in West Roxbury, which is an extraordinarily beautiful church.2018PermanentDeacons-GTracy-081

The church was filled for the celebration and the new archdiocesan choirmaster, Richard Clark, was there to provide the music.2018PermanentDeacons-GTracy-0332018PermanentDeacons-GTracy-036Ordination of Permanent Deacons Osvaldo Fernandez, Robert Horne, David Giangiordano, Charles Kelley, Francis Sung, Julio Sanchez, Jim Thompson and Cristino Ynfante at Holy Name Church in West Roxbury, Sept. 29, 2018. Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy 2018PermanentDeacons-GTracy-0522018PermanentDeacons-GTracy-0622018PermanentDeacons-GTracy-0652018PermanentDeacons-GTracy-0822018PermanentDeacons-GTracy-0852018PermanentDeacons-GTracy-0902018PermanentDeacons-GTracy-1072018PermanentDeacons-GTracy-1122018PermanentDeacons-GTracy-1172018PermanentDeacons-GTracy-1442018PermanentDeacons-GTracy-1502018PermanentDeacons-GTracy-1532018PermanentDeacons-GTracy-1612018PermanentDeacons-GTracy-163

One of the important moments in the Ordination Mass of the deacon is the presentation of the Book of Gospels. Each of them comes before me, one by one, and I hand them the book saying “Receive the Gospel of Christ, whose herald you now are. Believe what you read, teach what you believe and practice what you teach.”2018PermanentDeacons-GTracy-1752018PermanentDeacons-GTracy-187

Each of the Books of Gospels was inscribed to the new deacons and to their wives.

That afternoon, I went to Sacred Heart in Lynn for the celebration of their 125th anniversary.IMG_9193IMG_9195

Father Brian Flynn is the pastor there, and the parish is part of the Lynn Catholic Collaborative with St. Mary’s. In fact, they used the occasion of the Mass to distribute their Local Pastoral Plan for the collaborative.IMG_9198

There were quite a number of members of the Knights of Columbus and the Order of Malta with us at the Mass.IMG_9189IMG_9190

Afterward, there was a reception in the school, where I was able to greet many of the parishioners and thank them for their fine work in the parish.IMG_9196

The following day, Sunday, although it was still September, I celebrated a Mass at St. Leonard’s Church in the North End to initiate Italian Heritage Month, which is, of course, October, the month in which we celebrate Columbus Day.ItalianHeritage18-JTetrault-12

The Mass was organized by the parish and the Italian Heritage Committee, as well as the St. Joseph Society of the North End. Members of many Italian and Italian-American groups were present with us at the Mass as well as the new consul general of Italy, Federica Sereni; and Father Ricardo, a Capuchin from San Giovanni Rotondo who had come with the relic of Padre Pio that was being venerated at St. Leonard’s. Also with us was Father David Costello, the director of the St. James Society, which is headquartered at the neighboring parish of St. Stephen.ItalianHeritage18-JTetrault-09

In my homily, I talked about the great contributions that Italian-Americans have made in the life of our country.ItalianHeritage18-JTetrault-02ItalianHeritage18-JTetrault-08

I also tried to hold up the fact that we are an immigrant Church and that we must be willing to welcome the stranger and newcomers, who come from different countries today, but for the same reasons that our ancestors came to America.

It was wonderful to once again be in St. Leonard’s, which now looks so stunning after the recent renovations. We are so grateful to Father Antonio Nardoianni for all that he does for the North End community.IMG_9203

I took this photo of a painting in the vestibule of the church, which many people do not see because they typically come through the side entrance. It depicts St. Francis who, in that marvelous picture, is joined by Dante Alighieri on one side, St. Elizabeth of Hungary and the other, and St. Louis of France in the center. Sts. Elizabeth and Louis were, of course, monarchs but they were also Patrons of the Third Order of St. Francis, and Alighieri was a Tertiary as well.IMG_9209

On Tuesday, I went to Lawrence for an event to mark the resumption of full meal service at the Cor Unum Meal Center, which is sponsored by St. Patrick Parish.

We were delighted to be joined by Father Paul O’Brien, Mayor Dan Rivera, Joe Nolan from Eversource and other officials for the announcement.Event to announce that Cor Unum Meal Center in Lawrence is resuming hot meal service. Pilot photo/ Jacqueline Tetrault

Of course, as everyone with ties to the Boston area knows, last month there was a terrible series of gas explosions in the Merrimack Valley communities of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover due to faulty gas lines. This has resulted in gas service being shut off to much of the area while extensive repair work is completed. Thousands of residences and businesses have been left without natural gas for heating, cooking, and hot water and the repairs are expected to take until November. St. Patrick Parish and the Cor Unum Meal Center are in the very heart of that affected area.

Now, thanks to the hard work of many people, the meal center has been converted to propane from natural gas and will be able to serve hot meals.

We are delighted that Cor Unum will be fully up and running because it is such an important institution for the community. Each year they serve over 250,000 meals and, since their inception, they have served almost 2.5 million meals to those in need.Event to announce that Cor Unum Meal Center in Lawrence is resuming hot meal service. Pilot photo/ Jacqueline Tetrault

They depend on the generosity of many different businesses and organizations and, of course, hundreds of volunteers to support this wonderful place where people can go to get a hot meal, which is served with great dignity and style. It provides nutritious food, served in a way it that makes people feel appreciated and that their dignity is respected.

With all the problems that they have had in Lawrence, the services they provide are now more necessary than ever.

Finally, yesterday, Oct. 4 was the Feast of St. Francis, a very special time for all Franciscans.

We always anticipate the feast with the celebration of the Transitus.

The Transitus is sort of a reenactment of the death of St. Francis in which we pray the Psalms he was praying when he died and read from the gospel that he had read. Josep_Benlliure_Gil47

The Transitus focuses on St. Francis’s death at the Portiuncula, where he was lying on the ground and died surrounded by the friars singing the Canticle of Brother Sun to him. The very place where he founded the order is where he gave up his soul.

It is a time of solemn celebration of his passing from this life. Then, the following day, we celebrate his triumphal entrance into heaven with the joy of the feast day itself.

Until next week,

Cardinal Seán

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