Hello and welcome!
I hope you had a blessed Triduum and Easter!
Holy Thursday, of course, was the beginning of the Triduum, and is such a sacred and important day in the life of the Church.
On Holy Thursday we see the institution of the Eucharist, the ordination of the Apostles, the agony of Our Lord in the garden, and Christ gave us the new commandment: to love one another.
On this extraordinary day, we celebrated the Mass of the Last Supper at the Cathedral the Holy Cross, which was bilingual, English–Spanish.
That Mass also includes the Mandatum ceremony, the Washing of the Feet.
Because the Triduum — Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday — is considered as if it were one day in the calendar of the Church, there is no final blessing at the end of the Mass of the Last Supper. Instead, the Mass concludes with a procession of the Eucharist to the repository, which was in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, where it remains until the Eucharist is celebrated again at the Easter Vigil.
At the repository, there was adoration until midnight, and at 11:30 we sang Compline.
There were large numbers of college students present with us for the vigil. Among them were students from Boston University and several of them helped us with the music at Compline to close the adoration.
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On Good Friday, the day Christ died on the cross, there were three Way of the Cross processions at the Cathedral: the first was the Way of the Cross for Life organized each year by Colbe Mazzarella.
Then there was the Living Stations of the Cross, held by the Hispanic community at the cathedral. They process through the streets around the cathedral with young people dressed in very elaborate costumes taking the parts of the different personages in the stations.
Finally, I was visited by the group from Communion and Liberation, who concluded their stations in the Cathedral, as well.
They gave me a copy of their Easter poster, which they produce every year with a different image and text to contemplate during the Easter Season.
This year the image is of Christ, surrounded by the Apostles, preaching the Sermon on the Mount.
And the text reads:
“Miracle of miracles, my child, mystery of mysteries.
Because Jesus Christ has become our carnal brother
Because he has pronounced carnally and in time, eternal words,
In Monte, upon the mountain,
It is to us, the weak, that it was given,
It depends on us, weak and carnal,
To bring to life and to nourish,
and to keep alive in time
These words pronounced alive in time.”
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Then, in the afternoon, we had the Good Friday service in English, which features the Passion sung by three cantors. It is always very beautiful.
Bishop Reed served as our homilist.
One of the focal points of the Good Friday Liturgy is the veneration of the cross, and it is particularly special at the cathedral because we are able to venerate a relic of the True Cross.
As they always do, the Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulchre were with us to accompany the relic for the veneration.
Then, in the evening we had Good Friday services again in Spanish.
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On Holy Saturday, we went to lunch with Lorenzo Bara and the other members of the Memores Domini, the community of consecrated laymen of Communion and Liberation, at their residence in Cambridge.
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That night, was, of course, the Easter Vigil at the Cathedral. It was a beautiful celebration, with the blessing of the fire, the renewal of baptismal vows, and Brother Will Terrazas, our deacon, sang the Exultet very beautifully.
The Easter Vigil is traditionally a time when new Catholics are welcomed into the faith. This year, we were very blessed to have 11 baptisms and three professions of faith.
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This year, the Latin liturgical calendar also coincides with the calendar of the Eastern Churches, so I had the opportunity to attend two more vigils that night.
In our own Cathedral, we had the Ge’ez Rite Ethiopian–Eritrean Catholics celebrating their Easter Vigil. So, I went to greet them after our vigil.And then I went to join Metropolitan Methodios as he celebrated the Easter Vigil for the Greek Orthodox.
I was very honored to be asked to proclaim the Easter Gospel and have an opportunity to say a few words to the people. At that time I extended our condolences to Metropolitan Methodios on the recent loss of his sister, Fotini Tournas.
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On Easter Sunday, I celebrated the 11:30 a.m. Mass the Cathedral. It was standing room only and I would say there were about 2,500 people in all. And, because the next day was Patriots’ Day, which of course also means the running of the Boston Marathon, at the end of the Mass we had a blessing of the runners.
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Patriots’ Day is also the day that the Massachusetts State Council of the Knights of Columbus hold their annual Lantern Awards ceremony. Along with a very large turnout of Knights, we were happy to be joined by many priests, Bishop Samra and Bishop Elya of the Melkite Eparchy, Bishop Bob Reed and Bishop Bob Hennesseywho is the Sate Chaplain.
This year the Lantern Award was presented to Jim Brett, who gave a very eloquent acceptance speech.
That day also happened to be Bishop Hennessey’s birthday so we were sure to sing happy birthday to him and to Father Steve Madden, as well.
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Wednesday, I met with the leadership of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas in my offices at the Pastoral Center. They were accompanied by their chaplain, Father Salmon.
The Daughters have made a donation of $10,000 to support the pro-life ministries of the archdiocese. We are so grateful for all the Daughters do to support the work of the Church and particularly for this donation to support our important pro-life ministry.
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Wednesday evening, I attended the Living the Dream Dinner at the Seaport Hotel in Boston to benefit the Sisters of St. Joseph.
This year, the Sisters presented their “Dear Neighbor” Award to Jim and Mary Judge.
I was very struck by this photo from years past of sisters, apparently in an orchestra, playing the violin.
As I mentioned in my remarks, the people of the archdiocese have such a great affection for the Sisters of St. Joseph, who literally educated thousands upon thousands of Catholics over several generations here in the archdiocese and have served in so many different ministries. Still today they continue that mission sponsoring Regis, Fontbonne Academy, St. Joseph’s Prep.
The dinner was just another opportunity to express that great affection and support the Sisters. We thank all those who played a part in this very successful evening!
Until next week,