Cardinal Seán's Blog

Cardinal Seán shares his reflections & experiences.

Prayer, Charity and the Joy of Forgiveness

Good evening everyone.

If you are visiting my blog for the first time, I want to welcome you and thank you for stopping byand for those of you who are returning, I am grateful for your time and your continued interest in coming back to my blog.

When talking with friends and family who are located somewhere outside the Boston area, especially when we are away from home for business or personal reasons, we are frequently curious about the weather and ask, so, hows the weather there? Well, the first few days in Rome the weather was sunny and very warm. However, it rained all day yesterday very hard at times – and we even had a bit of thunder and lightning. Today, it was cloudy with a few light showers, but comfortable temperature-wise. Regardless of the weather, its always beautiful in the Eternal City.

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Yesterday’s Heavy Rain In Rome

I’d like to take a minute to inform you about an important Mass and event taking place this Sunday, October 1st, in Boston. At 11:30 am on Sunday, Bishop Irwin will celebrate the Annual Pro Life Sunday Mass – a Rosary of Life Mass – in my place, at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in the South End.

Following the Mass there will be a Pro Life Rally and Walk beginning at 1:00 pm on the Boston Common. Participants will gather at the corner of Beacon and Arlington Streets.

All are invited to this special Pro Life Mass and Walk. I am pleased to hear that many of our Parishes will have groups attending.

As I celebrate Mass on Sunday at Santa Maria della Vittoria here in Rome, I will be praying for all those attending the Pro Life Mass and events back in Boston that same day.

Thank you again for all your feedback and comments about the blog. There has been quite a bit of continued interest in Padre Pio. While I have already shared some of my thoughts about Padre Pio and my Homily from last weekends Mass at San Giovanni Rotondo, many have requested to hear more about my Homily and about St. Pio. So, from that wonderful celebration, Id like to share the following with you:

Prayer, Charity and the Joy of Forgiveness

The Saints are the masterpieces of Gods grace. Many Saints are hidden from view and remain unknown, but some saints are placed in the world to capture the attention of a society that has forgotten about God.

Malcolm Muggeridge, the head of British television, an agnostic, discovered Mother Teresa pushing a wheelbarrow carrying a dying man infested with maggots to a Hindu temple so that the man might die surrounded by love. She told Muggeridge that the poor were really Christ in a distressing disguise and that her desire was to do something beautiful for God. That encounter with a Saint, led Malcolm Muggeridge to discover God and to convert to the Catholic faith. Mother Teresas heroic love helped Muggeridge glimpse Gods beauty. How many people came to discover God because of an encounter with Padre Pio, at Mass, in the confession, through a letter, or just hearing a report about his life. Todays world is obsessed with celebrities, film stars, athletes, millionaires, singers, politicians, television personalities, writers. Padre Pio does not fit any of these categories. In 1971, three years after Padre Pios death, Pope John Paul II said to our Capuchin superiors:

Guardate che fama ha avuto, che clientela mondiale ha adunato attorno a se! Ma perch? Forse perch era un filosofo? Perch era un sapiente? Perch aveva mezzi a disposizione? Perch diceva la messa umilmente, confessava dal mattino alla sera, ed era difficile a dire, rappresent?nte stampato delle stigmate di nostro Signore. Era un uomo di preghiera e sofferenza.

Padre Pio, like Mother Teresa, like St. Francis allows people to glimpse the beauty of holiness, which is a reflection of Gods beauty. People look for happiness in passing beauty, in wealth, in power and in pleasure and are always disappointed. The Saints give us hope in the possibility of happiness, the power of love, the eternal beauty of God. I am struck by how quickly the chaplet of the Divine Mercy and the devotion to Padre Pio have spread all over the world. There is such a hunger for Gods mercy in this broken world. Padre Pio, our Saint, is a Saint of Gods mercy in the confessional. We are told that Padre Pio heard over 1,200,000 confessions, including the confession of the young Father Karol Woytyla. How powerful a spiritual experience to say in Christs name I absolve you of your sins and to raise a wounded hand to bless and console the sinner. Padre Pios whole life announces to the world that God loves sinners and rejoices over the one lost sheep that is found.

On the island of Marthas Vineyard we have a lovely Church, St. Augustines. There are in the Church lovely stained glass windows depicting the seven Sacraments. The first window one sees on entering the Church is that window representing the Sacrament of Penance. On the window there are the keys symbolizing the power to loose and bind, a priestly stole and the words: Go and sin no more. But in the summertime, when it is very hot, they open the windows to allow some air to circulate. However, the part of the window that opens is the part where the word “no” is written. Then what people read on the window is: Go and sin more. I never heard of any complaints. (lol)

The greatest heresy of the modern age is the denial of sin. We have lost a sense of sin, a sense of the offense it causes to God, the destruction it does to ourselves and our loved ones, the poisonous effects it has on the fabric of society. We are like people with a deadly disease and in complete denial, refusing to admit that we need a physician. We have made such advances in science and technology and have become so blind to the reality of our human nature.

Padre Pio was the great physician of peoples souls, like the Cure of Ars, St. Leopold and other great confessors of the Church. He was a living witness of Gods unfailing mercy, of the power the Risen Lord gave to His Church when on Easter Sunday He breathed on His Apostles and said: Receive the Holy Spirit, Whose sins you shall forgive they are forgiven them.

No cures are as dramatic as the ones Padre Pio performed in the sacristy and confessional in the sacrament of Gods mercy. How much hope, how much grace, how much joy filled the hearts of those thousands of penitents, cured of the snake bite of sin like the Israelites in the desert who gazed on the bronze serpent Moses raised up. Padre Pio helped people to look at the crucified Christ with faith and love and experience the healing power of the cross.

St. Pios compassion for sinners finds another expression in compassion for the sick and suffering. The Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza is a monument to Padre Pios concern for the sick and suffering. He reminds us how one of the signs of the Kingdom of God is that the blind, sick, captives are cared for and the poor have the Good News preached to them. The sick and the sinners who are the protagonists of the Gospel, and the special objects of Jesus pastoral love are the reason for this shrine. The ministry of Padre Pio is to manifest Gods unfailing love and mercy for His People, especially for the little ones, the sick and suffering and for poor sinners.

The Rule of St. Francis commands the friars to work but insists non spengano lo spirito della santa orazione e devozione, al quale devono servive tutte le altre cose temporali.

Padre Pio was a man of prayer, a teacher of prayer and a witness of prayer. The three thousand prayer groups throughout the world show us how his prayer life has been an inspiration for so many. If today we could ask for one grace from this pilgrimage let it be the grace of prayer in our lives.

The Saints Mass was witnessed by over ten million people who came to assist at the Eucharist celebrated by this holy priest. One of my favorite quotes of Padre Pio is what he tells us about the Mass: Every holy Mass, heard with devotion, produces in our souls marvelous effects, abundant spiritual and material graces which we ourselves do not knowIt is easier for the earth to exist without sun than without the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

St. Gregory the Great says: The present life is but a road by which we advance to our homeland. Because of this, by a secret judgment we are subjected to frequent disturbance so that we do not have more love for the journey than for the destination. The suffering St. Pio experienced in his ill health, in the persecution by the very Church he loved, the trials and set backs in establishing the hospital, the pain of the stigmata — all kept before his eyes the pilgrim nature of his vocation. What allowed St. Pio to persevere was the intense prayer life that he lived faithfully. He prayed more in a week than most people pray in a year. The test of authentic prayer is growth in goodness, growth in humanity, greater serenity in living and in facing hardship. Above all genuine contact with God effects a real displacement of self as the center of our existence.

Prayer is not withdrawing from the rest of humanity. It is more like a wedding feast to which we welcome all who cross our path. A strange thing takes place in prayer. There is a mysterious coupling of our own life with the lives of others – an embrace that includes the whole of humanity. At first prayer stems from a sense of personal neediness. Prayer progressively becomes less a self-centered plea for personal deliverance than a universal cry for help and for the coming of Gods kingdom.

Prayer and suffering transformed the life of Padre Pio and made him a living icon of Gods unfailing mercy and love. Too often we try to follow Jesus at a safe distance, like Peter after he fled from Gethsemani. Padre Pios life and teaching encourages us to climb Calvary to join Jesus in the moments of greatest pain and greatest love.

In todays Gospel, planted at the foot of the cross are these few brave disciples. I am sure that Marys faith and courage was a source of strength for all of them. Mary stood at the foot of the cross. At that dramatic moment, before His death Jesus gives us a gift, His most precious possession, His Mother. Behold your mother. Mary is now not only Jesus Mother. She is also our Mother.

For Padre Pio, as for St. Francis, the cross was his book, the book where he read the greatest love story in history. Padre Pio lived his life planted at the foot of the cross in the company of Mary.

Mary full of grace, the costly grace of discipleship, the grace that allowed Mary to renew her fiat, her yes to the Lord even in the face of the cross. There by the cross is our Mother, Our Lady of Grace.

Recently Our Holy Father Pope Benedict said, He who believes is not alone. Here we have a host of witnesses. We stand before the beloved Cross of Our Blessed Savior, we stand with Our Mother, Our Lady of Grace, and Padre Pio. We are not alone. When the Apostles came down from Tabor, they carried in their hearts a glimpse of Gods Glory. When you return to your homes, share with your families and neighbors the graces of this pilgrimage and the message of our beloved Padre Pio: preghiera e carita e la gioia del sacramento del Perdono.

Prayer, Charity and the Joy of Forgiveness

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Getting Things Ready Before Vesting & Saying Mass

A visitor to the blog inquired about my mention of saying Mass at the Vatican residence before going to dinner last night. There are small chapels in the residence for that purpose. Its the ideal that priests say Mass every day. Its the greatest prayer that we can offer for the Church and for our people. That was why we were ordained. I would never miss the opportunity to say Mass. Each time we say Mass, the whole Church is present, even if we are alone.

In the Mass we pray for the Pope, the other Bishops, for the living, for the deceasedeveryone who has ever been part of the Church is part of the celebration of the Mass. Its the greatest service that we can give. To Padre Pio, his celebration of Mass was the most important part of his day. He would to take hours to celebrate Mass.

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One of the Small Chapels at the Vatican Residence
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I had a very nice dinner meeting with Msgr. Deeley last night. Msgr. Deeley holds a position at the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, an office that was once headed by Pope Benedict, who was at that time, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. Msgr Deeley was once Pastor at St. Anns in Quincy. I have asked him to contribute a post to my blog sometime in the next few days. I believe that he can offer you a perspective that is unique, as one of our own, a Bostonian, who is now living in the Eternal City and working in a very important post at the Vatican. I hope that you will find his view from Rome to be informative and interesting.

In the coming days, I would also like to make time to share with you my visit to the Ges, the Mother Church of the Jesuits, and where Saint Ignatius is entombed.

Good Night and until my next post.

God Bless,

Cardinal Sen

61 Responses to Prayer, Charity and the Joy of Forgiveness


Comments

  1. Comment by friar minor | 2006/09/26 at 21:35:19

    Dear Cardinal Sean,

    Thanks for your words about the denial of sin.

    One of my theology professors said that there were only two things to write about: grace and sin. So I had better admit the existence of the former and seek an experience of the latter if I hoped to have any theology to write!

    You seem to be reaching many souls in this ministry!

  2. Comment by Sister Virginia Stuart snjm | 2006/09/26 at 22:05:09

    Sister Marie and I are friends of Father Rich and are interested anything from Boston. We have enjoyed your blog entries and are learning a lot about Rome and the Vatican. You continue to be in our prayers. Sisters Marie Kronheimer and Virginia Stuart, Sisters of the Holy Names

  3. Comment by Joanne Tribulauskas | 2006/09/26 at 22:09:40

    Cardinal Sean:

    Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences, reflections, and humor, and allowing us to journey with you via the wonders of technology. You certainly have diminished that air of mystery regarding a Cardinal’s travels!

    You’re doing a great job with your blogs! They’re most informative and insightful. I’m really enjoying them! Thanks, too, for the great pictures.

    I think you and Fr. Jim Flavin would be my “dream team” of
    pilgrimage leaders to Rome and surroundings.

    Keep up the good work!

    Joanne Tribulauskas
    Brockton, MA

  4. Comment by Grace Narus | 2006/09/26 at 22:23:20

    Dear Cardinal O’Malley:

    I am so glad to see the use of thie technogoly in such a posititve way. What a joy it must be for you to be able to return to Rome now that you are a cardinal. Please pray for the Parish of St Vincent de Paul in Cherlotte, NC on Sept 27th. It is parish Bishop Jugis grew up in & I belong there. I am blogging you because I am on a committe to bring Catholic radio to the Diocese of Charlotte, NC. NC has only 3% Catholics so it is quite an endeavor. Bishop Jugis just approved us to do the fundraising. Should you ever be in the company of Bishop Jugis would you mention to him what a great assest it is to have catholic radio in your diocese. Also let him know that I am Dr Pete Corrigan’s daughter & you & I have the same aunt–Therese O’Malley & my Dad was your uncle’s roomate in med school at St Louis U. What a great faith we have & God has sent me from Cleveland to spread it to NC. Keep us all in your prayers. I have you in mine! You were at the top of my intention list when I went to Medjugorje last Oct. I guess it worked because you were an ArchBishop at the time. Have a safe trip back to the States. Know everyone is watching what you are doing—you have earned their respect! God Bless!

  5. Comment by Michael | 2006/09/26 at 22:54:43

    Your Eminence-

    I am really impressed with your blog.

    Any word on new Auxiliary Bishops for Boston?

    I hope you will someday lead a trip to Rome.

    Michael

  6. Comment by MATT NASTASIA | 2006/09/26 at 23:01:48

    CARDINAL SEAN,
    YOUR VISIT TO PADRE PIO’S STIRRED MY MEMORY TO 1962 WHERE I SAW HIM AT THE FEAST OF MADONNA INCORONATA NEAR FOGGIA.LAST EASTER YOU AND I STOOD IN THE FOYER OF ST. MARY IMMACULATA IN LAWRENCE MA. IN ONE OF THE GREATEST TURNOUTS OF THE FAITHFUL THAT I HAVE EVER SEEN AT ST. MARY’S PARISH.
    YOURS IN CHRIST,
    MATT

  7. Comment by Lisa | 2006/09/26 at 23:03:06

    Dear Cardinal Sean
    You have captured a wonderful balance of inspirational, casual and informative modes of communication. Surely the blog has become for me an enjoyable break from my studies at CUA, your alma mater!

    God bless you and thanks for caring so much for the people of God!
    Lisa

  8. Comment by Fred | 2006/09/26 at 23:10:33

    Your Eminence, our Cardinal Brother Sen -

    Thank you for this … I hope that I remember to pray with you each evening on your blog.

    My Italian is non-existent. I could not even get a sense of the quotes … wish that they were translated.

    Be safe and keep us in your prayers … esp RV.

    +Peace,

    – Fred

  9. Comment by Stephanie | 2006/09/26 at 23:27:47

    Your Eminence,

    Thank you for your reflections today. Very thought-provoking indeed.
    I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and seeing all the sights of Rome through the pictures. Keep ‘em coming! Many thanks from the Heartland of America!

  10. Comment by Jeff Miller | 2006/09/26 at 23:28:18

    Your Eminence,

    Excellent post and exactly the type of spiritual writing I was hoping your blog would provide.

  11. Comment by Ron & Rose Cabral | 2006/09/26 at 23:28:45

    Dear Cardinal Sean:

    Enjoy your Blog, so glad that Father John Ozug our pastor at Our Lady Of Fatima Church here in New Bedford, MA gave us the web site.

    We do respect Father O he is a wonderful Priest, and well loved by the Parishioners at Our Lady Of Fatima Church.

    You are in our prayers, both Rose and I wish you a save trip back home.

    Ron & Rose Cabral
    New Bedford, MA

  12. ann
    Comment by ann | 2006/09/27 at 00:09:34

    Dear Cardinal Sean,
    Thank you so much for your amazing blogs! You are reaching more people than you know with your teachings on the saints and our Catholic faith! Praise God for the gift you are to Boston and to the Universal Church. I pray that God’s favor continues to rest on you and expands your tent with blessed vocations and a Church born a new on fire in Boston that will be a beacon of light for the whole world to see! God IS rebuilding His Church! Praise God in his Angles and in His Saints! Thank you for your poured out service and witness, God bless you and give you consolation always. May you see Him, may your joy be complete! Many thanks & prayers,
    -One of yours

  13. Comment by Michele | 2006/09/27 at 01:44:38

    Dear Cardinal Sean,

    Ive been following your blog since day one and I am enjoying it very much.

    Thank you for sharing more on your homily this dayThe Saints are the masterpieces of Gods gracewhat an opening and an inspiration to know that we too are called to holiness, to be masterpieces of Gods grace.

    Through the love of another, I discovered God and continue to experience the healing power of the cross. While this new way of life is much more desirable than living a life of sin, I sometimes struggle to persevere. Your demonstration on prayer and Padres example of persistence in prayer has been most helpful, and to know that an abundant life in Christ does not exclude the cross, but a life that embraces it.

    Today message, September 25, 2006, from Our Lady of Medjugorje happens to tie in nicely with your message so I wish to share it. “Dear children! Also today I am with you and call all of you to complete conversion. Decide for God, little children, and you will find in God the peace your heart seeks. Imitate the lives of saints and may they be an example for you; and I will inspire you as long as the Almighty permits me to be with you. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

    Hey, Timing is everythingLol.

    PSMy Italian is non-existent as welltranslations please.

  14. Ken
    Comment by Ken | 2006/09/27 at 02:11:48

    Dear Cardinal Sean,

    I heard about your blog from Father Roderick’s podcast out of Netherlands, ‘The Daily Breakfast’.

    Thank you for taking the time to show us what the life of a Cardinal entails.

    Ken

  15. Comment by Greg Rowles OFM Cap | 2006/09/27 at 04:29:29

    Thanks for the words on Padre Pio and for your excellent Blog.

  16. Comment by Gerald Augustinus | 2006/09/27 at 04:42:42

    Dear Cardinal Sen, thanks so much for the wonderful reports and photos from Italy. I’ve linked to them from my blog and my readers love them as well. I hope you’ll have the time to keep on blogging !

    Laudetur Iesus Christus

  17. Comment by Father Paul Soper | 2006/09/27 at 06:18:10

    Thank you, Cardinal Sen, for your wonderful blog. We’ve all been enjoying reading it. We’ve posted links on our Parish Web Site, and many people have commented what a nice opportunity it is to have this connection with you. Travel in safety, and pray for all of us, please.

  18. Comment by JOhn Fulham | 2006/09/27 at 06:50:11

    What a delightful homily on Padre Pio! Thanks for including it in your posting. Please keep on posting.

  19. Comment by Emanuele | 2006/09/27 at 06:55:57

    Dear Cardinal O’Malley,
    I live in Italy, I am very happy for your installation the next 1st October at Santa Maria della Vittoria.
    I enjoied a lot your photo from Padre Pio’s Shrine, because my mother was a spiritual daughter of Padre Pio and a third order franciscan.
    I hope to meet you.

  20. Comment by jay Fadden | 2006/09/27 at 07:33:02

    Hello Cardinal Sean,

    Enjoy reading your blog. It makes me feel like I am in Rome with you. My children are interested in viewing the pictures. Keep up the good work and please keep my family in your prayers.

    Jay

  21. Comment by Patty Begin | 2006/09/27 at 07:52:14

    Dear Fr. Sean
    Thank you for writing. I am really enjoying your blogs. These daily readings bring me closer to the church through you.
    You have a wonderful sense of humor. A laughing heart is a happy heart.
    I hope you continue this venture when you get back to Boston.
    Peace

  22. Comment by Deacon Greg LaFreniere | 2006/09/27 at 08:02:46

    Cardinal Sean: I read about the blog early this morning at the Boston Globe website … you have taken one small step forward into technology and one giant step forward for our Church. Our Church — and its princes, priests, Religious and even deacons — could all learn about catechesis and evangelization in the “next” world from you and your blog! The pictures are wonderful (even good enough for a Catholic newspaper). Pray for those of us who are not as open and energetic.
    Deacon Greg LaFreniere, interim editor,
    The Long Island Catholic, Diocese of Rockville Centre, N.Y.

  23. Comment by Rev Richard Clancy | 2006/09/27 at 08:31:57

    Your Eminence,

    We are all enjoying the blog and hearing about your travels. The students at MIT were pleased to be mentioned. They are also quite amused at your use of “lol.” Some of the responders had asked for a translation of the Italian in your text of Pope Paul VI’s talk to the Capuchin Superiors regarding Padre Pio in 1971. Forgive me if it is not “perfect”, but this is the sense of the quotation:

    “Look what fame he had, what a worldwide following gathered around him! But why? Perhaps because he was a philosopher? Because he was wise? Because he had resources at his disposal? Because he said Mass humbly, heard confessions from dawn to dusk and was-it is not easy to say it-one who bore the wounds of our Lord. He was a man of prayer and suffering.”

    God bless you, Cardinal Sean.

  24. Comment by Fr. Daren Zehnle | 2006/09/27 at 08:43:00

    Your Eminence,

    Many thanks for your delightful posts! Being unable to return to the Eternal City just yet myself, it has been a great joy following your travels.

    I truly hope that you will consider continuing this blog upon your return to your See.

    Be assured of my prayers for your safe travels. Peace and Joy!

  25. Comment by Lenny Pienta | 2006/09/27 at 08:50:04

    Thank you very much for taking the time to chronicle your trip on this blog site. This is fascinating reading. Please pray for us and God bless you. Good luck and safe travels!

  26. Comment by Emanuele | 2006/09/27 at 09:45:56

    Dear Cardinal O’Malley,
    I am Italian; I write this to tell you I am very happy you install at Santa Maria della Vittoria church. I enjoied a lot the photo from Saint Pio’s Shrine, think, my mother was a spiritual daughter of Padre Pio and also a third order franciscan (O.F.S.).
    I hope you are well in Rome.

  27. Comment by | 2006/09/27 at 10:34:01

    Dear Cardinal
    thank you very much for sharing with us, readers oy your blog, your magisterium.

    Saints are, in St Paul words, “the epistles of Christ, ministered by us, and written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God: not in tables of stone but in the fleshly tables of the heart.”

    Padre Pos been one of the greatest epistles of Christ for the world, one of the best Stradivarius violins in Gods Symphony Orchestra. Millions of heavenly “gracedrops” falling on the souls of sinners were ministered by Padre Po.
    So, Lord Almighty, write it again, play it againg…. we need more saints like Padre Po.

  28. Comment by Mary Mackenzie | 2006/09/27 at 10:40:06

    Your Eminence -

    It is great to see a blog by a Cardinal. Though I am not from your diocese it is great to follow your trip to Italy. I have enjoyed very much following it since it’s beginning. I heard about it through various Catholic bloggers. As a young adult, I am glad to so a Cardinal that is up with the current methods of communication – especially with my generation (and younger).

    Blessings,

    Mary
    Seattle, WA

  29. Comment by Mary Wood | 2006/09/27 at 10:43:35

    Cardinal Sean,

    I was so heartened to read your comments about the importance of priests offering Mass daily. I write from England, and sadly there has grown up a fashion for priests to say Mass only when they wish and certainly not daily – a practice which they regard as quite unnecessary. They are also trying hard to exclude Holy Communion from the service of LITURGY OF THE WORD AND HOLY COMMUNION on the grounds that this is inappropriate in the absence of the priest! One liturgist even referred to the (Communion) expectation of the laity as “Chips with everything.”

    Yes, I know there are fewer priests these days, but when a priest is assigned to a parish, is available and still chooses not to celebrate even though he knows there would be a congregation, it is disheartening. The day they replace Sunday Mass with LITURGY OF THE WORD WITHOUT, I reckon they’ll be on their own. People will either stay away, or go to the Anglicans, who still believe in the Eucharist, and still celebrate.

  30. Comment by John Plummer | 2006/09/27 at 10:45:37

    Cardinal Sean,

    Thank you very much for writing this blog. I have enjoyed reading it and learning from you. I beleive that your positive use of this tool will spread hope and love on a personal level rarely felt between a Cardianal and other people. Its great! God Bless, and I hope that you continue to have fun in Roma!

    John

  31. Comment by Patrick Drexler | 2006/09/27 at 10:52:34

    Cardinal Sean,

    Myself and my fellow seminarians here in the Diocese of Brooklyn have been following your blog day by day. Thank you for your shared insights and thoughts, your in our prayers.

  32. Comment by Ann Melia | 2006/09/27 at 10:55:09

    What a joy to visit with you on the internet and see the most wonderful sites of Italy and the Churches. If you do take a tour of the Vatican and Italy someday, count me in.
    Thank you again.

    Ann, West Roxbury

  33. Comment by Vito Nicastro | 2006/09/27 at 11:05:09

    Hi Your Eminence,
    I can’t help smiling as I read your blog. It is strange to communicate so informally in the cold and contact-less aether, but somehow it puts a lot of us in touch.
    Your blog is working; as a teacher of the church you got your message across to me. I found the talk on St. Pio really helped me get through the day.
    Thanks, Cardinal Sean.
    By the way, we are working on that Catholic-Orthodox pilgrimage to Rome in the fall… more blog material!
    Ciao!
    Vito

  34. Comment by Mark Reimer | 2006/09/27 at 11:43:12

    Cardinal Sean, this is a great idea! Really appreciate the effort you’re making with this blog and, more broadly, with the Archdiocese. Your job is nearly impossible, but I admire the grace, humor, and sincerity with which you approach it. You’ve been very supportive of our Cristo Rey school, Notre Dame High School in Lawrence, and we’ll always be grateful for that. You’re in my prayers, and I hope you’ll remain encouraged as you “fight the good fight.”

  35. Comment by Francine Bell | 2006/09/27 at 11:46:49

    Dear Cardinal Sean,

    Thank you for this blog. Your lovely sense of humor caused me to lol! I know Rome well and it’s delightful to revisit through your eyes. I loved your inclusion of quotes in Italian.

    Thank you for the spirituality this blog offers. It is a wonderful opportunity for the people of Boston (and the world) to really come to know their Cardinal.

    Preghiera, carita e la gioia de perdono!

    Francine Bell

  36. Comment by Bob Guenther | 2006/09/27 at 11:56:12

    I just want to thank you for the time you’ve dedicated in sharing your experiences during your pilgrimage to Rome. I find your notes, comments and lessons fulfilling and you’ve brought me closer to my faith.
    Best regards and again, many thanks.

  37. Comment by Tricia | 2006/09/27 at 12:01:31

    Pope Benedict’s general intention for Sept.:

    For media operators. May they use every means of communication with responsibility and respect.

    Pope Benedict’s missionary intention for Sept.:

    For the people of God in mission lands: may they realize their right and duty to keep up to date with developments in the faith and the Church.

    Bravo, Cardinal Sean – may you continue to be a shining example of faithful Catholicism. What a refreshing site.

    St. Pio, pray for us!

  38. Comment by John Curran OMI | 2006/09/27 at 12:04:07

    Cardinal Sean, I have been following your Blog with Interest After a childhood in Forest Hills, Jamaca Plane I entered the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. I studied in Oblate college in the 70s( No, I did not have you for a Spanish profesor.Having neary flunked out of Columbus High in the North End for my seeming inability to learn any language but the one I was born with. Spanish was something I was trying to avoid. God, in his infinate sence of humor has had me doing ministry the past 20 years in Puerto Rico,Miami, and Tijuana Mex.) I loved what you said about Saint Pio and the Sacrament of Reconceliation. The ministry of Pennance has brought great joy and consolation to my life. We have a tendency to think that the only way we can identify well with Christ is in his Saintlyness. I don’t know about you, but I always felt that my best chance of identifying with Christ, was with that Criminal,suffering unto death hung naked on the cross.

  39. Comment by Robert Badger | 2006/09/27 at 12:14:54

    Your Eminence,

    How important it is for a bishop to communicate with his people! Too often, bishops become distant figures from their flocks, only encountered at Confirmation time or some other important event. These difficulties are, I’m afraid, exacerbated in a diocese as large and as populous as yours.

    While I am not a resident of the Archdiocese of Boston, I thought that I’d visit your blog when I heard about it. It is indeed a new way for a bishop to communicate with his people. Thank you for doing it!

    R

  40. Comment by Ave Maria! | 2006/09/27 at 12:24:41

    Yes, certainly the sense of sin has been lost. And so very few come to confession. I know of priests who give every indication of dislike for this sacrament.

    The faithful are confused. So few to speak the Truths of the faith. In my town there is a pro-abortion politician from my parish. The current ad in the paper has a benedictine sister endorsing him. Isn’t it wonderful he saved some water rights ?
    But he will not protect the unborn. And that terrible crime of murder affects the very soul of all involved.
    And more Americans are sacrificed to abortion each day than have lost their lives so far in the war.

    When those in leadership positions in the church give conflicting opinions that do not mesh with the mind of the Church, the faithful cannot recognize sin in this increasingly secular world. They simply do not have the tools for all things are to be ‘tolerated’. Unfortunately that means evils are also ‘tolerated’.
    Padre Pio was one who spoke the Truth. And ultimately the Truth is a man and His Name is Jesus Christ.

    Ave Maria!

  41. Comment by Ferde Rombola | 2006/09/27 at 12:41:36

    Dear Cardinal Sean:

    What a beautiful homily!! Your comments about the loss of a sense of sin stood out and I hope you’ll expand on that when you return to Boston. Many of our Walmart Catholics need to hear that over and over again until they get it.

    I’m sure everyone in the Archdiocese would appreciate if you would post all your homilies on your blog. For myself, I don’t want to miss a word you say.

    God bless you. May He bless your Mass at Santa Maria della Vittoria and give you a safe trip home.

    Ferde Rombola, St. Mary Star of the Sea, Beverly.

  42. Comment by ronald a roy sfo | 2006/09/27 at 13:53:00

    Dear Cardinal Sean:

    We are very proud of you here in Fall River

    I myself pray for you at every Mass i attend.

    God Bless you always

    Sincerely

    Ron Roy

    Good Shepherd Parish Fall River

    Pax et Bonum

  43. Comment by Terry | 2006/09/27 at 14:46:10

    What a pleasure reading a blog that has no mentioin of Paris Hilton or Lindsay Lohan!
    God Bless you!

  44. Comment by James F. O’Connor | 2006/09/27 at 16:00:37

    Hello Cardinal Sean,
    What a phenominal idea as well as heartiest congratulations!
    Grand technology and communications at RCAB in the 21st Century have arrived.
    The graphics,content, education, history and most importantly spiritual nourishment are outstanding.
    Equally so against the backdrop of Rome–SPQR.
    The Boston Globe had a good story today and you have gotten their attention. How refreshing!
    Please give my best to Fr, Brian, Kevin, Msgrs. Kelley
    and Deeley and our Malta delegation.
    Best regards,
    Jim O’Connor

  45. Comment by Lora | 2006/09/27 at 16:07:08

    Hi Cardinal Sean,
    I am from Reading, and although I am not a member of Sacred Heart parish, I do frequent their sat. night vigil mass, and when you were named Cardinal, I went there especially to pray for you. I know that you do not have an easy job!! I am currently living in Spain, and your blog gives me a delicious taste of home (but not my grandmother’s cooking :( too bad) I hope you can plan to come home to Reading to visit Sacred Heart. I will be right there to give you a hearty failte.
    ~Lora ~

  46. Comment by Eddie | 2006/09/27 at 20:39:42

    I have been a catholic all my life. I now live in Philly, career reasons, I miss Boston so much. Thank you for being a human. I like so many go to church for weddings and funerals. My Dad taught me to do the sign of the cross when we passed a catholic church. Sometimes, but not often I will do it, I love Jesus and I know like all of us I am a sinner, and I hope that Jesus will forgive me for any thing I may do stupid. Padre Sean, I reading the Boston papers on line, admire you and the faith you have given to Boston residents, past and present. I grew up in North Quincy and went to Sacred Heart church. After the death of both parents, I fell away from the church. Reading your blog makes me feel that maybe its time to come home, to the church and to Jesus?

  47. Comment by michael g. b. | 2006/09/27 at 20:56:07

    i was so glad to read your mention of Padre Pio . . . i am seeking his intrecession together with that of our Lady for some special graces and helps and protections . . . i’m reading Vol.I of his “Letters” . . . and find that he was (and is) a very special gift from God to our times . . . pray to him for me while you are in the Eternal City.

  48. Comment by kevin J Mac Donald | 2006/09/27 at 21:00:59

    Your Eminince:
    I am a new member of the; St.Vincent De Paul Society in our local District. I am one of the yonger folks at age 47. Please pray for new young people to take some time to give for others.

    I have seen the; “Boston Globe” article and your blog on your travels in Rome.
    You do …ROCK! …IMHO.

  49. Comment by kevin J Mac Donald | 2006/09/27 at 22:40:10

    Yor Eminince;
    The fact that you embrace the use of the; Internet, gives you …HIGH MARKS !! 9000+ hits/ week from a young age group that is computer literate is a HUGE gain.

    My fav quote from you blog is;

    Saints are the masterpieces of Gods grace. Many Saints are hidden from view and remain unknown, but some saints are placed in the world to capture the attention of a society that has forgotten about God.

  50. Comment by George Theofilos | 2006/09/28 at 14:58:52

    Dear Leader O’Malley,
    I hear music coming from your words, but I would like to play a tune more to my liking. First and formost there is a God and his name is Allah or Yayia; they are one in the same God. We preceive him thru the prophets: Abraham, Jesus, Mohammad and I. We were conceived 14 billion years ago when God made space, populated the universe with gravitons and electrons and started time. We became what we are from inteligent design at time zero thru evolution.
    I love Christ for he deliberetly gave hise life up so that future generations would have happiness in their lives for life was harsh during those times.
    Is it not interesting that my name means friend of God; it must have been inteligent design to have my name my physics to all come out to the point I with the other Prophets will make life happier for all from now to the end of time.

  51. Comment by Valentine | 2006/09/29 at 07:53:56

    Your Eminince,

    Thanks you for this blog.
    I’m a french girl, and it’s not easy for me to read your blog but it so beautiful.
    Thanks you for all.

    God Bless you!

  52. Comment by Msgr. Clifton Ransom, Jr. | 2006/09/29 at 08:06:38

    Dear Cardinal Sean,

    The blog is beautifully done, and very informative. In these days when so much disturbing news about the Church and the clergy is being bantered about it is refreshing to find a highly placed pastor who takes time to show his human face to his people.

    I myself was educated by the Capuchins and the Jesuits, and I dearly respect you both. It was nice to see that you didn’t play too much into the sometimes jocular old rivalry between the two, and you were generous in your esteem and praise for both. So may you continue to enjoy Pax et Bonum while you work Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam.

    Msgr. Clif Ransom

  53. Comment by Jeffrey Mark Andrews | 2006/09/29 at 13:54:16

    DeaRest Cardinal Sean,I pratice Franciscan Spiritulaity and have from 1974.I love the news of your Trip too Rome.I Pray for you as You serve the People Of God and the Holy Church.I live &
    work in Portland,Maine. Please keep your Blog,full time.
    God Bless,In St. Francis And St. Clare.
    Brother Jeffrey Andrews.O.F.M.

  54. Comment by Marlene Vogel | 2006/09/29 at 15:03:56

    Thank you so much for such a beautiful story and pictures of Rome. I will keep you in my prayers. What a beautiful way to share such a beautiful place.
    God Bless!

  55. Comment by Myriam | 2006/09/29 at 15:57:52

    Dear Padre Sean,
    Thank you for sharing with all of us (in cyberspace) your experiences at the Vatican. The kindness and generosity you showed by letting us “inside” the lives of the Vatican is just amazing. Thank you for placing your homilies as well, THEY ARE THE WORD OF GOD and our souls need that nurturing.
    Que Dios le bendiga siempre, le acompanamos en nuestras oraciones. Podra venir a Belgica?
    Myriam

  56. Comment by Boinkie | 2006/09/29 at 19:14:23

    You are preaching to the choir…

    We don’t need “church speak” on blogs. Save that for sermons that we can sleep thru.

    Blogs are a different media.

    We need short, practical and even humorous posts, or heartfelt sermons (that don’t use jargon…) so those who merely want a quick look don’t have “my eyes glaze over” (MEGO) reactions and never return.

    For longer sermons and photos (I finally got broad band, but lots of people still have dial up) you might try to have a “continue here” after a few paragraphs, so those who want to read it can, and those who want to browse can ignore it.

  57. Comment by John P. Kinnane | 2006/09/29 at 20:20:28

    A handful of years ago, I prayed for our then Bishop Sean O’Malley at the tomb of Padre Pio at the San Giovanni Rotondo while on a parsih pilgrimage.

    I continue to this day to prayer for great blessings on you Cardinal Sean, who my family considers a true beacon of hope and love in these modern times.

    This blog is just one more example of your great respect and humble kindness. Thank you and all the best to you from here in the woods of southern New England.

  58. Comment by Bob of Pocasset | 2006/09/29 at 21:12:18

    I have so many new thoughts and prayers for you thanks to your great and humble sharing through the blog. Thanks for being so warm and outgoing. You, as my Metropolitan Cardinal Archbishop Sean, are my intention for this Saturday’s 4:00 Vigil. God bless you and keep you safe!

  59. Comment by Colleen | 2006/09/29 at 22:58:28

    Thank you sooo much for this wonderful blog.
    I have enjoyed immensely all your descriptions, words of encouragement. I feel like I am there and you are my host.
    Thanks for bringing “your world” to us so we can experience it.
    The photos have been fantastic and enjoyable as well. God will bless you for this work!
    Colleen:)

  60. Comment by Paul from the SaintCast | 2006/09/29 at 23:34:32

    Your Eminence,

    What a wonderful commentary on the Saints! You are to be commended for embracing the Internet and using it for such important catechesis and words of wisdom regarding Padre Pio, and his humble, prayerful example. I was taught by many Capuchins who knew you in formation (Fr. Blaine Burkey, Fr. Mike Scully, Fr. Regis Scanlon), and consider myself blessed for having learned something of Franciscan spirituality from them. God Bless your Ministry – Pace e bene, Paul Camarata

  61. Comment by Peace | 2006/09/30 at 00:04:56

    Today, September 29, is my birthday. Your blog is the BEST birthday present, one better than I could have ever asked for.

    Baptized on Easter Vigil, 2004, I am a mere toddler in the Catholic faith. Since, I have been showered with graces and every day has been one of discovery. Today I was exceptionally gifted when I found your blog via spiritdaily.com I think Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Rafael have something to do with my finding your blog. I share my birthday with the feast day of these wonderful angels. Perhaps it is their gift to me.

    I have learned so much from you about grace, sin, prayer, and Mother Teresa and St. Padre Pio, two people I was familiar with — and to whom I was inexplicably drawn to — before I even had the faintest inclination toward religion. Your insights and thoughts on prayer and on the Mass, in particular, have opened my eyes and heart even wider. A wonderful way to begin my new year, don’t you think?

    I went to Rome in the 90s, but as a tourist and art history buff. Through your words, I return again, however vicariously, but this time as a faith-filled pilgrim. I will return here often to be infused by your words and to see Rome through the eyes of faith, yours.

    I want you to know how blessed I feel today, that I have met you through this incredible medium that can also be used for so much GOOD. Thank you and God bless you.

    Aloha,
    Peace


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