Cardinal Seán's Blog

Cardinal Seán shares his reflections & experiences.

Covering A Variety Of Topics This Week: Order of the Holy Sepulchre, Halloween and All Saints/All Souls, Por Cristo & More

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Good afternoon. I hope that this post finds in good health and spirits. Hopefully you had a good week.

Last weekend, I had the joy of serving as Celebrant for the annual Mass and Investiture Ceremony at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston for the United States Northeastern Lieutanancy of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. We were honored to have number of Bishops and priests concelebrating the Mass, including Bishop Coleman, Bishop Malone, Bishop McCormack, Bishop McManus, Bishop Matano, Bishop Gibbs and Bishop Boles. On the night before, there was Memorial Mass for the Order and Bishop McDonnell from Springfield shared a wonderful homily with us.

One of the very old organizations in the Church are the Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulchre. Originally they were a military order in the Church who guarded the holy places in the Holy Land and always had a very strong connection with Palestine. In modern times it has maintained those ties to support the works of the Church in the Holy Land. In particular, they support the schools, the clinics, hospitals, and churches that are located there. Also, they are supportive of the Christian community there, which ethnically is largely Arab.

Members of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre commit themselves to try to be faithful Catholics, faithful to life of prayer and to be supportive of the works of mercy carried out by the Church in the Holy Land. In these days thats very important because so many of the worlds problems can be traced right to the situation in Palestine. All of us need to be aware of the penchants of the sufferings and support by prayer and whatever contribution we can make to that part of the world to help them to a lasting just peace.

I mentioned that Bishop Sal Matano, the Bishop of Vermont, was present. He actually was Priest Knight Candidate who was invested during the ceremonies. We are proud that a number of priests were invested as well, including our own Fr. Peter Uglietto, rector of Blessed John XXIII National Seminary in Weston. It was also wonderful to see a many young men and women join the Order. We were proud to have our own Jay Fadden invested as well. Many of you know Jay from BCTV, where he and Fr. Bob Reed are doing a wonderful job spreading the word of our Lord and reaching out to many Catholics of our Archdiocese. Fr. Roger Landry, brother of our own Scot Landry, the Archdioceses Secretary for Institutional Advancement/Chief Development Officer, was also invested during the ceremony.

As the Archbishop of Boston, I serve as Grand Prior for the Order and during the investiture ceremony, I presented each candidate the Orders insignia and then each candidate received their stoleboth are pictured below.

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The insignia of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.

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Presenting Fr. Roger Landry the Orders insignia.

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As part of the Investiture Ceremonies, the first Knight Candidate is presented the spurs and sword, accepting on behalf of all the Candidates.

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We were honored to have a number of Bishops present for this occasion.

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Our own Jay Fadden from BCTV with other Knight Candidates.

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Knights and Ladies of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre.

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As you can see, we had a number of Bishops and Priests who joined us for the ceremonies and Mass.

I’d like to share my homily from the Holy Sepulchre Mass with you here in this post:

Holy Sepulchre Mass on October 22nd, 2006

When I go to Rome and see the inscription S.P.Q.R. on sewer covers, post offices, and other pedestrian locations, I am amused and saddened by what the French would call the banalization of this glorious symbol. Colleen McCullough, the great Australian authority on classical Rome, recounts how Roman Senators traveled around the Mediterranean world accompanied only by two lictors. Yet in their presence, kings would abdicate, armies would surrender, the high and mighty in every land received them with reverence and the even awe. S.P.Q.R. Senatus Populusque Romanus was carried on the standards that conquered the world. Now comedians have a host of droll interpretations in Italy for the once proud S.P.Q.R.

This is important for us to understand our symbols and their power. I often relate the story of a family where the daughter was ashamed of her mother because her mothers hands were disfigured. She always insisted her mother wear gloves. Only after the mothers death did her father tell her that the mothers scars were a result of a terrible fire in their house. The mother had risked her life and burnt her hands rescuing that very daughter. She never wanted the daughter to know so as not to make her feel guilty or responsible.

When the woman realized that those scars which had been a source of embarrassment were really badges of honor, wounds of self-sacrificing love, signs of heroism her eyes were finally opened.

When we see the cross, what do we see? Two sticks? A religious symbol? Does the cross speak to us as it spoke to Francis? Or is it something we take for granted as part of the landscape? We can never look at the cross with indifference. We must not allow the cross to be simply a piece of jewelry, an amulet, or a decoration. The cross speaks to the believer.

The cross is the symbol of our Christian Faith. It is a bold symbol. At first, Christians were content with the fish as a symbol. The Greek word for fish is an acrostic spelling the word fish from the first letters of the words Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior.

The cross as an instrument of capital punishment would seem a dark sign, like a gallows or a hangmans noose. But very quickly all inhibitors were overcome and within a few years after the Crucifixion of Jesus the cross became the sign of the Christian Community, with evidence of a wall cross in Pompeii at the time of the volcanic eruptions in the year 79 A.D. St. Justin Martyr, writing around 150 A.D. already refers to the cross as the standard Christian symbol. Tortullian in his treatise, De Corona, written in 211 A.D., says that Christians seldom do anything without making the sign of the cross.

Accordingly, we begin and end our Eucharist with the sign of the Cross and an invocation of the Trinitythe two most defining aspects of our Catholic Faith.

In the Order of the Holy Sepulcher we wear the Jerusalem Cross. It is also called the Crusaders Cross and represents the Great Commissionery, Christ, who commands the spread of the Gospel to the ends of the earth, the four corners represented by the small crosses, a mission that started in Jerusalem, the large cross. The four small crosses are seen as also representing the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John with Christ in the center, broadcast by missionaries carrying the Gospels to the ends of the earth. The five crosses are also a sign representing the five wounds of Christ, the small crosses for the hands and feet, the large cross for the pierced heart of Jesus.

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Jay Fadden holding his cape, bearing the Jerusalem Cross.

For us believers, the cross is a powerful sign. St. Francis called the cross his book. There he read the greatest love story in history that God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son to be our Savior. Jesus empties Himself, takes on the form of a slave and dies on the cross for love of us.

The cross is a sign of transformation and redemption. It is a sign of love, and when Jesus invites us to take up the cross of discipleship, He is really asking us to live a life of sacrificial love.

When Jesus is arrested in the Garden, the disciples fled. Peter tries to follow Jesus at a safe distanceuntil he hears the rooster crow and repents of his cowardice. How often we try to follow Jesus at a safe distance, but the Lord is inviting us to follow Him up close, to invite His humility and love.

Here in the Holy Cross Cathedral we have a wonderful stain glass window, which depicts the Emperor Heraclius as he carries the cross toward Calvary. The relics of the True Cross found by St. Helena in the 300 hundreds were captured by the Persians who held the cross for 14 years until the Emperor Heraclius was able to recover the True Cross and return it to Jerusalem, to Mount Calvary. The event was made famous by a spectacular miracle that is depicted in this window.

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Stain glass window, depicting the Emperor Heraclius as he carries the cross toward Calvary.

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Closer view of the beautiful window.

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An even closer look.

When the Emperor tried to carry the cross up the Via Dolorosa to Calvary, he was unable to advance. The more he tried, the more he seemed to be held back. Heraclius and those with him were dumbfounded at this.

Then Zacharias, shown in the window, who was the bishop of Jerusalem said: Consider, O Emperor, how poorly you are imitating the poverty and humility of Jesus when you carry His cross in these triumphal robes.

Then Heraclius removed his crown and his jewels, shoes and rich garments, which can be seen on the ground in the window. He was then able to go forward without difficulty and could place the cross on the same spot on Calvary from which it had been taken by the Persians.

To take up the Cross, we too must divest ourselves. In the second reading, St. Paul speaks of Christs kenosis, His self-emptying, quoting an ancient Christian hymn. Pauls words which introduce the hymn are: Have the same sentiments, the same attitude as Jesus had. He who though He was in the form of God, emptied Himself.

When we empty ourselves of selfishness, of fear, of noise, of vanity, then the cross is no longer crushing and His yoke is sweet, and His burden is light because we have learned from Him who is meek and humble of heart.

I never tire of saying that: For God nothing is improvised. Pope Benedict in his writings underscored the connection between the Old and New Testaments. Todays first lesson and Gospel are a wonderful example of this.

The story from the Old Testament is a great one. People are complaining about the food. (It was our favorite pastime in the seminary.) The punishment in the Old Testament times was dramatic: Snakes appeared and bit the complainers. Moses intercedes for Gods people who regret their callous ingratitude and God forgives them; but it happens in a way that is already pointing to an event that will take place 1400 years later on Calvary.

God has Moses make an image of a snake and place it on a pole. (For those fundamentalists who berate us for religious images, we are reminded that at times God had the Israelites make statues of angels and in this case animals.) When those who had been bitten looked upon the serpent on the pole, they were cured.

In the Gospel, Jesus deciphers the Old Testament symbolism indicating that He is to be lifted up on a pole like those images of the serpent in the days of Moses, so that those who believe in Jesus may not perish, but have eternal life.

Jesus places this in the context of Gods love. He says in todays Gospel: God so loved the world that He gave up His only begotten Son, so that those who believe in Him might not perish.

Today, the Church invites us to raise our eyes to the seraph on the pole, to Jesus on the cross. Look at this spectacle with eyes of faith. See the transforming love, the self-sacrificing love, the life-giving love that is the basis of our Catholic Faith.

Let us ask for the grace to really see the cross, to penetrate its mystery, to be moved by the love it betokens. Greater love has no one than He who lays down His life for His friends. Jesus, the friend of sinners, has laid down His life for us. Whilst we were still in sin, He died for us. Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim, is the beautiful hymn that we sing so often. It is a challenge to lift the cross. To do that, we must divest ourselves.

But, Christ is counting on us to make His love known. Only when we truly embrace the cross and stop following Jesus at a safe distance can we truly proclaim the love of Christ as credible witnesses and mentors to new generations of believers.

To wear the cross is a privilege and a responsibility, to lift the cross on high so that all who look up and glimpse Christs love can be healed of the wounds of sin and live a new life in Gods love.

We adore thee, O Christ, and we bless thee because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

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The Cross at the Blessed Sacrament Chapel at the Cathedral, containing a relic of The True Cross.

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The relic is in this part of the Cross.

On Tuesday night, I met with the Boston University Campus Ministry group. BU is a very large institution and they claim that they have the most Catholics of any college in the area. They certainly have a wonderful Campus Ministry program there. I always enjoy my visits there. It was very edifying to me that so many young people would come together to be with their Bishop and to have an opportunity for dialogue. After I shared some reflections with the rather large group of students, I had an opportunity to answer some the students questions and there were many thoughtful questions asked and I am grateful for the groups interest for dialogue.

Sister Olga was also there. She is a diocesan hermit, a sister whos from Iraq. Her long spiritual odyssey has brought her to the United States and Boston. Its been a great blessing for us. She does extraordinary work on the Boston University campus and she is a very inspiring religious woman.

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I was impressed by the large turnout of students at Boston University.

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I always enjoy my visits to Boston University.

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There are many students with strong faith at Boston University.

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I enjoyed greeting the students after the formal program.

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Greeting students.

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Posing with the BU Campus Ministry Staff

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Our good friend, Sister Olga Yaqob, M.V.M.

Halloween falls on Tuesday next week. The Eve of All Saints is the Christian meaning for Halloween. I believe that in Ireland, in Pagan times, it was the New Year. Halloween comes from All Hallows Eve – All-Saints Eve, the night before All Saints Day. For us in the Church, All-Saints Day is a Holy Day, a day people come to Mass to honor all of our Saints in heaven, including those who are not canonized and dont have a specific feast day. That feast day is followed immediately by All Souls Day on the 2nd. That is when we pray for all the souls in purgatory. So in many ways the Month of November is dedicated to all Saints and all souls..in other words that wing of the Church that has already passed into eternity and are still part of who we are.

We often make the distinction of the Church Suffering, the Church Militant and the Church Triumphant. The Church Suffering being those who are in purgatory in a state of purification and preparation for entrance into Gods presence. Church Militant are those of us who are here on the pilgrimage of life, struggling to be good disciples. The Church Triumphant are those who are already in Glory.

When I was a child, Halloween was a very fun type of celebration because we would go out Trick-or-Treating and get as many bags of candy as you could LOL and dress up in sort of homemade costumes. People felt very safe. There has been a very dark element introduced into Halloween that is disturbing – the satanic, the wicca, and these kinds of things that didnt exist before. I think for that reason a lot of parents now look for ways to Halloween parties, look for very safe environments to celebrate, whereas when I was growing up, we felt very safe. As I said, wed go out and fill one bag of candy and then go back home and fill another bag…LOL!

Wed make our own costumes I can recall going out as a pirate in those days it was all homemade costumes. Now its all very elaborate. I remember for kids, it was always a lot of fun and it didnt have any of theses dark elements that have been introduced into Halloween. It wasnt as commercial either. Everybody certainly bought candy and expected kids to come to the house.

I would certainly encourage people not to let it become a dark feast. I know that many of the Catholic Schools have had children dress up as different Saints, tying it back to All-Saints, which I think is a nice way to do it. It gives children the fun of dressing up and having a party, but still having a message as each child learns about the Saint that they are imitating. Certainly children need to be warned about the dangers of satanic cults and witchcraft and those kinds of things that are out there.

So, please be safe this Halloween. Also wed like to stress the fact that we have these two very important feasts, All-Saints and All-Souls Day. One of our very important practices in the Church is prayer for the dead. All-Souls Day, like Christmas, is also the only day when a priest is allowed to celebrate three Masses without a special pastoral reason. One of the reasons is that the Church recognizes the importance of prayer for the dead. In the Missal, there are actually three separate Masses for November 2nd.

We are very grateful to Emmanuel College for hosting us Thursday night for a wonderful fundraiser for Caritas Por Cristo, which is an organization related to our Catholic health system. Por Critso maintains clinics and other activities in Ecuador and supports medical and social needs in various places in Latin America. Its a wonderful organization. The fact that we have in the Archdiocese the St. James Society where our men are working in Latin America, particularly in Ecuador, where the principle activities of Caritas Por Cristo take place. It provides a wonderful synergism in these outreach activities of the Archdiocese. Boston Catholics should be proud of all that they do for the Church Universalthe long tradition of having sent literally hundreds of me to Latin America to work in the St. James Society and the wonderful outreach that Por Cristo is providing a way for many volunteer doctors and nurses, and many other healthcare workers, to participate in this outreach.

I also wanted to mention that we had a wonderful Mass at St. Columbkille on Sunday to celebrate the partnership between Boston College, the Archdiocese and the Parish of St. Columbkille. It was a beautiful parish celebration, marking the beginning of the school and celebrating this partnership. We are very grateful for their support of all our Catholic Colleges to Catholic education in the Archdiocese. St. Columbkille is in Brighton, close to BC, and this wonderful opportunity ensures a bright future for excellence in Catholic education at St. Columbkille.

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Posing for a picture in a classroom at St. Columbkille School with Msgr. William Fay, Pastor of St. Columbkille Parish, Fr. William Leahy, President of Boston College and Fr. Joseph OKeefe, Dean of the Lynch School.

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Fr. Leahy concelebrating the Mass.

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During the celebration, St. Columbkille students treated us all to some lovely songs.

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I am very proud of our Catholic School Students and the hard work and dedication of our teachers, administrators and Catholic School supporters and friends.

I received a comment and question from Karen recently:

What do you think young people really hunger for in our parishes?

Dear Cardinal Sean,

Thank you for this blog. Your response to Lisas question is eagerly awaited. No doubt, you see the best and worst as Cardinal Archbishop.

In the trenches, though the picture is bleak. By their teenage years, most are lost to the Church, as the hungers that young people identify are fed elsewehere. Their natural appetite for God is suffocated by both the secular world and by the fluff that is dished out in parish programs. Christ has gotten lost in the guidelines and platitudes, and most young people, with no knowledge of Him and no awareness that they even need Him, spend the time (that is required of them) in church looking for the Exit signs.

You recently wrote that the greatest heresy of the modern age is the denial of sin. If we deny sin, do we know God? And, if we dont know God, isnt that a crisis? This is not written with any sense of hopelessness, but with frustration over the inaction that persists despite widespread catechetical failures affecting generations of Catholics. The question in my mind is not how to teach the truth, but whether to teach it. And, when looked at that way, its not really a question at all. Its a challenge. Will the Archdiocese of Boston rise to it?
Comment by Karen

Thank you for your comment. You pose an excellent question. I think all people have a hunger for God. Sometimes we disguise that hunger for God with other kinds of hungersfor noise, for entertainment, for fun. But, the basic hunger we have is for a happiness that can come only by being united with God, who is our origin and our destiny.

Following up on my post about the Theology On Tap Program (TOT), Jon asks:

Eminence,
May the Lord bring you His Peace.

Is there a TOT for us married 40 somethings? This sounds like an awesome program. Also, please pray for me as I discern a Franciscan vocation for my state in life.

Peace,
Jon

Comment by Jon

Jon, I am not aware of a specific TOT program for 40-somethings. However, I would encourage you and all others to attend this year’s Mens or Womens Conference. All Saints Day, November 1, is the traditional opening of registration for the Boston Catholic Men’s and Women’s Conferences. The Conferences were started two years ago by a group of lay business people, including our own Scot Landry, in order to provide an experience in Lent for Catholics to come together to grow in their faith.

The first Men’s Conference drew 2,200 in 2005. Last year, 5,200 men attended the Men’s Conference and 3,300 women came to the Women’s Conference (on just 6 weeks of planning). This year we hope each Conference will draw more than 5,000 Catholics from our Archdiocese.

The Conferences in 2007 will be on St. Patrick’s Day weekend (Saturday March 17 for the men; Sunday March 18 for the women). What a great joy it will be for me to have such a large gathering of Catholics to celebrate the patronal feast of our Archdiocese. At the end of the Men’s Conference, we will have our traditional St. Patrick’s Day Mass open to all Catholics (regardless of whether they attended the Conference).

Id be happy to share more information about the Conferences with you in future posts, including guest speakers and schedules. In the meantime, I would encourage you, and everyone, to learn more about the Conferences at:

www.BostonCatholicMen.org and www.BostonCatholicWomen.org

I hope you enjoy all the pictures in this weeks post. Im also going to start including a picture of the week in each of my weekly posts.

Picture of the Week:

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The Cathedral of the Holy Cross during the Holy Sepulchre Mass.

Have a wonderful weekend. I hope you and your family and friends have a happy and safe Halloween and a joyous and prayerful celebration for All Saints and All Souls Days.

Until my post next Friday….

God Bless,

Cardinal Sen

23 Responses to Covering A Variety Of Topics This Week: Order of the Holy Sepulchre, Halloween and All Saints/All Souls, Por Cristo & More


Comments

  1. Comment by Peter Skipper | 2006/10/27 at 17:05:01

    Hello again Cardinal Sean! The Investiture Ceremony for the Order of the Holy Sepulchre looks like such an awesome liturgy. One question I have is that in the picture with the bishops sitting down, in the far right of the picture, there is one priest with a black zucchetto, and another man with black robes on. I’ve never seen a black zucchetto before, and the other man almost looks like a Greek Orthodox bishop. Who are they? God Bless,
    Peter Skipper

  2. Comment by friar minor | 2006/10/27 at 20:22:10

    Thank you, your Eminence, for the all the information about your celebration with the Order of the Holy Sepulcher, which I hadn’t even heard of! There is such a richness, a catholicity, to our religion!

    For me it brought back the wonderful memory that it was actually in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher where I for the first time ever, proclaimed the first reading at Mass! How good God has been since then!

  3. ede
    Comment by ede | 2006/10/27 at 21:27:50

    Wonderful post, Eminence. As always, it was very informative and thought provoking, beautiful pictures…entertaining, too! I think there’s a book there…”From Pirate to Cardinal” LOL. I’m new to blogging. Perhaps you could teach us another acronym. LOL!!!

    Two personal questions–Besides the Mass, Rosary, Bible, other standard prayers, such as the Hours, what is your favorite prayer(s) and/or method of prayer?…and why?

    Also, what do Franciscans do for boots, if anything, when there’s three feet of snow outside? No, I’m not looking for a punch line (LOL) …just curious.

    Would you talk to us some more about the vocation of hermit, please? Thank you.

    May the Lord bless you and keep you.

  4. Comment by michael g. b. | 2006/10/28 at 01:11:02

    i have never been in the actual physical presence of a relic of “the true cross” . . .and in our Eastern Ukrainian Church we observe two major observances of the Holy Cross –” The Exaltation Of The Holy Cross” on September 14th . . . and in the mid-pint of the Great Fast before easter “The Veneration Of The Holy Cross” . . . so i was grateful to you for posting at least the photograph of the piece of the Holy Wood . . . it probably will be about as close as i will ever get to being in its presence . . . but, as Jesus said, “take up your cross and follow Me” . . . so the cross that Jesus desires is probably already on my shoulder . . . or has been and will be . . . still, it was important to me to “see” that relic even by way of the internet computer screen . . . thank you for that . . .

  5. Comment by gregory | 2006/10/28 at 07:42:42

    Dear Cardinal Sean,
    im livinf a world across you, but on sat im eagerly awaiting your blog … i want to congratulate You and i hope You will keep on with Your writings. we do not have suck ‘cool’ bishops here in austria, but i pray the start using the net and modern media a lot more.
    I glad, you took the step to show other fellow bishops whats possibile and how the communication is possible even if you dont meet personally.
    i’ve to admit i envey the archdioces of Boston, …
    May GOd bless you and Your congegation
    GWS

  6. Comment by Roger Fortin | 2006/10/28 at 14:28:04

    Dear Cardinal Sean,
    I have been following the Boston events for a few years. I am a priest from the region of Qubec. This blog is certainly one of the good news from Boston in the last months.
    May I say that I prefer the franciscan garb to the crimson cassock and simplicity to power trappings? But who am I to judge?
    Anyway, what a wonderful way to communicate!

  7. Comment by matt | 2006/10/29 at 01:57:45

    Your Eminence,

    What a wonderful thing you are doing with this blog. I will add it to my favorites and visit you often!

    God Bless you,

    Matt in Denver

  8. Eve
    Comment by Eve | 2006/10/29 at 06:00:34

    Dear Cardinal Sean,
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us. Regarding Halloween, the world expresses it as something to do with Satan. The clothes, the symbols, the decorations and all that.
    It is good to know that young people are interested in life, other than the routine. Thanks again.

  9. Comment by Dominican Nuns | 2006/10/29 at 12:37:41

    “in the far right of the picture, there is one priest with a black zucchetto, and another man with black robes on.”

    That is Abbot Gabriel, OSB of St. Benedict Abbey, Still River, MA.

  10. Comment by dexter | 2006/10/29 at 21:10:04

    Hello Cardinal Sean!
    Your Eminence, I really enjoy reading your blogs! Hope to have personal contact with you!
    God Bless!

  11. Comment by Maria Teresa Frias | 2006/10/30 at 00:19:02

    Dear Father Sean, thank you for sharing your love for the Lord and the faith of your dear people of Boston with all of us. We thank our Lord for all of you because each and every one of you are overcoming so much pain with so much love for Him and for His Church.

    In the mass this past Thursday, our priest told us to wander off in the words of Saint Paul for that day in the first reading in his instructions to the Ephesians. Our priest told us to dwell in Gods love and marvel in His infinite love for each one of us who give us the same love that He has given to His Saints in heaven. These words of Saint Paul during his tribulations in suffering for the faith, are so appropriate with what you have been saying to us in your blog regarding our Lord and our share in His cross. It is also very appropriate on what you said regarding the feast of All Saints and All Souls. It is the love of our Lord in us that instill in us His love so we could love Him and love others with His love, His sacrificial love.

    Letter of Saint Paul to the Ephesians, 3: 14 – 21

    For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that He may grant you in accord with the riches of His glory to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner self, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to accomplish far more than all we ask or imagine, by the power at work within us, to Him be Glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

  12. Comment by cuijianbo | 2006/10/30 at 04:01:13

    I am Chinese, for the reasons you know, my knowledge of the Jesus Christ are very limited. Even if there is some books about Jesus and Bible, it always come to politics, which I really disgust. I like your blog, which just give me so many plain facts about those costoms.

  13. EVE
    Comment by EVE | 2006/10/30 at 09:06:21

    Just want to let you know that I have read your blog. The pictures are beautifully taken.

  14. Comment by John | 2006/10/30 at 11:38:21

    Your Eminence,

    Thank you for your efforts to be a shepherd to the people of Boston. Sharing your thoughts and spiritual guidance weekly in the blog is fantastic and helps us to follow the admonition of St. Ignatius, “Let nothing be done without the bishop.”

    Periodic assistance at mass in the Cathedral of the Holy Cross is another way that our family tries to remain connected to our bishop. As a father of four children, I think these visits are an important part of their proper formation. Since I know that you are not always at the Cathedral on Sunday mornings, is it possible to have your schedule posted on-line so that we know in advance if you will be there? We have not made the hour drive in some time now and I would like to get back to this practice. Thank you.

  15. Comment by don alberto | 2006/10/30 at 19:08:49

    I was very sursprise when a few minutes ago a priest of my community communicated me about this blog. Immediately I went to connect and have a contact.
    It’s very interesting that a cardinal find some time to dedicate to a blog, but this is a good way for meeting and listening poeople today. it is not a lost time.
    May God give you all the strenght you need, becouse you already have courage.
    Thank you
    I write from Italy

  16. Comment by brother lesser | 2006/10/30 at 23:17:48

    Dear Cardinal Sean-

    Thank you for this posting. You cover so many subjects all at once, yet each subject is richly steeped in your knowledge of the Catholic faith and your deep compassion for mankind (and you are able to sprinkle it with tidbits of your marvelous wit!)

    Can you perhaps enlighten us further involving the True Cross? Where and when it was discovered? Where was it taken to be protected? How many fragments are still in existence? And how much of it is left as a result of the fragments being removed?

    This is the first I’ve heard of it and I find it very exciting!

    The Lord give you peace!

  17. Comment by Robert Marshall | 2006/10/31 at 06:16:10

    Dear Cardinal Sean: Today, October 31st, is the traditional date of the celebration among Lutherans and Reformed of Reformation Day, though in recent times it has been moved to the Sunday that falls on or before October 31st. It commemorates Luther’s posting of his 95 theses on October 31, 1517. How appropriate that devilish date was for Luther’s action, for surely Satan was at work in these beginnings of the division of Christendom! It all started with “the ravings of a disaffected monk.” And was furthered considerably when “a fat English king wanted a divorce.” It makes me think of the words of a sharp early bishop of Boston, Benedict Fenwick. John Carroll was appointed the first bishop in the U.S. in 1789, to the new see of Baltimore. In 1808, the Diocese of Boston was created. It included all of New England. Its first bishop was the able and popular John Cheverus. When he was assigned to a see in his native France, he was succeeded by Bishop Benedict Fenwick. In July, 1829, Bishop Fenwick went to Hartford, Connecticut, to purchase a church that the Episcopalians had outgrown. Said Episcopal Bishop Brownell to Bishop Fenwick, “Well, Bishop Fenwick, as we have a fine new church building, we will let you have the old one.” Replied Bishop Fenwick, “Yes, and you have a fine new religion, and we will keep the old one.” Robert Marshall, Stamford, CT

  18. Comment by elaine kwiecien | 2006/10/31 at 19:22:13

    Dear Cardinal Sean,

    I think your weekly updates are great and now I can let my “out of state” family members know about all the news also by tuning in to your blog. Its just not for our diocese as you can see from other comments. This is terrific !

    God’s peace and love

    Elaine – Brookline

  19. Comment by Karen | 2006/11/02 at 09:29:08

    I just came across this site by accident. I am not a very good Catholic anymore. Maybe never was. But lately my co-workers have really been Catholic bashing and I feel the need to defend it, still. Why I do not know since I feel abandoned by my fomer Church. So, perhaps you could have a question and answer format some day before I go crazy? The latest is that Catholics are not Christians. How does one combat these notions. And where could I write to let you know why I am so angry at the Church? Karen

  20. Comment by Julia Russell | 2006/11/02 at 12:53:49

    Hi Cardinal Sean, today is All Souls Day and I was remembering my loved ones especially my Dad(2001) and my sister Jackie
    (1997) may they rest in peace. I have a Mass intention for their souls each year on their birthday and anniversary. I was wondering today is there anyway of knowing their souls are in purgatory or heaven? Thanks.
    I really enjoy your comments and the BEAUTIFUL photos!!!
    God bless you, Julia Russel, South Easton,MA.

  21. Comment by Connie Ley | 2006/11/03 at 22:45:20

    Your Eminence, I am intrigued by the fact that Sister Olga is a hermit, yet she works in the world. I would have thought a hermit was one who was isolated from the world.

    Thanks you for your blog. It is the first and only one I have ever read (saw an article about it in the National Catholic Register). This is a great form of evangelization. God bless and protect you. Thank you for being His instrument.

  22. Comment by Enmanuel Merino | 2006/11/15 at 19:10:46

    Hello brother. I came across your blog and i think is awsome. I just want to let you know that you are an inspiration for many young people. Including myself. Thanks to God for people like you. I am currently a seminarian at Borromeo cleveland with the Capuchins. Thanks and remember that we keep you in our prayers…

  23. Comment by Theresa Gorey | 2006/11/16 at 11:46:44

    Your Eminence, The sanctity of marriage is about to fall in our StateA true disgrace to us as Massachusetts Catholics. Like with abortion in 1973, the Catholic Church across the State has not been sufficiently vocal on this critical issue and I fear, under our watch, the sanctity of marriage will go down with only a whimper from our Church clergy and authorities. What can you do? Would you announce this rally from the pulpits accross the State at all Masses on this Saturday and Sunday so that Catholics will be inspired to come out in defense and protection of Marriage? Thank you and God bless,


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