Cardinal Seán's Blog

Cardinal Seán shares his reflections & experiences.

The Epiphany of our Lord

My brothers and sisters in Christ, thank you once again for your interest in my blog. I am very glad to have the opportunity to communicate with you each week and enjoy answering some of your questions, as I will do at the end of this weeks post.

I had the great pleasure of joining with the Ethiopian community as they celebrated the Epiphany of our Lord, which is their Christmas. This is very fitting because the Epiphany is the manifestation of Gods universal love.

Having the Ethiopians at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross was a reminder of how catholic the Church is. Here you have an ancient rite, the Geez Rite, that is very different and yet is part of the Catholic Church. It is also part of the revelation that Jesus is the light of the gentiles who has called us all into Gods family from so many different races and ethnic groups from different parts of the globe. Yet we are all one spiritual family.

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Joining in the Mass

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Blessing the community

The Geez Rite is the Catholic version of the Coptic Orthodox Rite. Their calendar, liturgy and customs would be very similar to the Coptic Orthodox. The rites origins can be traced back to the Alexandrian rite, which is often called the liturgy of St. Mark the Evangelist, who was the first bishop of Alexandria. There are around 200,000 Catholics who observe in the Geez rite, mostly in Ethiopia and Somalia, but they are also present in Jerusalem, and of course in other countries such as the United States.

The celebration began with prayers at 8 p.m. The Mass began at 9 p.m. and went on until almost midnight! Their liturgy is very different from ours. They use a lot of bells, drums and incense. All the women sit on one side, and the men sit separately. They have very beautiful songs and chants that the whole community participates in. At the end of Mass, I addressed them to wish them all a Merry Christmas. Afterwards I joined them for their Christmas meal that began around midnight.

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The gathering afterwards

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A photo all together

The Ethiopian-Eritrean community has been meeting for some time at the cathedral now. Father Abayneh has done a wonderful job of bringing these communities together. We also have two Ethiopian seminarians, one at St. Charles in Philadelphia where we currently send our college seminarians and the other at St. Johns Seminary.

My community, the Capuchins, are the largest order in Ethiopia. The conversion of Ethiopians to Catholicism in the 1800s was very much a result of the work of the Vincentians and Capuchins in particular a Capuchin cardinal, Cardinal Massaia. The Capuchins are credited with starting the postal service in Ethiopia. The Capuchins also started the fire department in Paris, so weve always been very practical lol.

The first time I encountered the Geez Rite Mass was years ago in Washington D.C. The city has a huge Ethiopian community. I remember going to the initial Mass there and being surprised at how different it is from the Roman Rite I was used to. It is also different from the typical Mass of the Eastern rite, which is the liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.

- – -

On Sunday I celebrated Mass at St. Irene Parish in Carlisle, and it was a beautiful celebration. There were many families and a fantastic choir. Afterwards there was a luncheon served in the parish hall where I was able to meet parishioners and spend some time with them.

The church is relatively new and the people are very proud of it. It was built as a very typical New England church with clear glass windows that allow you to see the woods that surround it. Its a very nice setting. The people have a very active parish and parish council. The pastor, Father Tom Donohoe, has done a wonderful job there. With the support and the participation of the parish community he oversaw the building of the church. It is truly a beautiful structure.

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The clear windows allow to see the natural surroundings of the church

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The choir added a beautiful element to the liturgy

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Father Donohoe

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It was great to meet the parishioners

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I joined parishioners for a luncheon following the Mass

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- – -

This past Wednesday night I attended the St. Andrews Dinner, held at St. Johns Seminary. The dinners are organized by the Vocation Office a few times each year for young men in high school who have expressed an interest in the vocation to the priesthood. I think its been a good way to plant seeds and get people thinking about priestly vocations. I was very pleased to see a number of pastors, parish priests, deacons and youth ministers who were accompanying the young men to the dinner.

The name St. Andrews Dinner comes from the fact that in the Gospel, St. Andrew the Apostle met Jesus, and then he sought out St. Peter and took him to the Lord. The idea is that we, like St. Andrew, want to invite people to discipleship, to ministry and to a special following of Jesus Christ in the priesthood. So were hoping that if any of the young men who participate have a vocation, they will respond by saying yes as St. Peter did.

The St. Andrews Dinner is also a moment for us to reflect on the fact that every Christian has a vocation, and we try to impress that on the young people there. That way, in their own personal discernment, they realize that God is calling them to holiness, to discipleship. Some are called to marriage, some to religious life and some to priesthood. Obviously, the young men who participate come because of some interest and respond to an invitation to reflect on the possibility of a vocation to the priesthood.

On Wednesday we had about 40 young men participate, and the evening began with praying vespers together in one of the seminary chapels followed by a dinner. After the meal there were a number of seminarians who gave witness talks about their own personal discernment process, their experience of seminary life and their love for the priesthood. Then I gave a talk, after which we had a question and answer period.

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Prayer in the seminary chapel

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Seminarians Timothy Lewis …

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and Daniel DInnocenzo speak to the youths

One of the young men there from Blessed Mother Theresa Parish in Dorchester is heading up a vocation committee at his parish. He has done a wonderful job. Father Paul Soper, the pastor at Blessed Mother Theresa Parish is very supportive of vocation events. Several more are planned in the coming weeks. Father Paul provides a wonderful example of pastoral leadership as he invites young people to consider a vocation to the priesthood and religious life.

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Father Mike Harrington of the Vocations office

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My turn at the podium

I try to impress on people that, as the title of my pastoral letter on the subject says, Vocations are Everybodys Business. In the Church its very important that we all encourage and pray for vocations to the priesthood. We are a Eucharistic community and priestly vocations are very important to us. As Catholics we also need to stress the importance of everyones individual vocation and everyones call to participate in the communal mission of the Church. We live in a culture that is so highly individualistic that some people lose sight of the fact that, My life is not my own. God has given me everything that I am, everything that I have and is calling, inviting me to discipleship, to holiness and to a particular vocation in life. Additionally, He is calling me to participate in the mission that Christ entrusted to the whole Church.

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The youths were very attentive

The Vocations Office is also planning discernment retreats the first weekend in February. A vocation discernment day for men over 40 years old will be held on Feb. 1 at Blessed John XXIII National Seminary in Weston, and a discernment weekend for men ages 18-40 will be held at St. Johns Seminary in Brighton from Feb. 2-3. I will be present at both retreats and I hope that we have a good turnout at these very important events for our Archdiocese. Anyone interested can register by contacting the Vocations Office at 617-746-5949 or www.vocationsboston.org.

- – -

Also this week I published a letter marking the 5th anniversary of the unfolding of the sexual abuse crisis in our archdiocese. The letter was published both in the Boston Globe and The Pilot. It is my prayer that the letter conveys the Churchs regret and sorrow for the terrible effects of the abuse and asks for forgiveness as we seek to move forward with hope.

I am sharing that letter with you here, as well:

The feast of the Epiphany makes fully manifest the joy of the Christmas season. With the Magi and the shepherds, we worship and adore the Christ Child the manifestation of Gods love for all humanity. Five years ago, as we marked the feast on Jan. 6, 2002, the devastating revelations that Catholic clergy had sexually abused children shook the Archdiocese of Boston and the wider community. The contrast between the feast, which celebrates the light of Christ, and the dark and unremitting truth of clergy sexual abuse seemed, at first, impossible to accept.

But the truth of the abuse had to be confronted. These crimes against children were all the more heinous because they were committed by men who vowed themselves to emulate Christ, and were further enabled by the failure of the Church leadership to respond appropriately.

God came into the world in the person of Jesus Christ to lift us out of the darkness of sin. Only with the truth of clergy sexual abuse exposed could we again seek to walk fully in His light.

The Catholic community has worked diligently in recent years to put in place programs and policies to ensure the safety of children. We must, and will, continue our vigilance and improve on these efforts. Nothing less is acceptable. Our responsibility to children and families is paramount. It is our hope and prayer that such protections will be in place in all settings in society where children depend upon the care of adults.

On my own behalf and on behalf of the good and faithful men, women, clergy, and religious of our archdiocese, I again express my most heartfelt apology to all the children and young people, most now adults, who were abused by priests or other representatives of the Church. Your wounded hearts and shattered spirits have a special claim on the Church, the body of Christ. We will forever be sorry for the harm you have suffered and humbly ask your forgiveness.

I also want to say a special word to the families of those who have been sexually abused. You trusted and loved your priests unconditionally. Tragically, that trust was betrayed. Many of you have extended to me the privilege of meeting with you over these past years. I have seen your broken hearts and tear-filled eyes. I have heard you share agonizing stories about your children, some of whom have even taken their own lives. You will always remain in my heart and mind. And, I pray that you will find consolation in the enduring compassion of the Lord.

The impact of the clergy sexual abuse scandal has reached deep into the lives of parishioners and the faith-filled priests who minister to them. They have borne the shame, grief, and confusion of these devastating revelations with heroic faith. For the clergy and parents, in particular, the ability to impart the gift of faith to children has been especially challenging. And, for the broader community, the scandal of clergy sexual abuse has given rise to anger and mistrust.

If there were no hope, we would indeed be despondent. But as we again celebrate the Epiphany, Jesus reminds us that He will be with us always, even in the most difficult moments. The Christ Child, in the arms of Mary, beckons us to draw close to the peace and protection of His holy embrace. In this love the process of healing can both begin and be sustained.

During the course of the past five years, we have learned much due to the generosity of so many who have committed themselves to the rebuilding of the Church. There is much yet to be done to regain confidence and trust. The feast of the Epiphany reminds us that the Churchs mission is to make Gods universal love more visible in the manner in which we live out our faith. The star of Bethlehem continues to shine brightly. Together, guided by this light, we will find our way.

- – -

Finally, I would like to take the opportunity in this post to answer some of your questions and comments.

Firstly, someone recently asked me for the name of the 96-year-old priest in residence at Regina Cleri who drives out to his old parish to help with the Mass schedule every Sunday. His name is Msgr. Paul Moritz.

God bless you, Cardinal Sen!! Your blog is so interesting!

I was wonderinghow do you make time for personal prayer with your busy schedule? As a layperson I have a hard time, but it must be even harder as a cardinal.

Another quick question: why is a bishop anointed with oil on his head at the episcopal ordination?

Blessed Advent!

Kristy T.

I think that every person needs to have a rule of life where we know at the beginning of the day exactly what time we are going to have for prayer and to respect that. For me, my best prayer time is late at night because Im usually at my desk until 10 p.m. Then I say Night Prayer with the other priests and then I go to my room for reading and prayer.

Everyone needs to have a plan.

If you dont have a game plan, you wont persevere in prayer. Its like people who have a regiment of exercise. If they dont plan how many times a week theyll exercise and when and where, its not going to happen. Everyday it needs to be time and space for God in our lives. It requires some quiet time, some time to reflect and to be alone with the Lord.

To address your second question, the bishops are anointed with oil because it reflects the liturgical customs of the Old Testament. The oil is a sign of strengthening a person and anointing in the Old Testament was part of the sign of Gods predilection and blessing on leaders and the community. The Church has incorporated that into the ceremony.

Jesus at the beginning of his public ministry quotes from Isaiah: The spirit of the Lord God is upon Me and has anointed Me. So the anointing symbolizes that strengthening in the Spirit. The very word Christ means the anointed one, and we as Christians are anointed. So there are anointings in various sacraments in baptism, confirmation, (somewhat obviously) the anointing of the sick and the ordination of priests and bishops.

Greetings Cardinal Sen! Can you please tell us the prayer that you gave at the service for the inauguration of Gov. Patrick? I read in the newspaper that it was a prayer first given by Abraham Lincoln. I would like to know the name of it or some reference by which I might look it up. Thank you.

Marci

Here is the prayer from President Lincolns Second Inaugural Address in 1864:

With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nations wounds to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

Eminncia,

Em primeiro lugar, as minhas desculpas por me expressar em Portugus e no meu fraco Ingls. E o melhor que eu posso fazer.

Sou Portugus e vi o Seu blog na internet, aonde ja no me lembro. Encantei-me com ele. E maravilhoso ver tal trabalho da parte de um Cardeal da Igreja de Roma.Vossa Eminncia, como membro da Igreja, so posso agradecer a Deus por nos ofertar esta Graa: pessoas que conseguem comunicar utilizando uma das melhores coisas do seculo XXI, a internet.

Comento no Seu blog porque vi que o Senhor estudou Literatura Portuguesa e Espanhola, sinal de que sabera algo de Portugus. Gostaria de o convidar a visitar o meu blog http://fidesintrepida.blogspot.com . Tenho 14 anos e estou a fazer o discernimento vocacional para saber se o meu caminho e o sacerdocio. Se viu este comentario, e pedir muito que me envie um e-mail?

Despeo-me com os melhores cumprimentos, pedindo a sua indulgncia e beno especial,

Diogo +

Diogo Taveira

Obrigado por ter comunicado com nosso blog. Visitei o seu blog e fiquei muito impressionado ao olhar a seriedade das suas paginas com pensamentos e ideias to maduras sobre a Igreja. Voc tem uma boa formao na f catlica. Esta a procurar conhecer a votade de Deus na sua vida para viver a sua vocao pessoal. Conta com as minhas oraes. Em Agosto vou presidir na missa do Santuario de Fatima pela peregrinao do 13 de Agosto. Se estiver presente, faz favor de se presentar. At logo. +DomSean

Dear Sean,

I have noticed that many people refer to you as Your Eminence.

I trust and hope that you are urging people to stop addressing you in this manner.

Meaningful Catholics think its ridiculous. After all you are but a servant leader, not a king in a castle.

Sincerely,

Paul Kendriick

Last week at the inauguration of the new governor in the Commonwealth, the preacher at the ecumenical service reminded us that the governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is called Your Excellency. The reason for that is because John Adams was a very formal kind of person who liked titles. So, even though the president of the United States is called Mr. President, the governor of Massachusetts is Your Excellency.

In the Church we have these titles as well. When I was in the West Indies, bishops were called Your Lordship. As I always say, being called Your Lordship and driving on the left-hand side of the road were two of the biggest challenges of my life. As Franciscans, the only title that we use is brother or friar, and to me that is the most important one. However, we are part of a Church with many ancient traditions. Some of these titles, although they sound a little quaint, are reminders to us of the wonderful history and great traditions in the Church. Weve been around for a long time, and the roles of cardinals and prelates have changed greatly. When I sold the archbishops residence here in Boston to compensate victims of clergy sexual abuse, it was a typical old-fashioned episcopal palace. There was a time when, for Catholics, that was a great source of pride and a source of security. It expressed for them the feeling that their leaders were important, too. But in our modern times that symbol was no longer necessary or appropriate, so I was very happy to jettison it. Yet, I dont think we can try to erase our history or try to reinterpret symbols that in different times and places can have validity.

Hello and a Peaceful New Year to you Cardinal Sen!

Ive been wanting to open this site for some time and tonight I have! Its great

You should receive a snail mail note from us about how delicious the Christmas gifts were, but just staple this one on to page 2! Your friendship and the memory of many great years at the Kenesaw, etc. are always a part of our year-end assembly. You are a loyal friend. Pilar is in El Paso with Peter Hine, OCD and Betty Campbell RSM (They had Tabor House in D.C. for many years) Pilar is finally taking a much deserved semi-sabbatical until spring.

We will continue to pray with you as our collective community continues to transition into the final years of their journey. May we all be persons of HOPE and – above all – living signs of love. The very best to you.

Maureen Foltz and the U.S. Carmelites of Charity, Vedruna

Hello, and thank you very much for your kind words. In response to your comments, I want to send greetings to all the friends from the Kenesaw Sister Pilar, Peter Hine, Betty Campbell, Sister Maureen, all the Carmelites and all of the people who helped us form the Kenesaw cooperative.

The Centro Catolico in Washington was located in the Kenesaw apartment building, which at the time was in deplorable condition. Most of the time our furnace did not work, and we had no hot water. There were shootings in the building, and a lot of other problems. At one point the owner of the building tried to sell it and evict all of us. But there was a Dominican friar who was a lawyer who worked with the poor. He came to me and said, Father Sean, they cant evict you because theres a law that the tenants have the first right of refusal, and he didnt offer you the building first, so we can negate that sale. And I said, Well, thats all fine and good, but we dont have any money to buy the building anyway.

So we went to HUD and started a cooperative.

Actually, I was elected the president of the cooperative.

I always tell the story about trying to collect all the guns in the building because I was trying to make the building safer. I had this meeting in the lobby of the Kenesaw, and I put a card table in the middle of the room and said I wanted all the people who had guns to turn them in. This old grandmother in her little hat opened her purse, took out this huge pistol with a very long barrel, sort of waved it in the air and said, Youre a priest, no ones going to hurt you, but me, Im keeping my gun. And nobody handed in their guns. But eventually we addressed that problem, and the Kenesaw apartment was turned into a cooperative.

The building was fixed up, there was a lot of sweat equity that went into it. The people worked very hard on the apartments, and today many of those people are still living there. The Centro Catolico moved down the street to the Capuchin parish, Sacred Heart, which is about a block from there. Theyre using the old convent for the dental clinic and the medical clinic. A lot of the things I had in that building in those days have now been moved to parish buildings, but were very proud of the fact that those low-income people were not evicted. Instead, they became members of that cooperative and were able to save their homes.

As my photo of the week, I wanted to share this photo of those days in the Kenesaw with you. I keep it in my office to this day.

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Believe it or not, that’s me on the right

Please continue to send your questions and comments. I look forward to receiving them and will answer them as often as I can.

Have a wonderful week and until I write again, I am

Yours in Christ,

Cardinal Sen

36 Responses to The Epiphany of our Lord


Comments

  1. Comment by Nathan | 2007/01/12 at 21:11:55

    Your Eminence, as always, I enjoyed your post. For a future Q & A session on here, when the bishop here in Wichita came to my house for dinner last summer, I asked him how much he talks to others in the episcopacy, and he said not very often because of duties in the diocese requiring his attention. Because of you are a Cardinal, I am curious as to how often you communicate with the Vatican and/or other members of the American and international hierarchy? Or, as your blog posts suggest, are you pretty much consumed by obligations to your archdiocese as my bishop is with his? Just wondering how you juggle your responsibilities for the Curia and USCCB in addition to leading the Boston Church. I look forward to reading more next week. God bless, Cardinal Sean!

  2. Comment by Peter Skipper | 2007/01/12 at 21:17:40

    Cardinal Sean,
    Thank you very much for your kind words about the vocations committee at our parish. It’s events like the St. Andrew’s Dinner that are so important to getting kinds involved with vocations. I especially appreiciated your personal story of discernment, and as always, it is such a blessing to speak with you. God bless,
    Peter Skipper, Blessed Mother Teresa Parish

  3. Comment by Andrew | 2007/01/12 at 23:22:46

    Your Eminence,

    Thank you again for sharing your thoughts and experiences with us. I look forward every week to reading your blog. I’m very impressed that you are able to find time in your busy schedule to pen your thoughts and reach out into the deep. Your openness to the Lord and his people have been a great inspiration to us and we are very envious of the people of Boston who are so lucky and blessed to have a Shepherd in the mould of the Good Shepherd Himself.

    God bless you, dear Cardinal and all the people under your care.

    Andrew
    From Malaysia

  4. Comment by Br. Charles | 2007/01/13 at 08:03:44

    Your Eminence,

    Thank you for the photos and description of the Ge’ez liturgy – what a great way to reflect on the mystery of the Epiphany! And the vocation event looks very encouraging too.

  5. Eve
    Comment by Eve | 2007/01/13 at 09:16:33

    Dear Cardinal Sein,
    We are so caught up in the business of the world that we forget Jesus Christ was borned in the spring summer season in Bethlehem. Time mixes fact and fiction. Jesus Christ, Santa Claus, Xmas tree, presents, fire works, flying reindeers and that is xmas for the world. It is no wonder that is what the ” x ” means. Minus spirituality from legends.

    There is only one great high priest and He is Jesus Christ. It is not easy for a human being to remain a celibate. In fact emotions make us as human as God wants us to be. Or else we will be living robots. There are many who can hide from the burdens of this world but not themselves. If they are more courageous with themselves, they might save themselves from a lot of unnecessary mistakes and regrets that will live with them for all their lives to come. I watched a confession to the world by this man via the television. The words which he used to entice his victims were so full of love that if I had been the victim, I would not know exactly what was in his mind before the attack. It is scary.

    It takes courage on your part and on the part of others to rectify the situation. Please do keep up this good and holy work. It is a holy act not to harm others.

    Eve

  6. Comment by Betty-Ann Hickey | 2007/01/13 at 10:59:22

    Your Eminence,

    While I admit, addressing you by your new title takes some getting used to, it is important. Not ridiculous in the least.

    The title “your eminence” referrs to placing the office of the cardinal in high esteem. This is not something which is necessarily reflective on the particular person, but on the office.

    It is a title of respect, and I must say that you and your role as bishop and cardinal are deserving of much respect.

  7. Comment by Barbara | 2007/01/13 at 17:46:06

    Eminence is it and Eminence it will always be.
    It honors the office not the person. Though having had the blessing of you as Bishop in the VI, you have rightly earned the honor also.
    Waiting for you to come back for a visit.

  8. Ann
    Comment by Ann | 2007/01/13 at 18:54:04

    Cardinal Sean, Your Eminence, I love them both. Thank you for giving us an insight on all the different Catholic Rites of the Church. I never knew about the Ge’ez Rite. It was very interesting. Thank you too for all that you do.

  9. Comment by Brian P Halligan | 2007/01/14 at 01:12:09

    Dear Archbishop O’Malley,

    I was at the mass you said two years ago when my mother was inducted into the Order of the Holy Sepulchre on Cape Cod. I was deeply moved by your homily and continue to discuss it with my mother to this day.

    The Holy Cross Cathedral is not my parish, but I would like travel there if that is where you say mass. I have looked around on different websites for information on where/when you will say mass, but cannot seem to find it. In your blog, you refer to what you have done, but do not really mention too much about what is coming up for you.

    Anyway, if it would not be much trouble, could you let the me (your readers) know where they can find information on where/when you will be saying mass. I would travel far and wide to hear you deliver the homily every Sunday.

    Best regards,

    Brian Halligan

  10. Comment by Tim Ehnstrom | 2007/01/14 at 03:07:27

    I’m not Catholic nor Orthodox (I’m a member of a Baptist church but consider myself “interdenominational” actually)… but I was just wondering: Have you ever said Mass in Latin and which do you prefer? Latin or English? Thanks. :-) I was just curious. :-)

  11. Comment by Graham Lake | 2007/01/14 at 04:51:45

    My Lord Cardinal,

    I continue to read with great interest your postings.
    Wishing you every blessing.

    I have the honour to be Your Eminences’s devoted and obedient servant.

    Pax et Bonum, Graham Lake

  12. Comment by Joseph McLean | 2007/01/14 at 11:12:16

    Dear Sean;
    While perusing the Pilot this morning, I came across a column by a contributer about the role of Catholica on the Internet.That article spurred me to find your blog. I was amazed and enlightened at all the work that you accomplish in a week. God love you.
    I also read about a program for children about learning to pray the Rosary. It was a splendid example of what can be accomplishes with children, given the individual’s needs.
    A third article I read in your blog was about how you made room in your busty schedule for prayer anfd how we as laity can do the same. I end my day with a Rosary in my bed, just as my Dad and Mom did as I was growing up 66 years ago. In the morning I always try to do some spiritual reading. At the present time I am reading “The Present Moment” by Louis-Marie Parent. I would recommend it to all Catholics.
    Again, thank you for bringing us the light and for the wonderful resource that The Pilot is.
    Thanking you in advance for your kind consideration,
    Joseph F. McLean

  13. Comment by Dan Donovan | 2007/01/14 at 11:20:21

    Your Eminence,
    I grew up starting with His Eminence Richard Cardinal Cushing to you. It is only proper and traditional that a cardinal, a Prince of the Church, should be addressed as His Eminence. It makes me proud, as I am sure it does to all the faithfull, to have the feeling of closeness, and the accessability to our leader your Eminence.
    God Bless You!

  14. Comment by Christine | 2007/01/14 at 17:07:32

    Dear Cardinal Sean,
    When will the church start addressing all survivors of sexual abuse, and not just the one’s who were abused by priests?

  15. Comment by RJackson | 2007/01/14 at 21:44:32

    Your Eminence,

    I enjoy your blog a great deal, many thanks for writing it. With regard to the style “Your Eminence” I consider it a wonderful privelege for me to use. I am a fairly recent (last Easter) convert from Protestantism. All of the trappings of Catholicism: the smells and bells of the liturgy, the reverence for the Pope, icons and statues of the saints; it’s like rediscovering my birthright. A healthy reverence for our bishops, the descendants of the apostles, only (in my mind) helps to reinforce that the Church is not some modern creation but rather the Bridegroom of Christ preserved through the ages. When I call you (or more locally Cardinal McCarrick) ‘Your Eminence’ it is more my privelege than yours.

  16. Comment by Maria Teresa Frias | 2007/01/14 at 23:29:23

    Dear Padre Sean: We remembered you today during the Gospel with the words of our blessed Mother do whatever He tells you your Episcopal Motto. You are certainly doing that, wherever you go and now in Boston to the world, with your blog.
    We praise our Lord for you. You are a true spiritual Father for many of us, because you are teaching us and guiding us to Christ with your example and prayers. We read your Pastoral Letter on Vocations and we find in there what we need to place our lives at the disposal of Gods needs.
    We pray that Diogo and many like him, who are discerning their vocations, find their way in Christ persevering in prayer in His company so they will need Him and receive Him in confession and in holy communion and be in the friendship of His saints.
    You, like Padre Pio, even though are in the highest, will be always Padres to us and that is why we have so many kind and holy priests that are your spiritual sons, like Father Emilio, Father Donato, Father Moises, Bishop Adalberto Martinez, and so many others, that we have known through the years.
    Our dear Holy Father John Paul II expressed well: We need heralds of the Gospel who are experts in humanity, who know the depths of the human heart, who can share the joys, the hope, the agonies, the distress of people today, but who are at the same time, contemplatives who have fallen in love with God. You are all that to us. We love you and pray for you and for the entire Church.

  17. Comment by Myriam Dox-Frias | 2007/01/15 at 14:27:43

    Gracias Padre Sean por compartir con todo el mundo sus actividades. Es lindo, pues de sta manera seguimos su trayectora eclesistica y de vez en cuando sus reuniones y encuentros lo llevan a Washington, D.C., donde hasta el da de hoy se le recuerda con cario y gratitud pues su trabajo de entonces sigue adelante. El leer algunos de los mensajes de sus lectores tambin nos trae a la memoria no solamente las personas sino las comunidades religiosas que le ayudaban en dichos tiempos, como las Hnas Carmelitas hoy dirigidas por la entonces novicia Maureen. Ojala que esa foto que tiene con Hna. Barbara Ham, Mara Carvajal y su hija Irene, Carlos y su esposa Tati y todos los dems voluntarios siempren le animen a seguir adelante aunque sabemos que los desafios que hoy enfrenta son muy distintos a los de entonces.

    Que Dios y la Virgen le bendigan y acompaen siempre.

    Myriam Frias-Dox

  18. Comment by Kurt | 2007/01/15 at 15:21:31

    Your Eminence,
    I’m Kurt Mizzi form malta – I’m 15 years old now and two years ago – you still weren’t created Cardinal if served mass at the Vatican with you and for me it was a great pleasure because it moved me so much that I still cherish the memories in my heart! I’d like you to pray for our Archbishop-Elect who’s a Dominican Friar and who is being oradined on January 26th when he will also be taking possession of the Cathedral Church! Please pray for him and for me so that I may find out God’s will!

    I beg your blessing!

    Kurt Mizzi

  19. Comment by Patricia A. Corcoran | 2007/01/15 at 15:49:07

    I have searched all of the media outlets including local television and radio news, newspapers including, but not limited to The Pilot, The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, The New York Times as well as national news outlets such as CNN, MSNBC, looking for some statement from you concerning the escalation of the war in Iraq. Unless I overlooked something, I cannot find anything. You were all over the media concerning gay marriage, but silent on Mr. Bush sending our young troops to their death. Should I have expected more, correct me if I’m wrong, but this is the same church that remained silent on the sexual abuse of its young. It’s the same church that feels its okay to abuse gay and lesbians in the media, but not speak out about the wholesale slaughter of our troops.

  20. JH
    Comment by JH | 2007/01/15 at 19:11:29

    Your Excellency,

    You are a prince of the church and According to international treaty, you hold the rank of prince. I recommend the poster who didn’t like your title read, “The ceromonial life and protocal of the Roman Catholic church” by James Noonan. It is fascinating.

    Isn’t there a Coptic rite as well as the Ge’ez rite?? I find it interisting there are 22 churches that make up the catholic church. And now we have the Roman Rite Anglican use parishes in Boston ( I think there are two). Is the Pastoral provision temporary or will other priest be trained in this mannor and this be allowed to continue??

    Didn’t Our Holy Father John Paul mentioned something like liturgiesof the East and West is breathing with both lungs.

    Have a good week.

    Jim H

  21. Comment by Tom Biel | 2007/01/15 at 20:44:55

    Your Eminence,
    This blog is definitely a welcome endeavor and I’d like to thank you for putting your effort into it. Like St.Maximillian Kolbe, you are pioneering internet blogging and other advanced technology at least among the Cardinals of the Churchs hierarchy in the U.S. I hope this friendly outreach you have created will indeed reach many, young and old, in Archdiocese of Boston and beyond. Ill be sure to pray for your success and growth in holiness. May Our Lord Jesus always bless you, protect you and guide you.
    Pax Vobiscum.

  22. Comment by Fr. Roberto Mena, S.T. | 2007/01/16 at 14:53:38

    Thank you for reminding us that vocations is a business of every one.

    I think that it doesn’t matter how they call you, because we are all Pastors of Christ.

    In the Trinity:
    Fr. Roberto Mena, S.T.
    http://www.parishworld.net (Spanish and English articles and my spanish blog).

  23. Comment by Sandor | 2007/01/16 at 17:10:57

    Your Eminence,

    I was thinking today that one beautiful outreach and expression of solidarity to all victims of child sexual abuse could be a chapel or shrine dedicated to all those children that have been sexually abused. You could even name it the Chapel of the Child Jesus.

    Thank you for all you have done in helping to heal the church in Boston and the entire United States.

    In Christ,

    Sandor

  24. Comment by john b | 2007/01/17 at 00:22:46

    when is a diocese considered an archdiocese?

  25. Comment by dorothy a sheehan | 2007/01/17 at 01:11:24

    we have the neo catechumen going strong in our wonderful of st. tarcisius, framingham. we meet twice a week for the liturgy on wed nite and mass on sat nite with the liturgy.we have teams that are delegated for each nite who has to prepare the liturgy and make the bread for sat nite to be consecrated at our mass.we have that new redemptoris mater seminary in brookline and i am wondering when they will get a website.
    our 2 seminarians are super, karol and stephen. we learn a lot from these 2 fine gentlemen.pray for them every night, they are young a long way from home, one from Poland and the other from Brazil and miss their family.we have convevance once a month at an adult community center whose doesnt charge us rent, for which we are very grateful to the residents in the community and our leader, stephen hanley even brings 5 of his 6 children. they are just darling. so pray for us,your eminence (love this) that we will get more folks interested and join our group and we shall pray for you. God Bless.
    dottie

  26. Comment by Doris | 2007/01/17 at 12:47:53

    Dear Cardinal Sean,

    Thank you so much for your continued compassion toward survivors of sexual abuse by our Catholic Clergy. As a survivor myself of abuse I know all too well the importance of an apology and of not being overlooked. After many years the pain is still deep. I feel you recognize all survivors when you extend your words of healing toward those whom have been hurt by the church. Thank you for all your efforts to help people heal.

    On a better note. I don’t get a chance to read all your blogs, but I think it was in a previous one that I read that you were planning a pilgrimage for Roman Catholics and those of the Eastern Rite to visit Rome and Turkey. Am I correct in this? My friend and I would be interested in this. Being out of the Diocese how can I keep informed about things like this? I imagine your blog is the way to go.

    Thank you so much for this blog and all you do for the church.
    We miss you here in Fall River.

  27. Comment by Ephrem | 2007/01/17 at 21:17:19

    Your Eminence,

    Thanks for the fascinating articles. I love seeing the story of the Ethiopian and Eritrean Catholics. They are the most beautiful people on earth. I’m glad that they are able to worship in the Cathedral. I understand that because they worship in a different rite and are immigrants, there is not always an opportunity for them to build their own church immediately. Perhaps there can be misunderstandings. It’s tough; we always look for opportunities to reach out to other Christians, and sometimes the sui juris Churches have their own problems that are hard to see.

  28. Comment by Joan | 2007/01/18 at 10:46:29

    I so enjoy reading your blog every week! Just a witness on the making the time for prayer…I started a full-time job last February after being home raising my three kids for 13 years. Anyhow, I was really out of sorts the first couple of weeks into my job. I felt like I was “serving time” as my time was no longer my own. Fortunately I work at a Catholic institution and have a small oratory below my office. The oratory has an beautiful crucifix – wonderful source of meditation. Into the third week of full time work, I was drawn to that oratory. I started out with just 10-15 minutes a day of prayer, but within a month was skipping my lunch entirely to spend an hour in prayer. I spent the next 7 months in deep prayer and formation. It is amazing the discernment that has come from this time. I have such a peace about my life (even though there are plenty of challenges) than I never had before.

    I do not have as much time for concentrated prayer on a daily basis right now, but am still able to do 2-3 days a week of my lunch hour prayer.

    I just wanted to reiterate Cardinal Sean’s point that you need to make time for prayer every day in your life if you want to hear the Lord’s will for you and receive the grace to respond to His will.

  29. gb
    Comment by gb | 2007/01/18 at 11:21:03

    Whenever I hear a litany of all the axes that someone has to grind with the Church , as per a previous post on this thread, the litany never includes any mention of the “wholesale murder” of 47 million kids in this country or the evisceration of the families associated with these abortions. “Correct me if I’m wrong” but I don’t think there is any acknowledgement of this terrible crime against humanity by folks who are quick to point a finger at other pet issues.

  30. Comment by vox clara | 2007/01/18 at 16:35:13

    Hello Cardinal Sen,
    I am still wondering if you are planning to visit Reading, PA. When you do, I will greet you with open arms (and baked goods)
    Paz vobiscum

  31. Comment by Mary | 2007/01/18 at 23:21:06

    Your Eminence,
    Thank you for taking the time to write the blog. I pray that you and your staff take time to rest for you have a very busy schedule. I have a question about St. Dymphna. Do you think her intercession to relieve Depression is appropriate or do you have a “favorite” prayer that you recommend for those seeking relief?
    Yours in Christ,
    Mary

  32. Comment by Caitlin | 2007/01/19 at 11:02:12

    Dear Cardinal Sean,
    I enjoy your blogs every week! Being away from Massachusetts while I am in school is difficult sometimes but I love to see what’s going on and you seem to be involved in everything!!
    Thank-you for sharing your daily life with me. God bless you!

  33. Comment by Concepta | 2007/01/19 at 12:34:31

    Hi there Cardinal Sen,
    I just wanted to express how happy it makes me to see so many people such as yourself getting into blogs and podcasting. It is so important that communication is maintained between the church and the lay faithful, and initiatives such as your own do exactly that!
    Another thing that you may not be aware of is the amount of people coming back to the Church as a result of media such as your own. Using material such as your own I have opened the eyes of at least 3 people in my group of friends, through the logic and reasoning used alone…

    Thank you for sharing your pictures and your experiences in Ethiopia by the way. I went to an Ethiopian mass once many years ago, and their celebrations are so full of life, it’s admirable.

    Anyway, this is just a quick message. May 2007 bring you love and peace.

    All the best,
    Concepta

  34. Comment by Sister Cathy Beckley, snjm | 2007/01/19 at 15:07:57

    Dear Cardinal Sean,

    Thank you for speaking out so passionately about vocations to the priesthood. Please include prayers and exhortation for vocations to religious life for women and men. Again thank you for your powerful witness to our faith.

    Sr. Cathy Beckley

  35. Comment by Patricia Rice | 2007/01/21 at 14:14:24

    Your Eminence,
    Thank you for the blog you’ve undertaken. There are many of us enjoying your efforts.
    I like to read the comments that come along.
    Pat Rice

  36. Comment by Luke Cahill | 2007/01/22 at 13:34:24

    Your Eminence,

    With regard to your previous posts about the style of addressing cardinals and other officials, I feel that I must disagree with the other comments. It is important the community respects all of its prelates and the style “Eminence” is just that, a matter of respect, and in my case, admiration for the wonderful work that I read about.

    Best Wishes


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