I would like to begin by addressing a very pressing issue here in Massachusetts: the defense of traditional marriage. Next week a proposed amendment to the state constitution will be taken up by the legislature that would limit all future marriages in the state to the union between one man and one woman. According to our state constitution, the amendment must be approved by the legislature in two consecutive sessions before it can be placed on the statewide ballot. It was approved in the last legislative session but only after many delays and attempts at avoiding a vote altogether.
The amendment faces the critical second vote in the constitutional convention scheduled for June 14 and we are very hopeful that a vote will take place and that the legislators will allow the voters of Massachusetts to express their concerns about marriage and the redefinition of marriage.
This issue should not be seen as one of discrimination, but rather as the protection of an institution which is crucial for the common good. The best way for children to be raised is in a stable and loving marriage between a man and a woman. This image of marriage is the one that we want to present to future generations of children and one that needs to be protected by law. It is an institution that is older than the Church and older than the state. Marriage should not be blithely undermined by an overactive judiciary.
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Last Friday evening, I had dinner at the Harvard Club with Mary Ann Glendon and a Korean couple. Mary Ann, of course, is the president of a pontifical commission and has contacts around the world, but particularly in Korea. She was there with her husband, her daughter – whom she adopted in Korea – as well as her daughter�s husband and son.
The Korean couple was James Chan-Jin Kim and Gloria Young Ae Lee. They are both lawyers who recently have been placed in charge of Korea�s new pro-life movement by Cardinal Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk, the Archbishop of Seoul. It was a very interesting evening and we were so pleased to hear of the successes of the Church in Korea.
James Chan-Jin Kim and his wife Gloria Young Ae Lee
In a very dramatic gesture, the cardinal of Seoul last year announced he would a very large amount of money, $10 million, to scientific research involving adult stem-cells. The gesture shows how the Church is indeed promoting scientific investigation but takes into account the ethical demands of respecting human dignity. The Pilot interviewed James and his wife Gloria and you can read the story here.
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On Saturday, we had our annual Mass and breakfast for religious brothers who are celebrating 25 and 50 years of religious life. This year we had a rather large group, and a number of brothers were there at the chapel in Bishop Peterson Hall. These are men who have given so many years of service in a variety of different ministries.
Posing for a group photo
The breakfast following the Mass
Many Catholics are unaware of the important role of our religious brothers. We are very happy to have an event like this that underscores this very beautiful vocation in the life of the Church and to recognize these men who have served the Church so faithfully for so long.
Those celebrating their jubilees are:
Top row: Brother Edward P. Babinski, SJ; Brother H. Francis Cluff , SJ; Brother Thomas Cruise, OMI; Brother Justus Frazier, OFM
Middle row: Brother Charles J. Gilbert, OMI; Brother Thomas McGowan, OFM; Brother Cornelius C. Murphy, SJ; Brother Donald J. Murray, SJ
Bottom row: Brother Edward L. Nizolek, SJ; Brother Paul Santoro, OFM
We thank these brothers for their service to the Church!
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On June 3, we celebrated the closing Mass for St. Philip Neri Parish in Newton. Several former pastors were there, Fathers Alves and McCoy as well as a recently arrived Korean priest, Father Dominic Jung. The St. Philip Neri community will merge with Sacred Heart Parish in Newton. Father John Connolly, the pastor at Sacred Heart and a number of Sacred Heart parishioners were there to be a part of the Mass and to welcome the St. Philip Neri parishioners into the new community. Sacred Heart is the parish that St. Philip Neri parishioners chose after visiting with all of the different communities in Newton. Father Charles Higgins, the pastor of Mary Immaculate of Lourdes Parish in Newton, was very helpful to them in the process as well.
It was a beautiful Mass, and afterwards they had a picnic with the families. Everything went well. Of course it is always hard to leave a parish you are attached to, but, at the same time, there was an enthusiasm and a great hopefulness about their new life as merged with Sacred Heart Parish.
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In the evening on Sunday, I ordained two deacons � Brothers Andrew and Benedict � for the Franciscans of the Primitive Observance. Many relatives and members of the Third Order of St. Francis were present for the ordination, which was held at Mission Church or the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Boston.
The church really is one of the most beautiful churches in Boston, and it is our only basilica. It certainly has a wonderful history and a great devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help. There have been many novenas carried out there. The Redemptorist community has done very fine work in serving that parish and in their preaching and healing ministry throughout the archdiocese.
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Last Thursday I participated in the Provincial Chapter of the Capuchins held at Wheeling College in West Virginia.
During the chapter, we sent one of our brothers to mission territory. At a mission sending service,the Mission cross was given to Brother Don Lippert who is leaving to serve in Papua New Guinea.
To the left of Brother Don Lippert is Brother Nicholas
who is a native of Papua
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We are pleased by the Catholic Appeal results in the month of May and thank the 28,000 parishioners and priests who have contributed more than $7 million, which represents 50% of our overall 2007 Catholic Appeal goal of $14 million. We thank the pastors and parishioners that worked hard to prepare the churches to show the Catholic Appeal video and to distribute the informational packets in each parish. I ask every Catholic in the Archdiocese to join me in contributing to the Catholic Appeal this year and encourage everyone to pledge by June 30 so that our parish targets can be reached. For more information on the Catholic Appeal and to watch the Appeal video, please go to www.BostonCatholicAppeal.org.
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That’s all for this week. It has been a while since I answered questions from blog readers. If you have questions you would like to ask me, please do so by posting a comment below. I’ll gladly read them and answer a few in upcoming weeks.
Yours in Christ.