Cardinal Seán's Blog



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Meeting with the women religious superiors

Recently Bishop Daniel Anthony Hart, the bishop emeritus of Norwich, Conn., passed away after a long illness. He had been a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston and for many years an auxiliary bishop in our South Region prior to being named a bishop in Norwich.

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Bishop Hart

He was very beloved, and Bishop Francis Irwin organized a memorial Mass in Boston.

The Mass was held at St. John the Baptist Parish in Peabody, which is one of the parishes where Bishop Hart served as a parochial vicar for many years. He also served at a number of other parishes in the archdiocese.

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Members of Knights of Columbus Leo Council 508 and Bishop Irwin

Many of the parishioners at St. John’s had been parishioners when Bishop Hart served there. Father John MacInnis, the current pastor, hosted the Mass and a reception after, where many of the parishioners shared wonderful stories. They recalled memories of the ministry of this very zealous and kind priest.

Members of Bishop Hart’s family were also there. One of his brothers looked so much like Bishop Hart and sounded exactly like him. Another brother who is a doctor, a sister, some cousins and little grandnephews were present as well. They all seemed very happy that there was a memorial Mass in the Archdiocese of Boston.

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Bishop Irwin and Bishop Hart’s family

Then, after the reception, I visited the prayer group that was having a very nice Stations of the Cross in Spanish.

- – -

On Sunday, I celebrated Mass for the second Sunday of Lent at Marian Manor, a nursing home run by the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm, in South Boston.

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Stained glass windows of the sisters’ chapel

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The Carmelite sisters there do such a wonderful job and I was pleased to see that they have a young novice working with them.

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I have been very blessed because Carmelite sisters have been in three of the four dioceses I have served as bishop. So I knew them well in Fall River as well as Palm Beach, Fla. They have a very special ministry, the care for the elderly and infirm. The sisters also run St. Patrick Manor in Framingham, and we are blessed to have their charism as part of our archdiocese.

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It was nice that a number of people come and accompany their parents to Sunday Mass there at Marian Manor. Some of our priests were also able to attend this Mass.

Father Vincent Von Euw is now residing there. He concelebrated from his wheelchair and is doing much better.

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Father Von Euw

Also Father Joseph Rothwell concelebrated.

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Father Bill Cuddy was also with us. He is a Boston priest, a captain in the Navy and the head chaplain for the United States Coast Guard, which is a very prestigious post. When he is home, he lives with us at the cathedral. So when he heard we were going to Marian Manor, he asked to join us.

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Father Cuddy

We also met a woman named Bridget Conroy who is going to be 106 in November! One of her children is a priest and three of her daughters are religious sisters.

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Bridget with staff members Kathleen Lloyd and Sister Margaret Therese. Doesn’t she look remarkable for 105?

Bridget is from Ireland, and her mother was an O’Malley. She is in a wheelchair but is very active and keeps busy. She reads extensively, knits and crochets every day.

- – -

On Wednesday, I met with the women religious superiors in the archdiocese. The gathering was hosted by the Missionary Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception at Mount Alvernia High School in Newton.

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The superior of the Franciscan sisters, Sister Marion Morrissey welcomed us to the gathering

We had a prayer service, and then I talked with them about the latest things that are happening.

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I talked about the “Arise: Together in Christ” program, organized by Renew International. I also gave them an update on the committees that have been set up, our move to Braintree and the vocation situation.

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Then, we had questions and answers with the sisters and afterwards Sister Marian Batho, the Boston delegate for religious, invited the representatives from the various communities to talk about their spirituality. We have 87 congregations of women religious in the archdiocese, with over 2400 women.

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Sister Marian

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It was an opportunity for them to get to know each other better and share their spirituality.

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The Little Sisters of the Poor, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, the Sisters of St. Joseph and many of the other communities have been here for decades. One of the Sisters of Jesus Crucified, which is a tiny Lithuanian community, spoke up and joked with the other women, “We are very proud to be one of the two communities that have their generalate in the Archdiocese of Boston, my community and the Sisters of St. Joseph. We just want to welcome all the rest of you visitors.” She got quite a rise from everyone!

One of the Marist Missionary Sisters, a congregation I know so well because they were with me in the West Indies, recalled a humorous comment made by their development director. She explained that the Marists’ charism is to live like Mary, a life of hiddenness and simplicity. The development director said, “This hiddenness business is killing us.”

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There was a great spirit among the sisters and many of them talked about the large number of retired sisters that they are caring for. A lot of their energy goes into that. The sisters of St. Chretienne spoke about that in a dramatic way and many other sisters mentioned that. These retired sisters are the ones who have contributed so much to the life of the Church in our country and in our diocese. Sister Marian quoted what I said in my homily marking the beginning of our bicentennial year about the religious in the archdiocese and the contributions they made:

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As we look back, our hearts must be filled with gratitude and admiration for the priests, the religious, the laity that have gone before us, marked with a sign of faith. The parishes, the nursing homes, the schools, the hospitals, the agencies, the social services, the organizations. The many who collaborated with the Church’s mission and the universal Church as priests in the military service. Over 300 who have served in the St. James Society. Those from Boston, who founded Maryknoll. The countless religious, including our own Sisters of St. Joseph, the Notre Dame sisters who staffed so many countless schools. The five convents of contemplative sisters here, praying for the needs of the Church. Our two seminaries, and the countless faithful Catholic laity, who have made so many sacrifices for their Church. And so courageously and quietly witnessed to their Catholic faith and family life. For the priests and deacons and catechists in our parishes, our unsung heroes. Today, for all of these blessings of 200 years, we say, “Thank you, Lord.”

- – -

This year St. Patrick’s Day falls during Holy Week, and we are not allowed to have the liturgical celebration of St. Patrick during that week. An option would have been to move the feast; however, the official calendar of the Church has already moved St. Joseph’s Day to Saturday, and I was loath to move St. Patrick’s Day to a Friday in Lent.

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So, what we are going to do in the archdiocese is have a Mass on Monday, March 17, the civil holiday. We will celebrate the liturgical Mass, with its readings and prayers, of the Monday of Holy Week, but at the Mass we will reflect on the life and ministry of St. Patrick. As usual, we will bless and distribute the shamrocks, which St. Patrick used so effectively — as a symbol of the cross and as a symbol for the Trinity.

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In Massachusetts, where we have the largest percentage of Irish-Americans of any state in the country, St. Patrick’s Day is always a very important celebration — both religiously and civically. As a matter of fact, we are probably the only place in the United States where St. Patrick’s Day is a civil holiday. Of course, this is done by a certain subterfuge. They call it Evacuation Day, but they were looking for an excuse to have St. Patrick’s Day as a civil holiday.

Just like every year, we hope to have a nice group of priests and laity joining with us as we honor St. Patrick. We expect people to come to the cathedral wearing green in honor of the patron saint of the archdiocese. And I always remind people that they should celebrate his feast day whether they are Irish or not. After all, St. Patrick was not Irish.

We want to remember St. Patrick as a great missionary. Unfortunately, for the secular world the celebration and the drinking are what people associate with the feast, but we who are believers and are Catholics, need to be reminded of the missionary nature of the Church.

Boston has contributed much to the Mission Ad Gentes, and not just through the 300 priests who have gone to South America with the Missionary Society of St. James. There have been a countless number of men and women religious who have served all over the world, and right now many are still serving all over the world. Even the founders of Maryknoll came out of Boston. We have in our midst a retired Maryknoll bishop from Korea, Bishop William McNaughton. His presence in the archdiocese is just another reminder of this great connection.

Additionally, at one of our recent Presbyteral Council meetings our new head of the Propagation of the Faith, Father Thomas Kopp, announced that Boston is one of the dioceses that give the most to the propagation in the world. He said that we give more than the entire country of England. So I said to him as an Irishman who lives in Boston, “I hope you were not surprised by that.” Also, the archdiocese is one of the largest contributors to the Latin American collection the U.S. Bishops organize every year.

I know that Father Kopp is anxious to promote the materials from the Holy Childhood Association for elementary school children. When I was growing up, we would get little mite boxes during Lent to “buy pagan babies with.” We laugh about it now, but the money was used to save orphans. Now the Holy Childhood’s efforts are much more sophisticated and put children in touch with children in the third world. This helps our children to be aware of the situation, the needs and the gifts of those children in mission countries. Just as that was part of my generation’s mission formation, I would like to see the Holy Childhood be more of a force in the religious formation of our Catholic children today.

The emphasis that Cardinal Richard Cushing gave to the Mission Ad Gentes and the mission appeals that are done, by many of our St. James Society men and others has kept people’s mission conscience very much alive.

Sometimes we can become parochial in our pew, but our mission is part of the universal Church, and St. Patrick was the great missionary. We joyfully and gratefully honor his memory and invoke his blessing and intercession for the Archdiocese of Boston as we celebrate our 200th anniversary here as a local church.

- – -

A couple of weeks ago I met with a group of our seminarians from St. John’s who went to Peru over the Christmas break to visit the priests of the Missionary Society of St. James. In their trip they were accompanied by two of the seminary priests — Fathers Chris O’Connor and Joe Scorzello.

They were having dinner at a Peruvian restaurant, Don Ricardo, which is right near the cathedral. When I finished my other obligations that day, I joined them for dessert and coffee. I was able to hear some of their experiences. They were very enthused about their time there, and I have invited them to share their story with you as well as some of the wonderful pictures that they have. And so, two of the seminarians, Eric Bennett and David Bearse — who is a seminarian from the diocese of Springfield studying at St. John’s — have prepared the following text:

An eleven day trip to Peru with six other seminarians and two of our priest faculty members during this past Christmas break was a great opportunity for us to gain appreciation for the work of the Missionary Society of St. James. It was made possible in large part through generous donations from many priests and parishes. The trip took place a few weeks before the silver anniversary of the Society of St. James. The Society of St. James was begun by Cardinal Cushing. It provided the opportunity for diocesan priests to spend time working in the missions, in order to share the Gospel message as well as to bring the fruits of their experiences back to work with immigrant populations in their home dioceses.

This trip was a great blessing for the group from St. John’s Seminary since it provided them with an opportunity to experience the Church living and growing in a developing part of the world, as well as to experience the many dimensions of the work of the Society of St. James. Between our visits to parishes in Lima and Cuzco, we visited Machu Picchu as well as several pilgrimage sites in Lima.

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On our way to Machu Picchu

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David Napoli at Machu Picchu

We arrived in Lima on Dec. 27, 2007, and spent some days at the center house of the society. The center house is the central base of operations in Peru for the society, it also provided a place for the priests to gather when they come in from their parishes both for some time of fraternity as well as some rest.

From Lima we took a flight to Cuzco. Arriving in Cuzco we needed to spend some time simply relaxing as the drastic change in altitude affects most people because of the lower oxygen level.

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Chris Carmody and the Peruvian countryside

It forces you to move more slowly, and often causes headaches and other pains. On Dec. 30, 2007 sufficiently rested and having explored Cuzco a little, we left Cuzco at approximately 5 in the morning to head far into the mountains to visit a town named Santo Tomas.

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We made the trip in this van

This journey should have taken about 9 hours, but ended up lasting 14 hours with some diversions. The road the group was traveling on was not paved and straight like the Mass Pike. Rather it was a bumpy, narrow one-lane dirt road that criss-crossed the Andes. It was a very scenic ride, and along the way we were treated to the sight of many llamas, and the opportunity to cross a traditional Inca rope bridge by foot, but the group was very happy when we finally did arrive in Santo Tomas.

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It was certainly a very scenic ride

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The parish of Santo Tomas has been shepherded by a Revere native, Father Jerry Pashby for the past 15 years.

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Santo Tomas

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That’s Father Jerry Pashby on the left

His parish covers a territory as large as all of Eastern Massachusetts minus the Cape and the Islands. His main base of operations centers on a large church, but he is also responsible for the care of many villages, some of which are only accessible by his motorbike, and others only by foot.

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Besides the care of souls, Father Pashby has undertaken many projects which have benefited the people of Santo Tomas. He worked for the chlorination of drinking water to make it safer, he secured the financial assistance of a parish in Germany in order to build a hospital, and he has secured the help of a group of surgeons from Cleveland who come down once a year to perform medical procedures pro bono.. In addition he is currently working to build a school for the mentally and physically disabled of the area.

The local community welcomed us into their midst. They cooked for us, joined us for games of soccer, and they also joined us for prayer.

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Playing soccer with local children

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A group picture after the game

The faith of the people was very inspiring. We had Eucharistic Adoration on New Year’s Eve, and though it was unplanned and only announced by the ringing of the Church bells fifteen minutes prior, we were joined by 150-200 locals.

After our time in the mountains we returned to the Center House in Lima, which overlooks the Pacific Ocean.

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The first day back we toured the cathedral, the Franciscan and Dominican churches, and the tombs of St. Martin de Porres and St. Rose of Lima.

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Praying at the tomb of St. Rose of Lima

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The relic of the skull of St. Martin

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And the relic of the skull of St. Rose

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This dominican sister acted as our guide

The trip concluded with a tour of parishes run by the society around Lima. One group went to Carabaillo with Father Joe Martin, a native of Somerville who has been in the missions for over 40 years.

The second group went to Via Salvador with Father John O’Leary, a native of Ireland. They visited a newly constructed church, which was mainly funded through the generosity of Immaculate Conception Parish in Easthampton, Massachusetts in the Springfield Diocese.

The area surrounding the parish is very poor, and the society has done much to help the people in their care. During these visits, we were encouraged by the love and respect that the Peruvians have for the Church.

One of our last stops in Peru allowed us to pray at the grave of Father Timothy O’Leary, a priest of Boston and former faculty member at St. John’s Seminary passed away during his time of missionary work with the society.

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This experience of the Church in Peru provided us with a clear understanding of the importance of missionary activity. Many of the seminarians mentioned that this trip opened them to the possibility of doing missionary work, and gave them a deeper appreciation for the richness and universality of our Catholic faith.

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The Catheral of Lima at sunset

Posted by on February 22, 2008.

Categories: Main

39 Responses

  1. I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

    Stacey Derbinshire

    by Stacey Derbinshire on Feb 22, 2008 at 9:25 pm

  2. Dear Cardinal Sean,
    Your blog is a wonderful gift to all those of us who are interested in the religious life and the priestly vocation. It makes me smile when I see our seminarians (future priests) enjoying God’s creation. The mountains , to me, represent the majestic power of God. At the same time, it seemed that they were able to experience the good examples of dedicated priests and Bishops. Cardinal. reassure the seminarians that they and you are in my daily prayers to Jesus through the Immaculate heart of Mary.
    I had the opportunity to meet Fr. Daniel Kennedy shortly before his ordination, a wonderful young man. The Lord believed that, too, when he was called to a greater glory in January. His sudden death was sad for us. What a joy to realize the great grace he must have recieved. Thank You,
    I love You with the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, Rose Marie

    by Rose Marie Benoit on Feb 23, 2008 at 4:56 am

  3. Dear Cardinal Sean, Thank you so much for this wonderful blog. I truly feel I have learned so much about my beautiful faith through your blog. Each week I look forward to your posting. And I love to tell others about some of the activities going on in our Cathedral … my tiny little way to evangelize, I think.

    I am so thrilled to learn of the wonderful work of Missionary Society of St. James. Thank you seminarians and Fr. O’Connor and Fr. Scorzello for the very interesting writeup and the beautiful pictures. Being a convert to the Catholic faith, I didn’t know very much about the St. James Society. I will learn more as I go through my journey. Thank you, also, for answering your call to become priests. We need you so much and are forever grateful.

    by Susan on Feb 23, 2008 at 7:42 am

  4. When you discuss the missions, i always think of my cousin Ed in Bolivia. Lady in our town gave a substantial donation and he built a church. took 2 years to build the church- natives back and forth witn soil? or whatever for the foundation. The day before opening Mass, Fr. Ed let the chickens in to eat the bugs on the floor…it was a dirt floor or whatever….I found this funny whenever he told us about it, but it was sad….and Thank God for Kate G.

    by dee on Feb 23, 2008 at 12:06 pm

  5. A Spring Sunday in the west of Ireland! A chance link took me to this site. What a powerful way to give breath to your voice, Cardinal Seán? I’m sure your words, experiences, visits and pictures mean so much to so many. Were you at the well of Sichar today, I’m sure you’d have had some good photos of a smiling woman wondering at what she was hearing! Pictures too of people coming to see on the strength of her word and then finding their own faith because of what they’d seen and heard. I believe this is a wonderful presence and pray that your presence in Boston may further the Faith and deepen our love of Church and Place. Keep up the good … no, GREAT, work. You’ve given me something to think about for our own diocesan site! Now if I could just get a blogger!! God Bless.

    by Vincent Sherlock on Feb 24, 2008 at 11:03 am

  6. Thank you for clarifying: “We have 87 congregations of women religious in the archdiocese, with over 2400 women.” WOW!

    Cardinal, I agree completely: “We want to remember St. Patrick as a great missionary. Unfortunately, for the secular world the celebration and the drinking are what people associate with the feast, but we who are believers and are Catholics, need to be reminded of the missionary nature of the Church.” I am certain poor St. Patrick rolls over in his grave during his annual feast day! Thank you for reminding us of the real reason to celebrate his feast day.

    Blessings!

    by smk on Feb 24, 2008 at 7:48 pm

  7. I came upon your blog through my brother John’s /St. Callistus’s website. It is a joy to see how God continues to use you in such amazing ways, as His servant. I thoroughly enjoyed your blog and the accompaning photographs. You will be in my prayers. With love, Anne

    by Anne (Harvey)Zimmerman on Feb 25, 2008 at 2:12 am

  8. Cardinal Sean’s blog was very interesting to read. I can’t believe how busy he is, it seems like everyday he has someone visiting. Bishop Blim sounds like a really great person. I think it was great that he came to visit with Msgr. Parfienczyk and Father Auguscik and that he shared his diocese pictures with Cardinal Sean. I couldn’t believe Father Stocklosa was the oldest ordained priest, that’s something he must be proud of. Since we’re all Patriots fans down here in the South Shore, I was very happy to read that Cardinal Sean is also a Pats fan. Cardinal Sean, we’d love to have you visit us at St. Paul’s school in Hingham. Our doors will always be open!

    by Hugh Lagrotteria on Feb 25, 2008 at 9:18 am

  9. REFLECTION: Cardinal Sean’s Blog

    LOOK BEYOND WHAT YOU SEE
    The part I liked most about Cardinal Sean’s blog was when it showed him with his freinds watching the Patriots. I liked it because I think that some people have a view of priests, bishops and cardinals (ect.) only praying and celebrating mass. This part of the blog showed that he and his friends do all the same things we do. This blog clearly made other points, but I felt that this one meant the most to me and actually taught me something I didn’t realize. Now, we won’t look at hiim from a different view, we will look at all bishops, priests, and cardinals (ect.) in a different way too. The main point of this reflection is to LOOK BEYOND WHAT YOU SEE.
    I am Caroline and I go to St. Paul School in Hingham Massachusetts and if you are ever in the town feel free to come say “Hello”.

    Caroline J. Sullivan

    by Caroline Sullivan on Feb 25, 2008 at 9:21 am

  10. Hi my name is Emily, I go to St.Paul School in Hingham MA, this school is part of the Archdiocese of Boston. At the Cathedral ot the Holy Cross there was an ordination of six men. These men wanted their lives to be dedicated to God so they could share in Christ’s mission. These men want to show us God’s love and to bring us closer to him through prayer and service of others

    by Emily Smith on Feb 25, 2008 at 2:10 pm

  11. This is Susie Heissner of Saint Paul School and this is my reflection of Cardinal Sean’s blog. It seems that Cardinal Sean had a very busy week! The most prominent part for me was how he wrote about the six new priests entering the church, but also the two priests who recently went home to God. One of the holy men had only been a priest for a year and in contrast to that the other had been the last surviving member of the class of 1940. This interested me because you took the time to honor two men who truly deserved it. The rest of the blog was also special but this part really was kept in the back of my mind for almost the whole day.

    by Susie Heissner on Feb 25, 2008 at 4:49 pm

  12. The Cathedral of Holy Cross had the ordination of six men. I think it is great because they want to grow closer to God and be part of the descipleship of priesthood.
    i like to see that that men are choosing their vocations as priests, and devoting their life to God and other people. It makes me happy to know that more and more men are listening to God’s call. This is a change in poopular topics in today’s society. It bis a change from the everyday football stars and pop singers or actors we that we see and hear all over the media. This story focuses on the better things in life. I am currently a student at St. Paul School, Hingham, Massachusetts.

    by marissa panetta on Feb 25, 2008 at 5:30 pm

  13. Wonderful blog Cardinal! I have been a “big fan” of yours for quite a while now, and was surprised to see you had a blog! I have book marked you and plan on telling others of your site

    by Steve on Feb 25, 2008 at 6:53 pm

  14. Hi,my name is Emily Smith and I go to St.Paul School in Hingham Massachusetts. I read about Bishop Hart recently going home to God . There was a memorial service to honor him, I liked this blog because I think that it is important to honor those who touched our lives. Bishop Hart inspired many of us to be better Catholics.

    by Emily Smith on Feb 26, 2008 at 1:34 pm

  15. My reflection on the paragraph about Cardinal Sean and others took a trip to Peru and even though the estimated time of arrival was nine hours it actually took fourteen hours that just showed me the dedication of these men and women. This paragraph taught me that even though life get you down or may even be tough, all you need is a little encouragement, friends or family by your side, and God in your heart anything is possible.I would also like to invite you Cardinal Sean to our school for a visit anytime.

    St Paul School
    Hingham Ma

    by John Lamb on Feb 26, 2008 at 1:34 pm

  16. I am glad Cardinal Sean put on his blog the responsibilities that Father Pashby had. In the blog it states that Father Pashby contributed to the project of making drinking water safe. I also noticed the Marian Manor nursing home. Cardinal Sean wrote ‘It’s nice to see a number of people accompanying their parents at the Sunday mass here at the Marian Manor. Some of our priests were also able to attend this mass.’ I feel this shows that he doesn’t just attend ‘important’ masses, but he attends masses that are ‘important’ to all people.

    by Clara King on Feb 26, 2008 at 1:35 pm

  17. Hi, my name is Jody Walls, I attend St. Paul School in Hingham MA. I enjoyed reading about Carmelite sisters, and how they have been in three of the four dioceses. The pictures for Peru are really fascinating. I found that playing soccer with the locals was very nice. That rope bridge must have been fun to ride! It was Bishop Heart’s time to be with God. I hope Cardinal Sean could visit St Paul. School.

    by Jody Walls on Feb 26, 2008 at 1:36 pm

  18. Hello, my name is Hugh; I live in Scituate, Massachusetts. I thought this week’s blog was great to be able to read. I wish I was able to attend Bishop Heart’s memorial mass. The mass seamed very special and I bet Bishop Heart was smiling up in heaven, while his mass was underway. His family and friends must have really appreciated all of the people who came to honor Bishop Heart. Cardinal Sean, we would love for you to stop by St. Paul’s school, in Hingham, MA.

    by Hugh Lagrotteria on Feb 26, 2008 at 1:36 pm

  19. I think it is great that Cardinal Sean made time in his busy schedule to do the mass for Bishop Hart. Also Bishop Francis Irwin organized the memorial service for him. Then Cardinal Sean did the mass in the marian manor. It is good that someone as important as he is can make time for other people that aren’t as high up as he is. Maybe Cardinal Sean can visit St.Paul in Hingham if he is in the area. We would love to see him and have him visit our school.

    by Kevin Coulter on Feb 26, 2008 at 1:36 pm

  20. REFLECTION: Cardinal Sean’s Blog

    Your blog truly inspired me to become a better catholic! Hi my name is Caroline Smart and I am a student at St. Paul School in Hingham. I enjoyed the part of your blog when you went to Peru. It looks like a beautiful country! Although it looks like you where having a lot of fun, I knew that you weren’t just there to play soccer and take pictures. You were there on a mission. A mission to help children in poverty stricken citys and towns. I look forward to reading your next blog and commenting. If I could ask you a favor… could you come to visit us at Saint Paul’s in Hiingham. We would love to have you come and visit!!! =]

    -Caroline Smart

    by Caroline Smart on Feb 26, 2008 at 1:37 pm

  21. In this blog, I learned a lot of information about Carmelite Sisters. This caught my attention because my deceased great-aunt was one of the Sisters. I saw that they worked at both the Marian Manor, and the St. Patrick Manor. There, they care for the elderly and infirm.
    Cardinal Sean, you are welcome at St. Paul School in Hingham, the school I attend.
    -Christine Chase

    by Christine Chase on Feb 26, 2008 at 1:38 pm

  22. Hi, I am Christian Leahy from St. Paul school, and I would like to comment on your blog. The part I loved was when you talked about St. Patricks’ Day. I never knew that Massachusetts had the most Irish-Americans in the country. I also never knew that we Massachusetts is the only place where St. Patricks’ Day is a civil holiday. Another part of the blog I appreciated was that you thought of St. Patrick as a missionary because he was always trying to help others. Thank you!

    by Christian Leahy on Feb 26, 2008 at 1:39 pm

  23. Reflection on Cardinal Sean’s Blog

    The part that I enjoyed most on the blog was when it showed Cardinal Sean visiting Marian Manor. First of all, it had beautiful pictures of the stain glass windows that were in the church. Also, it showed that the Cardinal does little things such as blessing people and to them it really makes a difference. I thought it was interesting that a woman who was rather young was working at the nursing home and was doing a very good job helping the men and woman their.
    It made me feel good to know that if my relatives ever have to go to a nursing home I hope it will be as wonderful as that one.
    I am Caroline Sullivan and I go to St. Paul School in Hingham Massachusetts, if you are ever in the area feel free to come say “Hello”.
    Caroline J. Sullivan

    by Caroline Sullivan on Feb 26, 2008 at 1:41 pm

  24. Blog Reflection
    Hi. My name is Megan Daley and I attend St. Paul School in Hingham MA. I think it is really cool that you got to go to Peru and help those that are in poor citys and towns. Its great that those people got to see you and that probably made them so happy. I bet they were so thankful that a Cardinal came to thier town/city and helped them out in thier time of need. If you are ever around St Paul School, feel free to stop by. You set a great example for Christain believers. I bet those people in Peru are so greatful and give you alot of thanks!

    by Megan Daley on Feb 26, 2008 at 1:41 pm

  25. The Marian Manor nursing home caught my attention the most while I was reading. Everything about the beautiful stained glass windows of the chapel, to how they care for the elderly was nice to read. It’s also pleasant to read that all the parents came to the Sunday Mass, as well as the priests. They can see that the Carmitle Sisters take good care of the elderly, and that it pays off. One lady, Bridget Conroy, is going to be 106 in November, and is in a wheelchair now. Not enough people are being treated right, so it’s nice to see that this people are getting extra special care. Along with the great people caring for them it must really touching for them to have someone like the Cardinal visit them, and immensely affect their lives. He is doing a great thing taking the needy people into his life, and I would be honored if you could visit St. Paul School Hingham, MA.

    ~Hannah Paradise, 7th grade student at St. Paul School Hingham, MA

    by Hannah Paradise on Feb 26, 2008 at 1:41 pm

  26. Hi, I’m Susie Heissner of Saint Paul school Hingham. As I was Reading your blog I really thought it was nice that you visited the nursing home Marian Manor. I am sure all of the people there highly appreciated that you took the time to come and say mass for them. If you are ever in the vicinity of St. Paul Hingham it would be nice if you came and talked to us. Also if possible we would love to take part in one of your masses.

    by Susie Heissner on Feb 26, 2008 at 1:42 pm

  27. Dear Cardinal Sean,
    My name in Caroline Kenneally and I attend St. Paul School in Hingham. It is always a pleasure to read your blog. It is sad to hear that Bishop Hart has gone home to God. He must have been a very nice person and I would have loved to meet him. I was happy to read about the seminarian’s trip to Peru. I am very interested in Peru because my aunt and cousin are from there and I hope to learn more about their culture. Thank you and if you are ever on the South Shore, please visit St. Paul School. GBY (God Bless You)

    by Caroline Kenneally on Feb 26, 2008 at 1:45 pm

  28. Dear Cardinal Sean,

    The Carmelite sisters are so amazing! They have gone to all of those wonderful places, and they help alot of people! They are so very kind, and to know that they are really helpfull and full of Gods love! Its great that they are helping the elderly and other people in need! I look up to them so much! Here at St. Paul School, we would love it if you could come some day for a visit and speak with us! It would be great!

    by Elizabeth Ingoldsby on Feb 26, 2008 at 1:45 pm

  29. I am a Seventh Grade student at St Paul School in Hingham, Massachusetts. I believe that it is wonderful that you will spend much of your time towards the event of Saint Patricks Day. It is very special that you teach the subjects such as that, and tell people things such as what the Trinity means. It put happiness deep into my heart that you helped so many efforts in such a short amount of time. It seems almost as if you never stop giving! In the hopes of Cardinal Sean reading this message, would you please visit St Paul School in Hingham Massachusetts if you ere ever in the area? The Seventh Grade would be enchanted to meet someone as important to our religion as you are.

    by Christopher Suter on Feb 26, 2008 at 1:46 pm

  30. I enjoyed reading this informative blog and I learned a lot from it. I will keep Bishop Daniel Anthony Hart in my prayers, along with his family and friends mourning his death. As I continued to read, I stumbled upon the Holy Childhood Association and I think it is a great cause; I can’t wait to read more about it. Also, Cardinal Sean, I welcome and strongly urge you to visit us at St. Paul School in Hingham.

    by Gabriella on Feb 26, 2008 at 1:47 pm

  31. I was very interested in reading this blog. The trip to Peru must have been amazing to have met all those fasinating people. I am from St. Paul School in Hingham and my class and I would love to have you come visit us some time.

    by Colby Knobloch on Feb 26, 2008 at 1:47 pm

  32. Hello, I am in seventh grade at St. Paul School in Hingham, Massachusetts. I find it kind of hard to believe that Bridget Conroy is 105 years old. She really does look good for somebody that old! God has really blessed her with that long a life. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that four of her children took up religious walks of life. I hope she lives for many more years. Also, I am of Irish descent and I was unaware that St. Patrick’s Day was an unofficial civic holiday. It really is a shame that they can’t openly declare it a holiday. Just an interesting fact, Saint Patrick’s birth name was Maywin Sookat. (I am unsure on the spelling.)

    by Ben Murphy on Feb 26, 2008 at 3:39 pm

  33. Dear Cardinal Sean,

    My name is Johnny Stillman and I attend St. Paul School in Hingham Massachusetts. I enjoyed all the things that you wrote about in your blog but my favorite part was the part about your trip to Peru. I thought all the pictures of the town and the churches were fascinating. I liked reading about how a Dominican Sister guided you through the town and the churches. My favorite picture was the one of you crossing the small gorge, the rope bridge looked interesting. Cardinal Sean, your blog was awsome and I hope you keep writing more. It would be great if you stopped by St. Paul’s next time your on the South Shore.

    by Johnny Stillman on Feb 26, 2008 at 5:26 pm

  34. Hello, my name is Kelly and I am a seventh grader at St. Paul school. I enjoyed reading Cardinal Sean’s blog because it has a lot of information about what is going on in the Catholic Church. My favorite part was when a group of people from the parish of St. John’s, Father Chris O’Connor, and Father Joe Scorzello went to Peru. I like reading about their experiences in Lima, Cuzzo, and their visit into the mountains into a town named Santo Tomas. I also like reading about Father Jerry Pashby and his parish. Cardinal Sean, I will keep Bishop Daniel Hart in my prayers. It would also be a great honor if you would visit St. Paul’s in Hingham, Massachusetts.

    by Kelly Callahan on Feb 26, 2008 at 6:19 pm

  35. My name is Curtis Spalt and I attend St. Paul school in Hingham Massachusetts. After reading Cardinal Sean’s blog, I had great respect for the sisters and priests in wheel chairs from all over, sharing their spirituality and helping those in need. I admire that St. Patrick’s Day is not a civil holiday: but, a day to eflect on a past patron who was a great missionary. I thought that the distribution of the shamrock, as the symbol of the cross, would be something that a missionary like St. Patrick would appreciate.
    Helping those in need is a great part of being a Catholic.

    by Curtis Spalt on Feb 26, 2008 at 8:43 pm

  36. We, Bostonians, have the best cardinal in the whole world! THE BEST! This website is wonderful, and it is a blessing for us younger catholics to be able to read this in a medium that we use all the time.

    BTW – that is the best looking 106-yr-old I have ever seen. She looks amazing.

    I have been reading this site for a while, but this is my first post. God bless you and your staff!

    by Zina Gomez-Liss on Feb 27, 2008 at 4:14 pm

  37. I am a frequent visitor to the Saint Thomas More Propagation of Faith Store in downtown Boston. I buy many cards and religious articles for friends and myself. The prices are excellent and it is the only convenient location for such articles. I have been advised that this store will be shut down by the Archdiocese. That is a big mistake and it will leave a big void for those people who wish to buy such lovely religious articles. I think your decision is wrong and it has been made without much thought for the needs of the people. I hope you will reconsider the needs of the parishioners when making decisions.

    by Mrs. Marturano on Feb 28, 2008 at 8:48 am

  38. HELP! – I was planning on going to the St. Patrick’s Day parade on Sunday. I was going to attend an early Mass and then head down to Southie. But am I being a “bad Catholic” by doing this? I got the impression that “good Catholics” will do the whole Palm Sunday thing exclusively that day and then on Monday celebrate St. Paddy’s? PLEASE HELP

    by Zina Gomez-Liss on Feb 29, 2008 at 6:48 am

  39. Cardinal Sean

    You are the winner IMO on how to deal with the liturgical quandary of St Patrick’s Day this year.

    You get my vote as I blog about this at
    http://www.liturgy.co.nz/worship/matters_files/patrick20080301.html

    May God bless our Lenten journey

    Bosco Peters
    http://www.liturgy.co.nz

    by Rev Bosco Peters on Mar 1, 2008 at 3:28 am

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