Cardinal Seán's Blog

Cardinal Seán shares his reflections & experiences.

Archive for 2008/10


Magnificat Pilgrimage of Hope

Last Friday evening at Holy Cross Cathedral, we welcomed almost 40 visitors from France, who were here in Boston for the weekend’s Magnificat magazine Pilgrimage of Hope.

Pilgrimage of Hope

In the delegation from Magnificat were the publishers, Pierre-Marie Dumont and his wife Bernadette, the Archbishop of Bordeaux Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard and Archbishop Robert LeGall, the Archbishop of Toulouse, France.

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Father O’Leary and Cardinal Ricard

Father Kevin O’Leary, who speaks French very well, gave them a tour of the cathedral, including a visit to the crypt where the bishops are buried. They said they were very impressed by the beauty and size of the cathedral.

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After my welcome, Cardinal Ricard gave us a wonderful talk on Bishop Jean-Louis Cheverus, the first bishop of Boston.

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Bishop Cheverus

Bishop Cheverus left Boston to return to France, where he became the archbishop of Bordeaux and a cardinal. He is buried in a magnificent monument in the cathedral in Bordeaux. He is remembered very fondly for his ministry there.

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The tomb of Bishop Cheverus

At the Pilgrimage, we were so pleased by the wonderful response of the 1,600 people who gathered for the talks, Masses and other events.

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The Pilgrimage, like the magazine, made a positive contribution to helping people develop a liturgical spirituality and an understanding of the Church’s prayers, which leads them to the liturgy with great beauty and great dignity.

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Michelle Schumacher delivered Saturday’s keynote

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Father Peter Cameron gave Sunday’s Keynote address

There were a number of musical presentations, including a performance by the Boston Boy Choir on Saturday.

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The choir is based at St. Paul’s in Cambridge. The boys attend the Boston Archdiocesan Choir School, which is a day school with rigorous musical training and full academic instruction.

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Although it is a very prestigious school, the students are not charged tuition. Because they are expected to perform at Masses and concerts, they are given what the school calls a “working scholarship.” There are auditions for fourth graders every spring for the next year’s new class.

Click the button below to listen to a recording of their performance at the event.

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The musical centerpiece of the Pilgrimage was the Saturday evening concert, “Magnificat in Music.” It was an exploration of the how the Magnificat has been portrayed in music going back 1,000 years. The program closed with the playing and singing of Bach’s “Magnificat” with a full choir and full orchestra.

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Bishop LeGall

I preached at the Pilgrimage’s closing Mass and at the end of the service I gave an Apostolic Blessing to those present, which included a plenary indulgence for those in attendance who had a spirit of conversion and detachment from sin, had recently gone to confession, received Communion and prayed for the Holy Father’s intentions.

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We were so grateful to Father Romanus Cessario, a Domincan, who is the magazine’s senior editor and a professor at St. John’s Seminary, and Father Dan Barron, an Oblate of the Virgin Mary here in Boston and the editor of the children’s edition called, “MagnifiKid!,” for their work here locally making sure the Pilgrimage was a success. I also want to recognize the leadership of Father Peter Cameron, who is also a Dominican and the editor-in-chief of the English edition.

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Father Romanus Cessario

“Magnificat” began in France, but now its largest edition is printed in English, with more than 200,000 subscriptions in America. Also, there are now editions in Spanish and German.

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On Saturday morning I visited the Archdiocesan Charismatic Renewal Conference at Madonna Shrine in East Boston.

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It was a wonderful blend of various charismatic prayer groups and their leaders representing the Anglo, Brazilian, Hispanic, Haitian, Nigerian and Ugandan communities of the Archdiocese.  I’m so grateful to Vin Cerasulo, Director of the Archdiocesan Charismatic Renewal, for his efforts in my name to bring together all the different ethnic groups.

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On Saturday afternoon, the 10th, Bishop Antonysamy Francis of Kumbakonam and Fr. Selva Raj came to visit me at the Cathedral bearing gifts from India.  As  you can see they dressed me in a traditional Indian garment, in “Kelly Green”!

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Tuesday evening we had a Mass in Bethany chapel and an appreciation dinner for all the all lay volunteers, who do so much for the different boards and commissions and serve on the Pastoral Council.

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Wednesday morning we met with the Pro-Life directors of New England. We reported to them on the successes of our Pro-Life Sunday and the great participation of the young people at our Pro-Life youth Rally.

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Marianne Luthin is director of our Pro-Life Office

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Until next week, blessings to you all!

+ Cardinal Seán