Cardinal Seán's Blog

Cardinal Seán shares his reflections & experiences.

All Saints Day

Of course, this past Tuesday was Election Day. I voted in the gymnasium of the Cathedral High School and the line was around the block. It is very comforting to see so many people participate in the democratic process and many people — who in the past would not have voted—this year felt compelled to exercise their rights and duties as citizens.

The election of an African-American as president certainly is a historic moment in our history. Hopefully, it indicates that the worst legacies of slavery and racism are behind us. It is also a sign to the world that the majority of Americans do believe in equality and want to promote racial equality in our country and in the world. Our prayer is that the new administration and the new Congress will work for a just and lasting peace and to protect the dignity of human life in all its stages, from the moment of conception until the moment of natural death.

- – -

Sunday, I attended the 2008 Humanitarian Award Dinner in New York City for the group Hope for a Healthier Humanity. The organization was founded by Dr. Mary Healey-Sedutto, who was the CEO of Catholic hospitals in New York under Cardinal O’Connor, and her husband, to provide support for the Latin American missions.

suduttoDr. Sedutto

The dinner is sponsored by the law firm Ropes and Gray every year and is a major fundraiser for the organization. The dinner was held at the firm’s office on the Avenue of the Americas in Mid-town Manhattan.

NY_Mix pics 068 Speaking with Cardinal Rodriguez

This year, they honored Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Madariaga, the president of Caritas Internationalis and the archbishop of  Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Cardinal Rodriguez has been a supporter of Hope for a Healthier Humanity since the beginning.

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There were many priests from the Archdiocese of New York there, as well as many Franciscans from the Immaculate Conception Province. These are the friars that are here at the St. Francis Center and St. Leonard’s in the North End, and have missions in Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras.  These missions have been the beneficiaries of the medical services and supplies Hope for a Healthier Humanity provides.

Here in the archdiocese, we sponsor a similar organization, Caritas Por Cristo, which operates a health care mission with a focus on Ecuador. Our Por Cristo Health and Nutrition Center was started in Guayaquil 10 years ago and since then has provided care to thousands of the residents there, especially the women and children under five. The Community Health and Tuberculosis Project in Barrio Jaime Roldos was inspired by a missionary from the Society of St. James. The project offers free TB screenings and other services to combat infectious diseases.

In addition to its facilities and its modern medical equipment, Por Cristo brings our world-class doctors, nurses and technicians from the Caritas Christi system to some of the most underserved and underprivileged people in Latin America.

- – -

On Halloween evening, the Office for the New Evangelization of Youth and Young Adults organized a Mass for young adults at St. Leonard’s Church in the North End.

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Although it was Halloween, there was nothing really Halloween-ish about the night. The theme was all about the Feast of All Saints and the fraternity of bringing people together for socializing afterwards. Still, I didn’t really know what to expect. I thought some might show up in costumes.

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In fact, some of the younger priests who attended told me that, as they walked through the North End, people kept asking them, “Are you a real priest? Is that a Halloween costume?”

The Mass started at 9 p.m. and afterwards there was a reception with coffee and pastries provided by the local merchants. The church was full for the event and it was quite an eclectic group. There were young adults form some of the ethnic ministries, the campus ministries of the various colleges and universities and from youth groups at some of the parishes.

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This was the second event we had there. Last spring we had the Eucharistic Congress at St. Stephen’s, the Eucharistic Procession through the North End and the closing Mass at St. Leonard’s, which was a great success. It is a great venue to bring people together.

Our hope is to have an event in the North End every month. It is an area where young people tend to congregate. The inspiration came from what they have done in Rome at the Piazza Navona, at the Church of Santa Agnese. There they have Mass for young adults and Holy Hours and other activities, right in the heart of the night life for young people in Rome.

I want to thank Father Matt Williams, the vocations office and, of course, Father Antonio Nardoianni, the pastor of St. Leonard’s, who is always so gracious.

- – -

Saturday, we visited with the Carmelite Sisters in Danvers to help them celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of their Monastery of Discalced Carmelite Nuns. The sisters invited more than 1,200 people. I think all of them came and the weather was simply spectacular. Needless to say, the church was packed, and there was a large group of people outside.

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Bishop Frank Irwin, who is very close to the community, concelebrated the Mass with me, as did many other priests. After the Mass, we all went through the cloister to the cemetery, where we prayed the litany at the graves of the founding sisters there.

The reception was held in the monastery garden with the sisters.

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The community is obviously very much loved and many of their benefactors, friends and relatives accompanied them on this very important day.

- – -

Saturday evening, I attended the Centennial Dinner of the cathedral parish of The Cathedral of the Annunciation of the Melkite Catholic Eparchy of Newton. It was a weekend long celebration and I was glad to be able to attend the banquet.

Archbishop Cyril Bustros of the Newton Eparchy was there and so was the Melkite Patriarch His Beatitude Gregory III. At the dinner, the Melkites presented me with this wonderful icon of the Annunciation.

Icon

- – -

Later on that day, I attended a banquet in honor of His Beatitude Ignatius IV, Patriarch of the Antiochian Orthodox Church who is visiting the United States. I was very happy to be able to offer greetings on behalf of the archdiocese. The majority of their faithful in Syria and Lebanon and they have a very close affinity for the Catholic Church.

Ignatius His Beatitude Ignatius IV

So, Saturday night, I was with two patriarchs, who both live in Damascus, very close to each other, one is Catholic and the other is Orthodox, and both happened to be in Boston on the same night.

 

Both men told me how involved they were in the Pauline Year and how significant it is in Damascus, which of course was the place of St. Paul’s conversion.

- – -

Sunday was All Souls Day, and on this day, priests are allowed to celebrate three Masses. I celebrated my first Mass at the cathedral at 8 a.m. Afterwards, I went to celebrate Mass at St. Clare’s in Braintree with Father Paul Sughrue, the pastor, and join them for the 50th anniversary of their parish community. Then I celebrated a Mass for the Society of Saint James at Boston College High.

The Mass at St. Clare’s was a wonderful service, with great participation and enthusiastic singing. I told them I really felt particularly at home, especially now that our Pastoral Center is in their town. It is also nice that their 50th anniversary coincides with the 200th anniversary of the archdiocese.

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- – -

Later in the day, I celebrated Mass at Boston College High School for the St. James Society with retired Bishop John Boles, and then attended their annual banquet. The Cushing Dinner and the Cushing Awards are named for the society’s founder, Cardinal Richard Cushing. The current leader of the society is Msgr. Finbarr O’Leary.

Cardinal Cushing Award ceremony, Nov. 2, 2008 at Boston College High School. Photo By Gregory L. Tracy

Cardinal Cushing Award ceremony, Nov. 2, 2008 at Boston College High School. Photo By Gregory L. Tracy

Cardinal Cushing Award ceremony, Nov. 2, 2008 at Boston College High School. Photo By Gregory L. Tracy

 

The society gave the Cushing Award to three outstanding individuals Kathleen Driscoll, Patty Brett and Thomas Martin.

Cardinal Cushing Award ceremony, Nov. 2, 2008 at Boston College High School. Photo By Gregory L. Tracy Kathleen Driscoll

Cardinal Cushing Award ceremony, Nov. 2, 2008 at Boston College High School. Photo By Gregory L. Tracy Patty Brett

Cardinal Cushing Award ceremony, Nov. 2, 2008 at Boston College High School. Photo By Gregory L. TracyTom Martin

CushingAward_medalIMG_8976 The Cushing Award Medal itself was designed by Patty Brett

Cardinal Cushing died on All Souls Day, Nov. 2, 1970, and is buried in a simple grave at the Portiuncula Chapel at the St. Coletta Home for Special Needs Children.

Cardinal Cushing Award ceremony, Nov. 2, 2008 at Boston College High School. Photo By Gregory L. Tracy Bishop Boles

Fifty years ago, he had the wonderful idea of sending regular diocesan priests to the missions of Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia. Since its founding, the St. James Society has sent more than 300 priests to those countries, including Bishop Robert Hennessey. Many of those priests returned to serve in the Hispanic ministries of the archdiocese.

In recognition of their service I presented special lapel pins to the alumni priests who were present.

Cardinal Cushing Award ceremony, Nov. 2, 2008 at Boston College High School. Photo By Gregory L. Tracy Presenting the lapel pins

- – -

Tuesday night, I joined 50 or 60 young men discerning their vocation to the priesthood at a vocational dinner, called St. Andrews Dinner, organized by the Vocations Office.

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The highlight of the evening was the speaking program when three of our seminarians shared their experiences with those attending.  I encourage all those young men to continue to discern if God is calling them.

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Until next week, blessings!

+ Cardinal Seán

36 Responses to All Saints Day


Comments

  1. Comment by Jasper | 2008/11/07 at 23:04:29

    “Our prayer is that the new administration and the new Congress will work for a just and lasting peace and to protect the dignity of human life in all its stages, from the moment of conception until the moment of natural death.”

    No, he will not Cardinal Sean, he said it so himself many times, he believes in abortion on demand, partial birth abortion and even voted not to protect babies if they should survive the violent act of abortion. He said he would enact FOCA, freedom of choice act, which would undo every regulation on abortion pro-lifers have worked so hard for.

    Catholics voted for pro-abortion Obama more than Pro-life McCain.

    We need leadership on this issue. In my parish, I didn’t hear a word about it. If church leaders will not stand up for the unborn, who will? We need more than just statements. We need real Christian leadership.

  2. Comment by Mariah | 2008/11/08 at 08:43:56

    Dear Cardinal Sean:

    As citizens of the United States, I think that it is important that we speak our minds and vote on election day. It is our duty to exercise our right to vote, which some people around the world don’t have.

    I think that the election of our first African American president made people in our country and around the world realize that anybody can do anything if they work hard enough and want it bad enough.

    On All Saint’s Day, it is important that we honor all of the Saints for their service to Christ. They are our role models to do good deeds for others and for the world, just as Jesus would. All Souls Day is a day of remembrance for all those who have died and are in purgatory or already in heaven.

    Sincerely,
    Mariah

  3. Comment by Douglas Dobbins | 2008/11/08 at 14:44:49

    Dear Eminence,

    That is truly great that, in one night, you were able to fellowship both with His Beatitude Ignatius IV and Archbishop Cyril. We are praying for you.

  4. Comment by Jenna | 2008/11/08 at 15:57:08

    Dear Cardinal,

    I think it is great how you host events such as, the Eucharistic Congress and the Eucharistic Procession. I think events like those are a great way to bring people together. It is good how everyone can come together and all listen to the Word of God. I also believe that the events that you host are a creative and fun way to bring people who have strayed from the chruch, back to God.

    Sincerely,
    Jenna

  5. Comment by Kate | 2008/11/08 at 19:51:38

    I am a seveth grade student at St. Paul’s in Hingham, and I noticed that my homeroom teacher, Sister Catherine, was in one of the pictures!

    Also, about the elections, I think it is great that after centuries of black discrimination that we are taking a big step forward with our first African-American president. Although I wanted McCain to win, I hope that Barack Obama will make a good leader for our nation.

    I also liked what you said about people asking the priests if they were really priests, or just wearing Halloween costumes.

  6. Comment by Christopher | 2008/11/08 at 20:46:29

    Hello Caridnal Sean, It is great to be able to comment on your blog again. it is great to hear that Cardinal Rodriguez has been a supporter of Hope for a Healthier Humanity since the beginning. People who care for others just as much of themselves are the most generous people in the world. I am also interested at how you held mass at Boston College High School. I am an 8th grade student at Saint Paul School in Hingham, and that is the school i would like to go to.

  7. Comment by Celene | 2008/11/09 at 09:05:04

    About election day, I am happy that our country made history by electing their first African American president. Like you said, let us hope that racism and inequality is in the past. However, I believe that John McCain is an equally as good opponent. For the presidential race I believe, it does not matter what race you are, but how qualified you are to be president.
    In the end, let us hope that presidential elect Barack Obama will guide us through the economical crisis and lead our country into prosperity once again.

  8. Comment by Hugh | 2008/11/09 at 11:02:13

    Hello, I am an 8th grade student at St. Paul School. Last year my class and I were involved in posting comments about Cardinal Sean’s blog and we are looking forward to doing so this year. It looks like Cardinal Sean had a very busy “All Saints Day.” Three masses sounds like a lot of work. I was happy to read that Cardinal Sean visited Boston College High School because I am looking to apply there for 9th grade.

  9. Comment by Caroline S. | 2008/11/09 at 12:10:38

    Dear Cardinal Sean,

    My aunt went on a mission similiar to caritas por cristo. She went to the Dominican Republic along with other nurses, doctors, and translators to help adults & kids with a disease or illness. She also built medical huts for them. In addition, she gave out toys to little kids, who needed comfort. Today I went over her house and I watched the movie on her trip. It was so heart-warming. And it makes me appreiciate what I have. I am very glad that she went on the trip. My cousin and I are planning on going on the mission with her in the years to follow.

    Thank you,
    Caroline S. ( I student at Saint Paul School in Hingham.)

  10. Comment by Clara | 2008/11/09 at 14:46:44

    When I was reading Cardinal Seans blog there were many things he had done, and I could not just pick one topic to talk about! I thought that his pictures were wonderful!! I loved the pictures that showed different churches, it gave me a different perspective on the way churches can look. I love Cardinal Seans blog, because it can inform me about different things that are going on in the world, that I don’t even know are happening!!!!

    Thanks Cardinal Sean!!!!
    Clara K.
    St. Paul Student
    Hingham Mass.

  11. Comment by Hannah | 2008/11/09 at 15:21:11

    This week’s blog was very interesting. I agree about how it is great to see and read about everyone that voted in this election! I also hope that the racism can be put behind our country, and I think this is a step towards it. Hopefully we can bring peace to our country, while following Christ’s example.
    ~Hannah

  12. Comment by Christine | 2008/11/09 at 15:57:07

    Hi Cardinal Sean! I enjoyed your blog very much this week. One thing that stood out to me was in a picture, you were with my teacher! You were in the monastery garden with her. I also learned something new. You wrote that on All Souls Day, priests are allowed to celebrate three masses. I had no idea! As always, the pictures are wonderful, cant wait for the next blog!
    GBY
    ~Christine~

  13. Comment by Caroline J | 2008/11/09 at 16:42:06

    Dear Cardinal Sean,
    I loved your blog this week. I ecspecially like the part about the election of our new president. I am glad that we can put all of our differences behind us and do what we believe is the right thing to do. This is my first blog of the year and it will certainly not be my last.
    God Bless!

  14. Comment by Mikayla | 2008/11/09 at 17:27:28

    The organization Hope for a Healthy Humanity sounds like a great organization that would interest me to find more about! Election day was great and it was fun watching my mother vote for our president and other candidates running.

  15. Comment by shannon | 2008/11/09 at 17:34:37

    I think this blog is great. My favorite part is when he writes about America believing in equality. I think this is true because America has changed tremendously from when there was slavery. I also think it was a great idea for him to attend the 2008 Humanitarian Award Dinner in New York. I think this was a good way to provide support for the Latin American missions. Cardinal Sean is a great man with great ideas.

  16. Comment by chris | 2008/11/09 at 18:17:20

    What was the Cardinal Cushing award for?. How did those people win the award?

  17. Comment by Deirdre | 2008/11/09 at 19:02:25

    I think all saints day is alot of fun and very interesting. Your blog shows alot of bishops, priests, and alot of helping citizens that I read about and its very interesting to hear your stories and events.

  18. Comment by Gabriella (a student from St. Paul School) | 2008/11/09 at 19:08:04

    In this week’s blog I enjoyed reading about your brief outlook on the presidential election. I agree with you when you wrote that the majority of Americans believe in equality and promote racial equality. I also thought that the outcome of the election reflected this belief. I think it is very important for others to search beyond what someone looks like or where they come from and focus on what really matters. This was a very interesting blog and I can’t wait until the next one!

  19. Comment by Alexis | 2008/11/09 at 19:08:19

    I think celebrating All Saints Day and All Souls day are very important. I think this blog is very interesting because it tells me all the events Cardinal Sean did to celebrate All Saints Day and All Souls Day.

  20. Comment by Lindsey | 2008/11/09 at 19:33:54

    This is a very interesting website. I have learned a lot and I hope to learn more! It is nice that the catholic community cares so much about God and the community!

  21. Comment by Gabrielle | 2008/11/09 at 19:40:13

    Your website is very interesting. I have learned a lot from it, and i hope to learn more throughout the year.

  22. Comment by Nikki | 2008/11/09 at 20:05:57

    I think that all saints day is a great day, because you get to learn about all these saints that you might not have heard of before. Its good to learn about them, because when you learn about the good things they did, you can try and be like them and carry out God’s mission.

  23. Comment by ~Colby | 2008/11/09 at 20:41:46

    I think that it is wonderful that we have elected an African-American president for the first time. He will make changes, hopefully for the better. This election has definitely encouraged people to vote. Please feel free to drop by our school anytime, we would love to see you!!

  24. Comment by Johnny | 2008/11/09 at 20:55:25

    Dear Cardinal Sean,
    My name is Johnny and I attend St. Paul’s School in Hingham, Massachusetts. I thought that this week’s blog was wonderful. I still can’t believe that you have time to do all these things every week, I am beginning to think that you must not sleep. This week in your blog I read about a ton or great things but, one thing in perticular caught my eye. It was the 2008 Humanitarian Dinner in New York City. When I started reading about it I thought about how great it must of been to be there and be a part of it. Again Cardinal Sean thank you so much for writing, it is great to here about what you are up to during your chalkful weeks. I hope you here again from you on friday. Thanks again!

  25. Comment by Kelly | 2008/11/09 at 21:06:52

    Dear Cardinal Sean,
    My name is Kelly and I am an 8th grade student at St. Paul School. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog. The Church seems very busy. I liked reading about our new president. I agree that people will start to believe that we are all equal even if we have different cultures, religions, or backgrounds. I hope that some day everyone will live in peace and love each and every person. I hope you can come visit my school soon.
    ~Kelly

  26. Comment by Caroline K. | 2008/11/10 at 06:30:08

    Hello Cardinal Sean, I am Caroline K. from St. Paul School in Hingham, MA. As always, you were very busy this week! The icon of the Annunciation is magnificent. I noticed the picture of my teacher, Sister Catherine, with you at the reception of the 50th Anniversary of the Monastery of Disacled Carmelite Nuns. Thank you very much for your blog!

  27. Comment by Standy Merizier | 2008/11/10 at 12:27:42

    Dear Cardinal Sean,

    I want to start off by saying that, althought I am underage and can not participate in the democracy process of electing the next president, I do feel like we, American, are ready for a change and I also feel like the election of an African-American was a sign to the world that the majority of Americans do believe in equality and want to promote racial equality in our country and in the world. I also want to pray for Barack Obama for being a role model for African-American, and for God to bless him and lead the country into a right path.
    I really like this blog. Not only did you tell me what a cardinal do, but you breakdown the week and listed all the places you visited. For instant, on Saturday, you visited with the Carmelite Sisters in Danvers to help them celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of their Monastery of Discalced Carmelite Nuns. At All Souls Day, where priests were allowed to celebrate three Masses, you celebrated your first Mass at the cathedral at 8 a.m. Afterwards, you went to celebrate Mass at St. Clare’s in Braintree with Father Paul Sughrue, the pastor, and joinned them for the 50th anniversary of their parish community. Then you celebrated a Mass for the Society of Saint James at Boston College High. I think that it is pretty cool that you visite a lot of different places just to spread the word of God. I said it once but I will say it again, I really like this blog.

    Standy Merizier
    Boston College High School
    Class of 2012

  28. Comment by Geoffrey OLeary | 2008/11/10 at 15:12:41

    Dear Cardinal Sean,

    I find it very interesting you complimented the election of a President who favors abortion on demand and is the most pro-abortion candidate in history. Is being the first bi-racial President more important then innocent life in the womb?

    Geoffrey OLeary

  29. Comment by Danny Shaw | 2008/11/10 at 15:13:29

    I have wondered if perhaps there has been a preception among church leaders that speaking clearly, even forcfully, about Christian responsibility as it relates to civic activity might result in some level of discontent and revolt from the Laity and persecution from non-catholics. If so, I wonder if that preception might have engendered an unhealthy level of shyness.
    If that is true then, along with being saddened, I would submit that it is a flawed perception as far as the Catholic Laity is concerned. We are eagerly looking for definitive direction and leadership. I believe that the reason that many turn away from the Chruch is because the leadership may seem uncommitted.

    We desperatly need for our Church leadership; Council of Bishops, each individual Bishop, every priest, to be very vocal about our Christian responsibilities. I emplore all Bishops to take every opportunity to explicitly educate the body of the Church that each of us “must” support the right to life, that politicians who wear the mantle of Catholic “must” support the right to life and deny the culture of death or face serious consequenses.

    I would even be so bold as to say that those Catholic politicians who have particularly egregious records should be required to take confession with their Bishop. Their attitudes, practices and rehortic must then change.

  30. Comment by Elizabeth | 2008/11/10 at 21:32:53

    Hello Cardinal Sean!

    Once again, your blog this week is so interesting! My favorite part of your blog was about the Halloween mass you had for all the saints. I thought it was very funny that people kept asking you if you were a real priest! I can’t believe all of the things you do, Cardinal! You are a very busy man! Thank you for the blogs you post each week, they are very interesting and appreciated!

    ~Elizabeth~

  31. Comment by Clara | 2008/11/11 at 12:15:30

    Hi Cardinal Sean! There was so much in your blog this week that it was hard to just pick one thing to write about. I loved all your pictures. One especially stood out because you were standing next to my teacher!!!! Your paragraph about the voting was also great. I hope that with this new President people will see that color is not something to separate people from people. I love your blog because, it can inform me about about different things that are happening in the world, that I don’t even know about!!!

    Thanks Cardinal Sean
    Clara K.
    St. Paul School
    Hingham Mass.

  32. Ann
    Comment by Ann | 2008/11/11 at 20:24:37

    Dear Cardinal Sean,

    As always I very much enjoy reading your weekly experiences. May Our Lord and Our Blessed Mother continue to Bless you and your ministry.

    Ann

  33. Comment by Emily | 2008/11/12 at 19:26:09

    Hi Cardinal Sean!
    I am in 8th grade at St.Paul School in Hingham. Loved the blog. You must have a really busy schedule. I think it is good that you blogged about the election. We have come so far as a nation. “Yes we can!” Can’t wait to read the next blog.

    Emily :)

  34. Comment by Deanna | 2008/11/13 at 18:44:17

    Hi Cardinal Sean,
    I really enjoyed this weeks blog. My favorite part was when you talked about the Hope for a Healthy Humanity. I did some research on it and found out a lot of information. It got me motivated to try to help others in need. I hope you have a great week.
    -Deanna

  35. Comment by John | 2008/11/20 at 13:30:39

    Hi! This is the thrid time I’ve tried to post on this website. I hope it works this time. I loved the section you had on the Carmelite Sisters and how you visited them for their fiftieth anniversary, to celebrate the founding of their monastery. I like this because even though you have a very busy schedule you still find time to go to an an anniversary.I hope you stop by St. Pauls . ~John Lamb~


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