Cardinal Seán's Blog

Cardinal Seán shares his reflections & experiences.

Thanksgiving with the O’Malleys

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Last year I did not go home for Thanksgiving so this year I decided to go and be with the family in Florida.

On Thanksgiving afternoon, we all gathered at St. Richard Church in Miami, where my cousin Rob is the deacon. We celebrated Mass there and offered thanks for all of God’s blessings upon us, our country and our Church.

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Some photos from my camera-phone outside St. Richard’s

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We also prayed in a  special way for my Aunt Marie May, who has just undergone open heart surgery and has come through it very well.

Afterwards, we had dinner at the home of my cousin, Kelly Mulligan, and her husband Danny — just a few blocks from St. Richard’s.

We had beautiful weather for the meal and we were able to eat outside. There were many cousins and other relatives who joined us for the occasion.  Altogether, there were about 50 or 60 of us for dinner. 

My family in Florida is very close-knit and they are always looking for opportunities to come together. It is a joy to be part of these family celebrations.   It is always a wonderful opportunity to catch up with the family and hear how everyone is doing.

Friday, I went with Claire O’Malley to visit my aunts, Patricia O’Malley and Kitty O’Malley, and sit out on their porch. Aunt Patricia lives in Fort Lauderdale at Port Everglades, and there we watched the cruise ships pass by within a few yards of us. It was quite a show.

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As the ships pass by, Aunt Patricia gives a blast of her boat horn as a sort of hello.  The ships usually respond back with their horn!

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- – -

Monday, Father Matt Williams invited people involved in youth ministry to come to an Advent program here at the Pastoral Center.

Leaders of the youth and young adult ministry of the Archdiocese of Boston gather at the Pastoral Center for an evening of networking and collaboration led by father Matt Williams of the Office for the New Evangelization of Youth and Young Adults.<br />
Pilot photo/ Neil W. McCabe Father Matt

Leaders of the youth and young adult ministry of the Archdiocese of Boston gather at the Pastoral Center for an evening of networking and collaboration led by father Matt Williams of the Office for the New Evangelization of Youth and Young Adults.<br />
Pilot photo/ Neil W. McCabe

First of all, we wanted to acquaint them with the center and the different services that are available here. It is all part of our strategy of getting people to work together, such as the Vocations Office, our Marriage Ministry, our Campus Ministry and the Religious Education Office

Leaders of the youth and young adult ministry of the Archdiocese of Boston gather at the Pastoral Center for an evening of networking and collaboration led by father Matt Williams of the Office for the New Evangelization of Youth and Young Adults.<br />
Pilot photo/ Neil W. McCabe Father Dan Hennessey from our Vocations Office

Leaders of the youth and young adult ministry of the Archdiocese of Boston gather at the Pastoral Center for an evening of networking and collaboration led by father Matt Williams of the Office for the New Evangelization of Youth and Young Adults.<br />
Pilot photo/ Neil W. McCabe Kari Colella, who leads our marriage ministry

Leaders of the youth and young adult ministry of the Archdiocese of Boston gather at the Pastoral Center for an evening of networking and collaboration led by father Matt Williams of the Office for the New Evangelization of Youth and Young Adults.<br />
Pilot photo/ Neil W. McCabe  

Secondly, it was a chance to personally thank so many people who are doing so much for the youth ministry in their parishes.

Leaders of the youth and young adult ministry of the Archdiocese of Boston gather at the Pastoral Center for an evening of networking and collaboration led by father Matt Williams of the Office for the New Evangelization of Youth and Young Adults.<br />
Pilot photo/ Neil W. McCabe

Father Matt also shared with them about the experience of last summer’s events, such as World Youth Day. He encouraged them to get ready for the coming March for Life in Washington Jan. 22. He also spoke to them about our new monthly meetings in the North End for young adults.

It was a great meeting and opportunity for everyone to network with each other. Following the meeting there was a very beautiful Holy Hour.

Leaders of the youth and young adult ministry of the Archdiocese of Boston gather at the Pastoral Center for an evening of networking and collaboration led by father Matt Williams of the Office for the New Evangelization of Youth and Young Adults.<br />
Pilot photo/ Neil W. McCabe  

- – -

Tuesday, we celebrated an Advent Mass for the Order of Malta here at the Pastoral Center’s Bethany Chapel. For many of the knights and dames it was their first time at the Pastoral Center.

Boston members of the Order of Malta gather at the Pastoral Center of the Archdiocese of Boston Dec. 2, 2008 for Mass with Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley and a fund raising dinner.<br />
Pilot photo/ Neil W. McCabe

Boston members of the Order of Malta gather at the Pastoral Center of the Archdiocese of Boston Dec. 2, 2008 for Mass with Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley and a fund raising dinner.<br />
Pilot photo/ Neil W. McCabe

Boston members of the Order of Malta gather at the Pastoral Center of the Archdiocese of Boston Dec. 2, 2008 for Mass with Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley and a fund raising dinner.<br />
Pilot photo/ Neil W. McCabe

Boston members of the Order of Malta gather at the Pastoral Center of the Archdiocese of Boston Dec. 2, 2008 for Mass with Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley and a fund raising dinner.<br />
Pilot photo/ Neil W. McCabe

Boston members of the Order of Malta gather at the Pastoral Center of the Archdiocese of Boston Dec. 2, 2008 for Mass with Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley and a fund raising dinner.<br />
Pilot photo/ Neil W. McCabe Boston members of the Order of Malta gather at the Pastoral Center of the Archdiocese of Boston Dec. 2, 2008 for Mass with Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley and a fund raising dinner.<br />
Pilot photo/ Neil W. McCabe Boston members of the Order of Malta gather at the Pastoral Center of the Archdiocese of Boston Dec. 2, 2008 for Mass with Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley and a fund raising dinner.<br />
Pilot photo/ Neil W. McCabe Boston members of the Order of Malta gather at the Pastoral Center of the Archdiocese of Boston Dec. 2, 2008 for Mass with Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley and a fund raising dinner.<br />
Pilot photo/ Neil W. McCabe Boston members of the Order of Malta gather at the Pastoral Center of the Archdiocese of Boston Dec. 2, 2008 for Mass with Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley and a fund raising dinner.<br />
Pilot photo/ Neil W. McCabe

The Boston Area Order of Malta holds its annual Mass and dinner at Boston College in October. Last week’s additional gathering at the Pastoral Center provided the membership the opportunity to see our new Archdiocesan headquarters.

After the Mass we all had dinner, where we heard from Father John McLaughlin about his new ministry.

Boston members of the Order of Malta gather at the Pastoral Center of the Archdiocese of Boston Dec. 2, 2008 for Mass with Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley and a fund raising dinner.<br />
Pilot photo/ Neil W. McCabe Boston members of the Order of Malta gather at the Pastoral Center of the Archdiocese of Boston Dec. 2, 2008 for Mass with Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley and a fund raising dinner.<br />
Pilot photo/ Neil W. McCabeFather McLaughlin 

Father McLaughlin is the new vocations director for the Archdiocese for the Military Services, which serves those who serve in the armed forces.

It was very encouraging to hear about his work. He only started a few months ago and already heard from a hundred individuals, either priests looking to be chaplains or young men interested in entering the seminary. He said he has also heard from women interested in joining religious life.  Father McLaughlin is there to help them in that process of discernment and to encourage them.

One of the interesting statistics Father McLaughlin shared with us is that nearly one-tenth of the ordinations each year are men who have been in the military.

I was very happy to hear his remarks. He gave a very engaging talk about his own vocation and the experience of doing his work.

Father McLaughlin is on loan for three years in this ministry, so we are pleased it is making an impact. I am very pleased because it was a great sacrifice for us because he was at St. Monica’s in Methuen, where he was the pastor and doing a fantastic job. However, if it helps the Church in the whole United States, then it is worth it.

- – -

On Wednesday I met with the recently ordained priests of the archdiocese. In each diocese where I have been bishop, I have tried to gather with the younger priests for prayer, a shared meal and conversation—as part of their ongoing formation following the Jesu Caritas format.

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Our meeting was hosted at Holy Name in West Roxbury. Father Marty Dzengelski is one of the recently ordained priests and he is stationed there. Typically, we have 25 to 30 priests come to the meetings.

As part of our conversation, we talked about the economic crisis and how to minister to our people in this time of economic uncertainty. It is a time when some of our parishioners are losing their homes and losing their jobs. People are worried about tuition payments and mortgage payments.

We also talked about some of the root causes of this crisis and the commercialism of our age.

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We want our parishes to be communities that are supportive of parishioners who are in tough times and facing economic difficulties.

It was interesting to hear the young priests exchanging their ideas, thoughts and experiences of what is happening in their parishes. I was pleased to learn that all the parishes in which they work have St. Vincent de Paul Societies, which are a wonderful way for local communities to respond to the material and spiritual needs of the poor in their own parishes.

Our Catholic Charities and other social services agencies, such as the soup kitchens and food pantries are strained by the current situation. They are having difficulties keeping food stocked on the shelves.

Recently, I visited the friars at Arch Street and they have come up with very creative solutions for food distribution. I was very encouraged by what they are doing there.

Certainly, the efforts of programs like Cor Unum in Lawrence take on an even greater importance as we go through this recession.

It was good for us, as priests, to reflect on these problems that our people are facing. We need to share ideas on how to give them the support they need, to accompany them and help them interpret what God is saying to us in these events.

Also at the meeting I shared with them that I will be giving a talk at an international priest retreat organized by the Congregation for the Clergy that will take place next fall in Ars, France. I asked Father Kelly, who works in our clergy support office, to organize a group of Boston priests to go with us.

A few years ago, the last time we had this type of event, the retreat was held in Malta. I was asked to address that gathering also and we took some priests form Boston and it was an awesome experience.

Ars

We are hoping this year, the 150th anniversary of the Cure d’Ars, St. John Vianney, who is the patron saint of diocesan priests, to bring a good contingent of Boston priests to Ars for this retreat. Typically, 1,300 to 1,400 priests from all over the world attend and there are some very interesting speakers. We are really looking forward to it.

- – -

Wednesday night, I attended the annual lighting service for Pieta, a support group for parents who have lost children as they marked the 25th anniversary of the organization. They meet on the first Wednesday evening of the month at Walpole’s Blessed Sacrament Church.

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This time, the service was held at St. Teresa’s in West Roxbury and it was a very moving experience to be in a church full of parents — some older, some younger — who either recently or in the distant past lost a child. Bishop Dooher preached to them and presided over the service and I spoke and gave the final blessing.

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Bishop Dooher and Msgr. William Helmick, pastor of St. Theresa’s 

The name Pieta harkens to the Michelangelo’s sculpture of Our Blessed Mother receiving the dead body of her son on Good Friday after he was taken down from the cross. Basil LeBlanc displayed his own basswood carving of the Pieta on the altar next to the hundreds of photographs the parents had posted on boards. It was a powerful way to help contemplate the tragedy of parents who lost children.

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The two founders, Barbara Waters and Jo Musco Callari, both lost daughters in the same car accident 28 years ago. Barbara spoke at the service about her own struggle and then she described the very meaningful ways in which different parents have  memorialized their children.

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One mother, whose daughter who was murdered by her husband, has become active in advocating against domestic abuse and she is involved in shelters for abused women. One father of a son killed by a drunk driver went into the prison to meet and forgive the driver. Some parents have established scholarships and others have performed works of mercy in honor of their children.

It was just a moving experience to be there with those parents. It was also encouraging to see how they gather and find mutual support by sharing prayer and stories with each other.

- – -

And, finally, just today we learned the sad news of the passing of His Holiness Alexy II, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.

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We offer our condolences and the assurance of our prayers to the people of the Russian Orthodox Church.  Patriarch Alexy presided during a time of great challenge as the repression of religious freedom in Russia and the former Soviet republics gave way to a renewal of spiritual life and practice.  As we commend the Patriarch’s soul to God’s eternal mercy, we give thanks for all his works undertaken in the name of the Lord and we pray for the day of the fulfillment of Jesus’ prayer that all who believe in Him may be one.

Cardinal Seán

23 Responses to Thanksgiving with the O’Malleys


Comments

  1. Comment by Carolina Marandino | 2008/12/05 at 22:49:04

    Thank you for remembering my sister Graciela, she always remembered you. When I would print out your blog so that she could see your pictures,she would always comment on your wonderful smile, how she could hear your laughter just by looking at your picture, and how much she loved, as she always said, your “cute” belly. Thank you for being so wonderful to my family, you are always in our thoughts and prayers.

  2. Comment by Mary | 2008/12/06 at 17:15:45

    Thank you for sharing your Thanksgiving experience with us. I enjoy reading about the times you spend with your family. I especially enjoy the pictures. It was quite a gathering, good thing so many are in Florida where you can gather outside. How is your grandnephew in Colorado? I adore the picture of you holding him. Is he still the youngest O’Malley? Enjoy Advent, although it is busy, it’s such a happy time. Now that I’m an adult, all the fun for me of the season is in Advent: the decorations, music, and all that prepares us for the Birth.

    Blessings,
    Mary O.

  3. Comment by Sr. Mary Pauline Hogan,SC | 2008/12/06 at 19:01:10

    Dear Cardinal Sean,
    I’m a transplanted Bostonian, Sister of Charity of St. Elizabeth
    (Convent Station, NJ) Reading your Blog and The Pilot, keep me connected. I really enjoy them both very much.

    You are remembered in my prayers. Three Masses will be offered in St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center Chapel, Paterson, NJ for you and the people of the Archdiocese of Boston, December 20, 21 and 22.

    God bless you,
    Sr. Mary Pauline Hogan

  4. Comment by John L. | 2008/12/06 at 19:23:44

    Hi! I just wanted to say that I think it’s great that even in your busy schedule you seem to find time to blog about you adventures. I really like that paragraph about AlexyII because he was from Russian to my understanding and even if you might not have known him you still paid you condolences because he was you brother.

  5. Comment by Kendall | 2008/12/07 at 08:43:23

    What a beautiful message in this week’s blog. I too love spending time with my family; One of 8 children and many nieces and nephews. It was truly wonderful. I am so blessed.
    I noticed you visited two of my former parishes; St. Theresa’s ; the parish I grew up in and Holy Name; the parish I was in when I first got married. God Bless you Cardinal Sean!

  6. Comment by Colby | 2008/12/07 at 12:43:36

    Hello Father Sean!
    I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving with your family down in Florida! I especially love Thanksgiving because it is a great opportunity to see and bond with my whole family. Looking forward to your next blog!

  7. Comment by Clara | 2008/12/07 at 13:33:55

    Hi Cardinal Sean!! Once again, great blog! I think it is great that you have such a close – knit family! Seeing that cruise ship must of been unbelievable…. what a sight!! Reading through your blog, I noticed a blurb in domestic violence. I think it is an important movement tat more people should become involved in!

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

  8. Comment by Johnny | 2008/12/07 at 17:15:20

    Dear Cardinal Sean,
    Hi! My name is Johnny Stillman and I attend St. Paul School in Hingham, Massachusetts. I was in Florida over Thanksgiving also. I was in Naples visiting my grandparents, but we drove to Tampa. I think that is close to Miami? On an other note I loved reading your blog this week. The pictures of the cruise ship going out of the dock were very cool. I traveled on a cruise ship like one of those last year and they are huge. Well Cardinal Sean I hope you had a great time in Florida and I hope to see your new blog again next week.

  9. Comment by Caroline J. | 2008/12/07 at 19:33:59

    Dear Cardinal Sean,
    I am glad that you had such a terrific Thanksgiving. Family is so important. We are blest to be able to have one day that we can celebrate all we are thankful for as a family.
    I enjoy your blog very much and I can’t wait to read next week’s blog.
    God bless you, and have a great week!
    Caroline Sullivan ( St.Paul School 8th grade student)

  10. Comment by Kelly | 2008/12/07 at 19:43:27

    Dear Cardinal Sean,
    I am very glad that you had a nice Thanksgiving with your family. It is really important to spend time with family on holidays like Thanksgiving. I spent Thanksgiving with my family and had a great time. It is not everyday that you can give thanks to God and be with all of your family members. I can not wait for your next blog.
    ~Kelly

  11. Comment by Gabriella (a student from St. Paul School) | 2008/12/07 at 20:04:17

    Dear Cardinal Sean,
    This blog was very interesting. I am so happy you were able to visit your family for Thanksgiving! I hope you had a great time with them. It must have been unbelievably beautiful to watch the cruise ships pass by. I really enjoyed the pictures you shared of them. I would also like to write that I will be praying for your Aunt Marie May so that she may have a healthy recovery. God Bless.

  12. Comment by Bonnie Doherty | 2008/12/08 at 12:41:17

    Thank you for the update on Fr. John McLaughlin. I’ve been a member of St. Monica’s in Methuen for more than 30 years. Fr. John is missed, but we are a truly blessed parish in that we have lost Fr. John but gained co-pastors Fr. James Clark and Fr. Patrick Armano. These priests are working hard to make St. Monica’s a sacred place of worship as well as offering various workshops of study on the bible and catechism. They are truly holy priests and we thank you, Cardinal Sean, for sending them to us!!

  13. Comment by Hugh | 2008/12/08 at 15:28:50

    Hello, my name is Hugh and I am an eighth grade student at St.Paul School in Hingham, MA. I thought this week’s blog was excellent. I think Cardinal Sean’s tradition of meeting and eating with newly ordained priests is a great idea. The pictures of the cruise ships were amazing! I thought it was fun to read about how Cardinal Sean’s aunt sounds here boats horn as a way of communication.

  14. Comment by Deanna | 2008/12/08 at 17:18:07

    Dear Cardinal Sean,
    I’m glad you had a great Thanksgiving this year. It must have been really fun to see the cruise ships. I joy every blog that you write. I wil pray for your Aunt Marie May. I hope she gets well soon. Can’t wait to read your next blog.
    -Deanna

  15. Comment by Hannah | 2008/12/09 at 15:50:15

    Cardinal Sean,
    Your Thanksgiving seemed very exciting!! I hope you enjoyed it. The pictures of the cruise ships were beautiful. It must have a been a great experience. I will keep you Aunt Marie May in my prayers, and I hope she gets better soon. I can’t wait until next week’s blog!!

    ~Hannah

  16. Comment by Mary | 2008/12/09 at 18:36:13

    I’m not sure that anyone reads the responses to the blog. I wrote on March 16th about an idea for the Pauline Year, but there was no response. I haven’t really noticed the Pauline Year in my parish or the Diocese at large. I think that there needs to be a lot more thinking “outside the box”. This season of Advent and Christmas is surely an invitation to do that. God is the ultimate example for thinking outside the box, painting outside the lines. Perhaps a thought worthy of reflection this Advent…

  17. Comment by *Megan* | 2008/12/09 at 21:25:47

    Dear Cardinal Sean,
    I am happy to hear you had a great Thanksgiving. Florida seems so great right now… and I hope your Aunt’s surgery went okay.

    The Advent mass you attended seamed very nice. It must of been great to hear Father McLaughlin talk at the dinner afterwards. He must be very nice to become leader of the Archdiocese of Military Leadership! What a great deed he is doing!

    Untill your next bolg,

    ~Megan

  18. Comment by Marissa | 2008/12/10 at 08:17:58

    Hello, Cardinal Sean. I am a student in the eighth grade at St. Paul School in Hingham, Massachusetts. I just thought that the church in Florida was absolutely beautiful! I have been to a very nice church in Florida similar to that one. They are both magnificent! This week’s blog was very interesting to read… cannot wait for the next one.

    ~Marissa~

  19. Comment by Susie | 2008/12/10 at 17:20:11

    Hi, I’m Susie from St. Paul School, in Hingham. I really enjoyed this week’s blog. I hope you had great Thanksgiving. I think the annual lighting sevice for Pieta sounds beautiful and I will pray for all the people there. Thank you for writing this blog.
    ~Susie

  20. Comment by carol showalter | 2008/12/11 at 11:50:34

    Cardinal O’Malley
    Thank you for the beautiful tribute to Patriarch Alexy. It was so very thoughtful of you. I was disappointed with the news coverage on his death. God certainly used him in a mighty way in Russia during very difficult times.
    With the angels in heaven we say ” well done good and faithful servant, enter in to eternal rest”
    Carol

  21. Comment by Dave | 2008/12/11 at 22:23:54

    It is so uplifting to read your blog week after week. I am sure that you are inspiring many young men and women to consider a vocation to follow in your footsteps just as you are following in the footsteps of the apostles. Warmest regards from Pennsylvania.

  22. C
    Comment by C | 2009/03/09 at 11:48:51

    It was so nice to read about Father John and how great he’s doing (no surprises there !!). His unifying presence is sorely missed.
    Unfortunately, after building up our wonderful parish, bringing us all together as a community… we now have a critical situation regarding the principal of our school. Small things aside, why is it acceptable for a co- pastor of a parish to , without any reason given, decide not to renew the contract of the principal of our school. Although he made this decision quite a while ago, we are just now finding out (AFTER we’ve all registered our children for the fall term, and too late to even hope to find a spot at another Parochial school in the area). In this economy, Beth Ingeneri has done a phenominal job of unifying our school(parents, teachers, students…) and keeping programs alive as well as possible. Father Jim has not shown up at even one PTO meeting, although he claims the school is his high priority. Of course, how could we expect him to show up on his night off. Mrs. Ingeneri is at every meeting. Rethinking this decision may be wise. It is not the right time to be creating upheaval. We should all work together for our children.

  23. Comment by colorado home mortgage | 2009/07/09 at 12:18:02

    Father Sean

    Great photos and a great web page. Its good to get information out

    Thnak You


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