A week of many events

Hello again to you all!

Last Thursday, at the Pastoral Center, I celebrated Mass for leaders and board members of archdiocesan schools, agencies, and other affiliated organizations.



Following the Mass, they gathered in the Flatley Conference Room here at the Pastoral Center for a discussion on strategies for effective board governance. Father Richard Erikson, Neal Finnegan, Ken Quigley and Mary Grassa O’Neill served as panelists for the discussion.



We are very grateful to them, to Kevin Kiley who did such a great job organizing the event and to all those who took time out of their busy schedules to attend. Their presence shows their great dedication to our Catholic institutions.

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Later that evening, I attended a St. Andrew’s Dinner at Central Catholic High School, in Lawrence.

St. Andrew’s Dinners, which we hold periodically, give young men considering a vocation an opportunity to ask me, seminarians, and other professed religious about vocations in an informal atmosphere.

The attendees came from all over the archdiocese, but most of those at this particular gathering were from Lawrence. It was a large group, about 70 young men.

I gave a brief talk, as did a number of seminarians and one of the vocation directors. Because a large number of the participants were Hispanics, we asked two of the seminarians to address them in Spanish. In addition, Brother Rene Roy, the school’s vice president, spoke about his vocation.

As I mentioned, we hold these gatherings periodically. So if you or someone you know thinks they might be called to the priesthood, I encourage you to visit the website of our Vocations Office to find the date and location of our next St. Andrew’s Dinner.

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On Saturday, I presided at the ordination of seven new transitional deacons for the Jesuits at St. Ignatius, on the campus of Boston College. It was something of a first for me. Though, on a number of occasions, I have ordained priests for the Jesuits, this is the first time I have ordained deacons for them.









The men were from seven different provinces — two of them in Latin and South America, one from Chile, and one from Peru — but they are all studying here in Boston.

As I often do, the night before, I had dinner with the men about to be ordained. Father Brad Schaeffer was with us and I had a chance to meet the men and many of their families.

It was a wonderful day and I will continue to pray for these men as they make their way toward priesthood. I ask that you continue to pray for them, also.


– – –

That evening, I went to St. Jude’s Parish in Norfolk for their 60th parish anniversary and 50th church anniversary.

StJude_St Jude Church

I was privileged to bless their new outdoor Marian shrine.

StJude_Cardinal blessing


Afterwards I celebrated the 5 p.m. Mass.

StJude_Cardinal Sean

– – –

On Sunday, morning, I presided at the Rite of Candidacy for permanent deacons at Immaculate Conception Parish in Malden.

Candidacy is one of the steps leading up to ordination. Historically, there have been what we would call minor orders, or sacramentals, that were steps on the road to ordination. The first one was always tonsure, in which the cleric’s hair was cut by the bishop.


When I was in the seminary we still had these minor orders. Of course, I attribute my permanent tonsure to this sacramental that I received as a young man!

Now, we have the Rite of Candidacy which is a public declaration by the men that they are going to continue in preparing themselves spiritually, academically, and humanly for ordination.

This year, it was at one of the parish masses Immaculate Conception. Deacons Dan Burns and Pat Guerrini, and the pastor, Father Richard Mehm, were with me. ICMalden_DSC_0012









– – –

That evening, I had a Mass for the Ethiopian and Eritrean Community at the Cathedral and blessed an icon for them.

I celebrated the Mass in the Latin Rite, though they sang their hymns in Ge’ez and played the drums, so it had a very African flavor, so to speak.

Afterwards they gave me some lovely gifts.

– – –

On Monday, I attended a vesper service at St. Paul’s Parish in Hingham, and dedicated a new statue of St. Paul that was commissioned during the Pauline year.




The sculptor who created it, Susan Luery, the man who modeled for the statue, Bruce Retlogle, and the benefactors who were responsible for the statue were all there along with a large turnout of parishioners.









Of course, my visit also gave me a chance to see many of the students from St. Paul’s School who are such faithful readers of the blog. Hello to you all!

– – –

I spent Wednesday in Sudbury, Ontario. I was invited by Bishop Jean-Louis Plouffe and a lay group, the Servants of Christ who organized a Mass and a dinner to celebrate the Year for Priests. Although my family came through Ontario when they came from Ireland, I had never been to that part of the province.

Map picture

Sudbury is a mining town. There’s a nickel mine there, but right now nearly 4,000 miners are out on strike.

There is a very large Francophone community in Sudbury — one of the few outside of Quebec, along with Ottawa.

In Sudbury, one third of the people are French-speaking and they have a great deal of cultural pride. This was evident in the church we had Mass in: St. Ann Des-Pins. It wasn’t so much because of the architecture or anything like that, but because the church had burned down three times and has been rebuilt each time even though there is another church, the English church, right next door. Standing between them, you can almost touch both churches.

St. Ann Des-Pins a modern church but it’s very beautiful. They have a beautiful statue of Our Lady. A lot of the work behind the altar was all done in nickel, which is so abundant there.




At the Mass, there were probably 700 people, and at the dinner there were 650. I estimate that about 75 of the 90 priests in the diocese were there, despite the fact that many of them had to drive for hours to get there.

The diocese of Sault Ste. Marie, where Sudbury is located, is very spread out. To counteract this, the bishop has moved his residence and the chancery to the geographic center of the diocese. He has two auxiliary bishops — one English speaking and one French speaking — to help minister to the two the language groups and to cover the vast territory they have.

There is also a large Native American population in the area, the Anishinabe people. They are also an important part of the makeup of the diocese and they featured prominently in the liturgy.

We have this video of the “smudging rite” which they have special permission to use during the penitential rite of the Mass.


Terry and Gerry Shannon were instrumental in organizing the celebration of the Year for Priests. They also helped bring Perpetual Adoration back to the diocese which is now in its 20th year

I had the Mass and I gave an hour talk on the priesthood that night. It was well-received and they were very enthusiastic.




– – –

Finally, last night we held a very important fundraising event for our Cathedral High School. We are so grateful to the trustees of Cathedral High School, many whom are alumni. Under the leadership of John Remondi, they have raised so much money to keep this important ministry alive, to allow inner-city youth to receive a fine Catholic education.

39 thoughts on “A week of many events”

  1. Dear Cardinal Sean,

    I am a senior a BC High this year. I like how your blog shows how strong the influence of the church is on the community and continues to be. This blog helps to let people know that the church is helping the community and is showing proof electronically which is a great idea.

    Kevin Arjoon

  2. Dear Cardinal Sean,
    I saw the statue of St Paul on the way back from a mass practice with my classmates. Its an amazing statue. The artists answered the questions we asked her and it looked like a complicated statue to make
    Alex Giblin
    St Paul’s School,Hingham,MA
    Grade 7

  3. Dear Cardinal Sean,

    I am a senior at Boston College High School. I think your blog is great. It is a way to keep updated in all that is going on in the church around our area. Thank you for all the great work that you do.

    Corey Enderlin

  4. Dear Cardinal Sean

    My name is Daniel Jean-Philippe and I am a senior at Boston College High School. I find your work as a a way of the Catholic Church to keep up with the times and reach out to a new generation. I want to thank for you being so compassionate about your work and while I have not been able to see you at my school I hope that one day I can hopefully see you in action.

  5. Dear Cardinal Sean,
    My name is Ryan Miller. I am a senior at Boston College High School and heard about your blog and the new virtual home for the Archdiocese of Boston. It is great that the Archdiocese is making good use out of this new technology in our world. I especially enjoyed seeing and reading about how you extend your reach to all over the Archdiocese. Many people are very enthusiastic about your efforts. Hopefully your blogs will extend the hope and faith in God to all.

  6. Dear Cardinal Sean, I am a freshman at Boston College High School, it is an all boys Jesuit school. I think it is great that you can do all these things in the catholic community. Keep up the good work!

  7. Dear Cardinal Seàn,
    I enjoyed this week’s blog very much. My favorite part was about the blessing of the statue of Saint Paul. One of the reasons is because it is at the school I am currently going to, Saint Paul School. The statue is very beautiful and is nice to have at the church. I hope that next week’s blog is as exciting as this week’s!

    -Louise Falvey
    Saint Paul School,
    Hingham MA

  8. Good afternoon Cardinal Sean,

    My name is Christopher Scutti, and I am currently a Senior at Boston College High School. After reading the blog about your experiences, I want to personally say thank you for what you do, especially your work in fundraising events for local Boston-area Catholic High Schools. As a product of a Catholic Preparatory School in the city of Boston, I know firsthand how critical it is for underprivileged youth to receive an education. Your hard work in this arena is something that makes this possible. I am overwhelmingly appreciative for that. I am also very happy to see your ability to connect so intimately with the Boston Catholic community. This community outreach is something that is all-enduring and that will stand the test of time. Your initiation of action in this sector helps to set an example for others both engaged in the religious life and those committed to the laity. For all of this Cardinal I am grateful. Thank you on behalf of myself and the Senior class at Boston College High School.

  9. Dear Cardinal Sean,

    I am a freshman at Boston College High School and I would like to thank you for all the things you do to benefit our Catholic Chruch and for keeping this blog. I am always inspired by your work and the by real model that you are for all Catholics. I have a question for you: Why do we have two months to honor Mary but not even one to honor Joseph? Thank you for this blog and your inspiration.

  10. I’m a freshman at Boston College High School. I can tell you put a lot of thought and effort into making this blog, and i would like to thank you for your hard work. I enjoyed reading about some of the different things you do on a typical basis.

  11. Thank you for mentioning St. Pauls. I was actually there and shook your hand at the revealing of the statue of St. Paul. As usual it was fun to hear about your trips.

    Best wishes,
    Aidan Hogan

  12. Dear Cardinal Sean,
    I’m a seventh grader at Saint Paul School in Hingham and I read your blog every week. I wish I could have gone and seen you at the dedication to the statue of Saint Paul, I don’t know where I was but it seemed like I was missing out. However, when out class was leaving the churh one day to practice the readings for the mass we would be saying, we saw the woman who created the statue. It was really intersting to talk to her, I didn’t realize it took that much work and effort to make that statue! She said it took her about eight months, I would never be able to work on something for eight months! I hope you had a good time at our parish, I can’t wait to hear from you next week.

    Sally Stover

  13. Dear Cardinal Sean,

    That week was most exciting, the new statue looks beautiful.
    My classmates and I met the sculptor as we were walking out of the church practicing for mass. It was amazing the amount of men who wanted to enter priesthood.
    Hugh Gorman
    Saint Paul School
    Hingham, MA

  14. Cardinal Seán,

    My name is Chris Hodge, and I am a freshman at Boston College High School. I would like to thank you for the good work you do; I found a lot to be inspired from in this blog that you generously keep. I hope, in posting this, that you continue your good work a little bit happier, knowing that you have inspired one more person.

  15. Dear Cardinal Sean,

    My name is Dan Hurley and I am a senior at Boston College High School. I just wanted to extend my gratitude for your blog. Your blog embraces the ever-changing modern technologies, and facilitates the intimacy of the church. I, as I am sure many others do, enjoy reading your blog and look with anticipation towards your future blogs. Thank you for fostering this relationship in the form of your blog.

  16. Dear Cardinal Seán, I am a freshman at Boston College High School which is an all boy Jesuit Catholic College preparatory school. You seem to be a very busy man doing great things such as blessing the St. Jude’s parish in Norfolk, new Marian Shrine. It is nice that you even find time to share your experiences with us, week by week, and let us comment on them. Keep everyone updated.

  17. Cardinal Sean,
    What an amazing week! Your blog was especialy fun to read this week because my school’s parish was mentioned in it. It’s St. Paul’s in Hingham. We are all extreemly grateful that you graced us with your presence at the unveiling of the new Saint Paul statue. i wasn’t there, howevere, but the woman who created it, Susan Luery, talked to us 7th graders on how the statue was made. I thought it all was very intresting, but I was upset that I missed you at the unveiling. I also enjoyed reading on how different cultures’ taditions in the church. The Ge’ez hymns from the Ethiopian and Eritrean and the “smuging right” of the Native American tribe were both very interesting to read about. I also appretiated the videos of those events. It made me feel like I was there! Thank you and God bless you.
    Katie Irish
    Saint Paul School

  18. Dear Cardinal Sean,
    I go to school and attend Mass at St. Paul’s and was at the dedication. It was very exciting to see you at our church, dedicating the statue of St. Paul. The statue is so well crafted and I love how you can see the pages of the book that St. Paul is holding. St. Ann Des-Pins looks reminds me of a church that Iwent to this summer in Indiana. The work behind the altar is unique, I have never seen anything like that before. I love how you see the cross in the design.
    God Bless You,
    Kathleen Ryan
    Saint Paul School
    Grade 7

  19. Dear Cardinal Sean,

    Sorry about the extra post I clicked on leave a comment too early! Anyway, this weeks blog was very interesting. Thank you for the blessing of our statue of Saint Paul. That’s really amazing 700 people went to the church in Sudbury, and how 650 went to the dinner. You work really hard at all the Masses, good job. Thank you for this weeks blog.

    – Shannon
    Saint Pauls School
    Grade 8

  20. Dear Cardinal Sean,
    Thank you for coming to our school to bless the statue of Saint Paul. I felt bad that I could not attend the ceremony because I fractured my ankle the day before. I can’t wait to see your next post!


  21. Dear Cardinal Sean,
    I am so glad to see that you finnaly got to visit Saint Paul’s! Unfortunately, I was unable to make it to the blessing that Moday. I hope you enjoyed being with our parish, and blessing the new statue of St. Paul. Thank you for visiting!

    Mackenzie Voke,
    Saint Paul School, Hingham

  22. Dear Cardinal Sean,

    It was so exciting seeing our school and church on your blog! I could not make it to the blessing but I wish I could have!
    You had such a busy week of events and Masses I’m so glad you got to visit our school and bless our statue of Saint Paul.

    Saint Paul School

  23. Dear Cardinal Sean,
    Thank you for blessing of the statue of Saint Paul! I go to Saint Paul’s and was very excited when I heard that you were coming to our school. I was upset that I couldn not attend. The pictures of the statue were very pretty.

  24. Dear Cardinal Sean,

    What a surprise it was to see a picture of my parish on your blog! Thank you very much for coming to bless the statue of Saint Paul. It was a honor to have you come to our school, even if I was unable to attend. I recognized some of the parishioners in the photographs, though!

    The video of the “smudging rite” was very interesting to watch. It is always great to learn about different people and cultures.

    Thank you for another wonderful blog! It’s nice to stay updated on current events in the Church.

    Kate, Grade 8
    Saint Paul School
    Hingham, MA

  25. Dear Cardinal Sean,

    My classmates and I were thrilled to see that you posted the pictures from your visit to St. Pauls. The statue of St. Paul was gorgeous and something that we will always treasure having right outside our school building. I really hope that you will be able to come again soon and say a Mass for us!

    Mariah Ward
    8th Grade Student at St. Paul school

  26. Dear Cardinal Sean,

    It was such in honor for you to visit our school in hingham. The statue is beautiful and extremely detailed. My classmates and I were very excited when we heard you were coming to our school. I sadly could not attend, but the pictures were exquisite. I hope to see you at my school again and say mass at our church.

    St. Paul School

  27. Dear Cardinal Sean,
    It was so good to see you at Saint Paul last monday! The statue is beautiful and it was so nice of you to bless it! There was a big attendence to blessing! It was nice to see you in person after commenting on your blog for the past year or so. I hope we get the honor of seeing you again soon!
    Grade 8
    Saint Paul School

  28. Dear Cardinal Sean,

    The statue of St. Paul’s is beautiful! It was an honor to have you come to our school. I was there when you blessed it and I had the privilege of meeting you. Thank you so much for visiting our school and I hope that before the 8th Grade graduates, you will be able to celebrate a mass with us.

    Thank You!

    8th Grade
    St. Paul School Hingham, MA

  29. Dear Cardinal Sean,

    Than You so much for visiting our school and blessing out St. Paul statue. We do faithfully read your blog, even though we are heading off to high school next year we will still coment. The statue looks beautiful! I can’t believe that you had 700 people in that Mass, If you came and did a mass at our school maybe we could get up o that many people.
    Thank You,
    Mikayla McGrath
    St. Paul School
    Hingham, Massachusetts

  30. Dear Cardinal Sean, I loved your blog from october, it was very interesting. My favorite part was the one about the statue because that is where i go to school. I hope you had a fun time in hingham and at St. paul church. I cannot wait for your next blog. I will also remember to keep you in my prayers.

    -Joey Roddy

    Saint Paul School

    Grade 7

  31. Dear Cardinal Sean,
    I found it very interesting that you went to my school St.Pauls in Hingham. The statue of St.Paul was so beautiful and deatailed. I also found the videos that you posted of the people playing hymns in Ge’ez very interesting. It was fascinating to see all the men that wanted to enter priesthood. Finally i think that it is great that we can hear about your week and that we are kept updated.

  32. Dear Cardinal Sean, thanks again for keeping us posted on all of these wonderful events! The mass you served at with all of the preist looked miraculous!!!! I am proud to say that St.Paul School is the school that I attend. Even though I could not attend the ceremony at which you unvailed the St.Paul statue, I bet it was amazing! Thank you once again for all of the blogs they are awesome to read.


    Emma Hofmann

  33. Dear Cardinal Sean,
    I think that the new statue of Saint Paul is beautiful. My classmates and I saw it on our way out from the church because we were practicing for the mass coming up. When you went to Sudbury, I cannot believe that there were 700 people at the mass. There are aren’t nearly half as much as that at the church I go to.
    Thanks for posting all of the amazing things you do!
    -Morgan Giblin
    Saint Paul School
    Grade 7

  34. Cardinal Seán,

    I’m a freshman at Boston College High School, and i want to thank you for posting about the experiences you have everyday on your blog. i enjoyed reading about the events you had in this post and i am thankful that it gave me more knowledge about the church and i am also thankful for the work you do.

  35. Querido Padre Sean: We are sending you our love praying for you and all missionaries in this month of our Lady of the Rosary and the World Missions. The Catholic Church rightly said that every one of us is Christ’s missionary from the moment of our Baptism and Pope John Paul II said that he owed all his graces and his vocation to the priesthood, to his Baptism. Saint Thérèse and Saint Francis Xavier are the Patron Saints of the Universal Missions. Each one of them have left us in their lives, the life of Christ for us to see and to imitate.
    Saint Thérèse’s relics recent visit to England attracted much attention. The relics were also seen by many prisoners around the region (those sinners that are incarcerated). We were very happy to know that the Church of England allowed those sinners to be present in the veneration of Thérèse’s relics. Thérèse experienced all kinds of suffering and was very close to sinners because she was very aware of God mercies for her and for every one of us. For her, no opportunity to be kind or to be generous was wasted because she loves our Lord and received from Him His transforming love that allowed her to desire to share that love with all kinds of people so they too, could experience His love and His mercies and being transform by Him. No wonder Thérèse is the most active Saint in the Communion of Saints because she is ready to help us in every way possible in our way to meet Him. Thérèse’s love for Christ is proven to be very real and concrete because God is allowing her to be our friend to assist us in our lives so He could pour out all His graces on us to live His Commandments and to find confort in Him in our trials and sufferings and not to lose our faith in Him because we know that our Lord is Risen, He has destroyed sin and death and Lives and Reigns forever.

    The Church invites all of us to have our own part in being Christ’s missionaries. Thérèse wanted our Lord to be loved and adored for all Eternity until the consumation of the ages and Christ is indeed fulling her desires for more than a century. She is truly spending her Heaven doing good on Earth.
    We are including the inspiring homily of Archbishop Vincent Gerard Nichols of Westminster, England in regard to Saint Thérèse.

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