Cardinal Seán's Blog

Cardinal Seán shares his reflections & experiences.

Beginning our Annual Appeal

As many of you know, our government has begun their final push to enact comprehensive health care reform.

The bishops’ position on health care reform has favored a new system that will provide universal coverage, but the current process may end up creating a bill that will provide federal funding for abortion. As much as we agree on the need to provide universal coverage, we cannot support a health care bill at the expense of life.

The Senate Bill that passed before Christmas and which is now expected to be “reconciled” is unacceptable in terms of funding for abortion and conscience protection. It even includes funding for Planned Parenthood abortion centers among other anti-life related issues.

I highly recommend that you watch this video from Kathy Saile, director of the U.S. Bishops’ Office For Domestic Social Development on the topic:

- – -

Last Friday, we officially kicked off our 2010 Catholic Appeal, “Called to Love and Share”, with a press conference at the Pastoral Center.

Press conference to launch the Archdiocese of Boston's 2010 Catholic Appeal, March 5, 2010. Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

We were very grateful for the hard work of the Catholic Foundation staff on last year’s appeal, which resulted in us meeting our goal.

Press conference to launch the Archdiocese of Boston's 2010 Catholic Appeal, March 5, 2010. Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

Scot Landry, our Secretary for Institutional Advancement

We began the new appeal last Sunday in most parishes of the archdiocese. As we have done many times before, I taped a homily that was offered to all parishes to be played at the Masses.

Then, at the same press conference, a number of the Boston media wanted to ask questions about my visit to Haiti, so I shared some of my experiences of last week’s trip with them.

Press conference to launch the Archdiocese of Boston's 2010 Catholic Appeal, March 5, 2010. Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

- – -

On Sunday, I offered a Mass at St. Stephen’s in the North End, which is the headquarters of the Missionary Society of St. James.

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During the Mass, we had the sending ceremony for two priests who are beginning their ministries in Latin America through the Society: Father Tom Keyes and Father John Molloy.

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With Fathers Molloy and Keyes and the director of the St. James Society, Father Kevin Hayes

Father Keyes has served with the Society in Bolivia before and he is currently at St. Lucy’s in Methuen. He will be heading off in April to work in Peru.

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Father Molloy is from County Clare, Ireland. His family and some of his classmates flew in from Ireland to join him for the sending Mass. I understand he will be in mission in Ecuador.

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With Father Molloy and his parents, Margaret and Gerard Malloy

I blessed the missionary crosses which were given to them.

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Father Kevin Hayes, the director of the St. James Society, spoke as well.

Cardinal Cushing started the society 50 years ago and during that time we have sent over 300 priests. May God bless and protect these men as they help to continue that important work!

- – -

Realizing that many, many Haitians would have no opportunity to bury their dead or to assist at a funeral Mass, we decided to have a memorial Mass at the Cathedral on Sunday. The Mass was offered for Archbishop Miot and all of those who died in the earthquake in Haiti.

Nicole Audate of St. Angela Parish in Mattapan carries a candle in the openning procession. Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley celebrates a memorial Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross March 7, 2010 for the victims of the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti. Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley celebrates a memorial Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross March 7, 2010 for the victims of the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti. Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley celebrates a memorial Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross March 7, 2010 for the victims of the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti. Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley celebrates a memorial Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross March 7, 2010 for the victims of the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti. Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley celebrates a memorial Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross March 7, 2010 for the victims of the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti. Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

We set up a catafalque to represent the dead. The Haitian choirs from St. John’s and St. Angela’s came together. Many members of the Haitian community and quite a number of the diplomatic corps from Boston attended the Mass.

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley celebrates a memorial Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross March 7, 2010 for the victims of the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti. Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley celebrates a memorial Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross March 7, 2010 for the victims of the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti. Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

The catafalque, which the platform on which a coffin normally rests during a funeral Mass

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley celebrates a memorial Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross March 7, 2010 for the victims of the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti. Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley celebrates a memorial Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross March 7, 2010 for the victims of the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti. Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley celebrates a memorial Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross March 7, 2010 for the victims of the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti. Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

At the end of Mass, the consul general of Haiti addressed the crowd. There were almost 2,000 people in the Cathedral.

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley celebrates a memorial Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross March 7, 2010 for the victims of the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti. Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

Consul General Ms. Emmanuelle Dupiton

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley celebrates a memorial Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross March 7, 2010 for the victims of the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti. Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

It was a very moving experience for all of us. At the end of Mass, they sang the national anthem of Haiti.

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley celebrates a memorial Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross March 7, 2010 for the victims of the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti. Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley celebrates a memorial Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross March 7, 2010 for the victims of the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti. Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

There was a collection taken up for the Haitian relief efforts

At the Mass, we prayed for all of the dead. I wanted to assure the people attending of God’s mercy and love for us all, and that the earthquake should not be seen as a punishment.

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley celebrates a memorial Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross March 7, 2010 for the victims of the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti. Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley celebrates a memorial Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross March 7, 2010 for the victims of the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti. Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley celebrates a memorial Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross March 7, 2010 for the victims of the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti. Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley celebrates a memorial Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross March 7, 2010 for the victims of the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti. Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

In fact, Sunday’s readings were very appropriate. In the Gospel, Jesus uses the example of the Galileans killed by Pilate and those who died when they were crushed by the tower of Siloam. He says they didn’t suffer that fate because they were worse sinners than anyone else. Our God is a merciful God, who during this holy season of Lent, calls us to deepen our friendship with him so that we’ll be able to live in eternal life.

- – -

Sunday evening, I had another of our dinners with priests of the different vicariates of the archdiocese, this time at Parish of the Assumption in Lynnfield.

I think these gatherings have been a good way to promote priestly fraternity during the Year for Priests and to be able to thank the priests for their good work.

- – -

In the evening, I went over to Sacred Heart Parish in East Boston to hear confessions as part of the The Light Is On For You initiative.

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley prepares to hear confessions March 10, 2010 at Sacred Heart Church in East Boston as part of The Light Is On For You initiative. Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley prepares to hear confessions March 10, 2010 at Sacred Heart Church in East Boston as part of The Light Is On For You initiative. Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley prepares to hear confessions March 10, 2010 at Sacred Heart Church in East Boston as part of The Light Is On For You initiative. Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

At Sacred Heart, they had a rosary, stations, adoration, and Holy Hour during the time confessions were being heard.

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley prepares to hear confessions March 10, 2010 at Sacred Heart Church in East Boston as part of The Light Is On For You initiative. Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

Father Wayne Belschner organized it very well and good group of people came together to participate.  I was happy to be a part of it.

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley prepares to hear confessions March 10, 2010 at Sacred Heart Church in East Boston as part of The Light Is On For You initiative. Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

We were happy for the publicity that this initiative has received. People are beginning to get the message and are coming for these opportunities to reconnect with the sacraments, particularly the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which is so important in our own spiritual growth.

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley prepares to hear confessions March 10, 2010 at Sacred Heart Church in East Boston as part of The Light Is On For You initiative. Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

I encourage all of you to remind your friends that every Wednesday night we have this opportunity in all of our churches!

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Yesterday, we had a luncheon to honor Diane Rosenbaum for her work at the Anti-Defamation League. We have had a longstanding relationship with ADL, and Diane, who’s moving on to other ventures, has been a particularly good friend to local Catholic-Jewish relations.

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In addition to being involved with many other projects at ADL, Diane has spent a great deal of her time, devotion and enthusiasm overseeing a unique program co-sponsored by the archdiocese and the Anti-Defamation League. The program is called “New Directions” and is co-directed by two outstanding educators, Celia Sirois, who is Catholic, and Naomi Towvim, who is Jewish.

“New Directions” is a series of workshops to teach Catholic and Jewish religious educators how to talk about the other with accuracy and respect. We’re very grateful for all that Diane and ADL have done with us to continue to develop and fund this unique program. And we wish all the best to Diane as she seeks to continue her great work in Christian-Jewish relations.

Diane gave me this wonderful gift of an oil lamp from Israel from the 6th century.

OilLamp-001

- – -

Later I met with Rev. Jack Johnson of the Massachusetts Council of Churches and a number of the leaders of the other Christian denominations in Massachusetts, including Metropolitan Methodios.

We discussed a number of issues including the situation in Haiti and about the need to work together to oppose the expansion of gambling in Massachusetts.

Another issue of common concern we spoke about was ways to promote the Sabbath. More and more we are seeing social activities, like sports events and practices, that are scheduled on Sundays — at the same time as religious services. This is a matter of concern for all of us and we hope to work together so people do not feel forced to choose between attending church services and these other events.

- – -

Finally, this week we learned the sad news that Mr. Ray Tye had passed away.

Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley is seen with A. Raymond Tye, president of The Ray Tye Medical Aid Foundation and Chairman Emeritus of United Liquors Ltd., before Tye took the podium during the Spring Celebration 2009 at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Thursday, May 21, 2009 in Boston. Tye was awarded the 2009 Justice and Compassion Award. (Photo/Lisa Poole)

With Ray at the 2009 Catholic Charities Spring Celebration

Ray was one of the most distinguished philanthropists from our local community. Foremost among Mr. Tye’s many good works was the Ray Tye Medical Foundation, which has transformed the lives of countless young people and families by providing them medical care that they would otherwise not have received.

Last year Catholic Charities was privileged to honor Mr. Tye with the Catholic Charities Justice and Compassion Award, without question he embodied the highest ideals the award represents.

We extend our prayers and condolences to Mr. Tye’s family, his colleagues, and all who knew him as a friend.

Until next week,

Cardinal Seán

17 Responses to Beginning our Annual Appeal


Comments

  1. Comment by Flor Crispina Francisco Terán | 2010/03/13 at 01:19:07

    Dear Cardenal Seán:
    “The Light Is On For You” initiative seems to me a wonderful chance for those who want have a meeting with God on this Lent. Never, at no time, I had hear something about this initiative (Well, Im from Mexico and here We live the Lent in another way). Thanks and prayers to the Lord for all priest. (Sorry for my English; really it’s so hard for me write in your lenguaje)
    God bless you.
    Peace and Good.

  2. Comment by Sally Stover | 2010/03/14 at 18:13:48

    Dear Cardinal Sean,
    I think it is a beautiful and remarkable thing that you had a funeral to remember all of those who will not be able to be buried because of the earthquake in Haiti. It is hard to imagine what the relatives are going through, and I will keep all of them in my prayers. I saw the video about the Catholic Appeal and I thought it was a very important cause that we should all be aware of. Thank you for sharing your exciting week with us and I look forward to reading your next blog.
    Sincerely,
    Sally Stover
    7th grade

  3. Comment by Emma Hofmann | 2010/03/15 at 17:19:47

    Dear Cardinal Sean,
    In my Religion class the other day, we watched your 2010 Catholic Appeal Video. It was great! Your trip to Haiti must have been sensational. I was also very impressed that you had a memorial Mass at the Cathedral for all the Haitians that couldn’t be burried. It is such a great thing for the many families of those who passed away in the terrible earthquake. Your blog this week was amazing! Thank you.

    Sincerely,
    Emma Hofmann
    Saint Paul School
    Grade 7

  4. Comment by Kathleen Ryan | 2010/03/15 at 17:32:24

    Dear Cardinal Sean,
    It is very sad that Mr. Ray Tye passed away. The people who know him must be blessed and be thankful for the time that they got to spend with him. I saw the Catholic Appeal video at mass and thought that it was a very cool way to get out the important message. It was a change and I liked it. Thank you for your once again wonderful blog!
    God Bless You,
    Kathleen Ryan
    Saint Paul School
    Grade 7

  5. Comment by Katie Irish | 2010/03/15 at 17:50:12

    Dear Cardinal Sean,
    Thank for the updates on another week of yours. I watched the video about life protecting health care. I hope and will pray that the leaders and people who are voting on the bill are guided by God and make the right choice. I think it is so special that you and others preformed the mass for all those Haitians. It is so sad when you really think about how those people must feel without the simple closure of burying the dead and holding funerals for them. Even this is tiny compared to the way they lost their loved ones, and that they actually did lose them. I cannot wait for your next blog!
    God Bless You
    Katie Irish Grade 7
    Saint Paul School

  6. Comment by Guy Abano | 2010/03/16 at 12:28:03

    Why aren’t you out there opposing the so called healthcare reform yourself? You’re a cardinal with a lot of clout.

  7. Comment by Alex Giblin | 2010/03/17 at 12:39:56

    Dear Cardinal Sean,
    At our school St. Pauls School our teacher Mrs. Brennan showed us a great video on 2010 Catholic Appeal about forgiveness was wonderful. Also the the mass a St. Stephen’s look great and the church looked beautiful.
    God Bless You,
    Alex Giblin
    Grade 7
    St. Paul’s School

  8. Comment by John Kenneally | 2010/03/17 at 12:44:25

    Dear Cardinal Sean,

    This is an excellent blog! I thought it was wonderful that you held the memorial for all the dead that weren’t buried. At the church I went to showed the 2010 Catholic Appeal video. I thought it showed a very nice message to give alms.

    God Bless,
    John Kenneally
    Saint Paul School
    Hingham MA

  9. Comment by Aidan Hogan | 2010/03/17 at 12:48:50

    Dear Cardinal Sean,

    It is horrible that the some Haitians were unable to bury their dead. I know that I would hate it if I couldn’t bury my family if they died. I believe that your mission of hope and piece will succeed and the people of Haiti will one day regain their countries stability.

    Sincerely
    Aidan Hogan
    Grade7
    Saint Paul School

  10. Comment by Peter | 2010/03/17 at 17:42:22

    Now after the Catholic Nuns and the Catholic Hospitals have come out in support of the Healthcare bill, I hope that it will find your support as well. The Catholic Church cannot leave all the uninsured to themselves. There is not doubt where Jesus would stand.

  11. Comment by Robert Cavanaugh | 2010/03/19 at 00:45:05

    I don’t understand. The proposed government healthcare bill includes mandatory support for abortion. Yet, according to a March 18 AP article, the legislation won support from “Catholic nuns representing dozens of religious orders”. I would like to know why these women have taken this stance in opposition to the position of their church.

    Moreover, alleged Roman Catholic Pelosi has arranged for members of the House of Representatives to sign this bill on a Sunday in Lent. There is no need for this. When chastised by the Pope for her abortion stance, she is reported to have said that he [the Pope] is “entitled to his opinion”. This power-hungry woman needs to be censured and/or excommunicated.

  12. Comment by Erin Duffey | 2010/03/19 at 07:29:35

    Dear Cardinal Sean,
    I think that it is great that the people who passed away in Haiti had such a respectful mass with the large amount of people that attended. During School a few days ago my class and I watched the 2010 Catholic Appeal Video and thought that it sent a great message to people everywhere. One of the parts that I thought sent a great message was when you were talking about how the one dollar bill has traveled from church to church while the twenty dollar bill is talking about how he has been to the movies to the mall and all these places. I think that it sent a clear and very true message on giving alms. Finally I love to be updated by your blogs every week!
    God Bless!

    Erin Duffey
    Saint Paul School,Hingham MA
    Grade 7

  13. Comment by Frank Hannon | 2010/03/19 at 13:03:42

    Your Eminence,

    Mr. Albano has asked the same question (above) that I was asking myself, about why, in addition to your invoking of the bishops collectively, you are not also in your own voice specifically condemning the healthcare bill in its present form, which would allow the money of pro-life taxpayers, Catholic and otherwise, to subsidize baby killing.

    To relegate your commentary on this huge public policy issue solely to the thinking of a group has the unmistakable effect of ensuring for yourself a certain distance from it, which ill serves your flock, especially after a) you having only months ago presided over the funeral Mass for Ted Kennedy, the most well known pro-abortion Catholic figure which this country has known, and b) the confusion that less faithful Catholics have added to the discussion, such as the endorsement of the bill this past week by an organization of nuns.

  14. Comment by siena | 2010/03/19 at 13:37:38

    The healthcare bill is an affront to freedom loving Americans. Abortion is only one part of an enormously expensive boondoggle being rammed through with bribes and intimidation. This is wrong! Do we live in a democratic society when Government dictates who gets what? Giving healthcare to illegals (soon to be granted amnesty and legal status) is also wrong.
    If our Churchmen believe in justice they will stand with the increasingly oppressed citizens, not with a socialist cabal that ignores the wishes of the people.

  15. Comment by Edward Pinette | 2010/03/20 at 16:00:50

    I understand why Mr. Cavannaugh doesn’t understand. There is nothing in the healthcare bill that makes abortion mandatory!!!!! The only provision in the bill is that if a woman procures health insurance through the provisions of the health care bill, she can elect to purchase a plan with her OWN funds that would provide for abortion. No federal funds would be expended for abortion.

    If Mr. Cavannaugh is without sin, I would be more than happy for him to cast the first stone in the directions of our Speaker of the House of Representatives.

  16. Comment by Michael Mullaley | 2010/03/21 at 14:55:40

    Cardinal O’Malley,

    The current health care legislation meandering itself through the US Congress aims at healing the sick — a key teaching of Jesus Christ himself. While imperfect, the pending health care legislation brings our nation closer to Jesus’ teachings. I am very much surprised that this legislation does not have the full throated endorsement of the Catholic church. Perhaps church leaders should reflect more on the teachings of Jesus Christ.

    Political opponents of this legislation have cynically tried to scare the public about this bill with many untruths. One untruth is that the health care changes US law in regards to abortion; it does no such thing. I am very disappointed in you personally because apparently you have bought into this dishonesty. Worse, instead of leading Boston-area Catholics toward truth you have now further confused them.

  17. Comment by Matt Luongo | 2010/03/22 at 17:03:43

    Dear Cardinal Sean,
    I am a freshman at Boston College High School and I would like to say that I really like “The Light Is On For You” program that is going on this Lent in our Dioscese. I think that it is a fantastic way to get people to come to Reconciliation, because they now have extra opportunities in which to seek God’s forgiveness. I myself have taken the chance to use a Wednesday in order to go to the sacrament. It is comforting to know that the church cares about people who haven’t received the sacrament in a few years, and I myself know that because of this program I will attend Reconciliation on a more regular basis. Thank you, and I hope this becomes a regular for the Lenten season.

    Matthew Luongo


Comments are closed