Cardinal Seán's Blog

Cardinal Seán shares his reflections & experiences.

Two great saints

Hello again,

This is a privileged week in the Church’s calendar because we celebrate our diocesan patron St. Patrick, but we also celebrate the Solemnity of St. Joseph, the foster father of Jesus who is the patron of the Universal Church.

A stained glass window in the Archdiocese of Boston's Pastoral Center depicts St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church. Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

Although Scripture gives us very little information about his life, his devotion to Mary and his tender love for Christ have won for him a place in the hearts of all Catholics.

In the Italian community in Boston, it is a very special feast day.

So having such large Italian and Irish communities makes this week a very special week in our spiritual celebrations.

Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley celebrates St. Patrick's Day Mass at Boston's Cathedral of the Holy Cross March 17, 2010. Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

We also want to say a word of congratulations to the Sisters of St. Joseph who are a a religious community here in the archdiocese and who will be celebrating their special day today. Our Vicar General, Father Richard Erikson, wrote a piece in this week’s Pilot on St. Joseph and the sisters.   You can read it here.

- – -

As you know, we have been closely watching developments in the debate over health care reform.

That issue seems likely to come to a head this week with a vote in the House of Representatives.

Health care is such an important issue for the United States. It’s very disturbing to see that there seems to be a rush to push through legislation without carefully weighing all of the consequences.

I think it’s unfortunate that some Catholic groups have not paid close enough attention to what the bishops are saying regarding the present legislation. It would undermine the Hyde Amendment and put us at the mercy of regulations that could very easily be altered.

As many studies have shown, the vast majority of Americans favored the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal money from being used to pay for abortions. The only thing we are asking is that this be enshrined in the new legislation.

In our enthusiasm for universal health care, we cannot underestimate the importance of having a strong and firm backing for the principles of the Hyde Amendment incorporated into this legislation. The administration should take more time to craft legislation that will create a consensus in the country rather than trying to force through this legislation by using procedural gimmicks.

- – -

Now, on to the events of my week…

Friday evening, I had a Holy Hour and dinner with 30 of our seminarians.

I am always looking for more opportunities to get to know the seminarians better. So, I am having the seminarians come in groups to the Cathedral for Holy Hour and dinner.

It’s always very encouraging to see the very fine men we have aspiring for the priesthood in the archdiocese.

- – -

Saturday, I went to Providence to attend the diocesan Religious Education and Faith Formation Workshop Day and their Men’s Conference.

As part of their Religious Education conference, I celebrated Mass with Bishop Tobin and Archbishop George Pearce, and a number of priests from the Diocese of Providence.

They had about 1,000 catechists at the conference.

RTM_inside_page

In addition to the catechetical conference, they were also having a men’s conference with about 150 men.

mens conference  (11)

After I celebrated at the Mass and preached, I went to have lunch at the men’s conference and then gave them a talk in the afternoon.

The catechetical conference was very well organized by Lisa Gulino, who worked for me for many years in Fall River. She is an outstanding lay evangelist and catechist.

mens conference  (9)

The men’s conference was organized by the Rhode Island Men of St. Joseph, a local men’s organization that has local chapters in parishes and works on encouraging men to be committed to Jesus Christ.

- – -

On Sunday, I celebrated Confirmations for St. Catherine of Genoa, St. Ann and St. Joseph in Somerville.

The celebration itself was held in St. Catherine’s. While I was there, I got some beautiful pictures of the church, which I consider one of the most beautiful churches in the archdiocese, with its impressive murals and altars.

STCG4

STCG3

- – -

Early this week, I was in Washington D.C. for a board meeting of the Catholic University of America.

One of the key issues we dealt with was the process of searching for a new president. As I mentioned in an earlier post, Father David O’Connell, after 12 years of service, is moving on.

- – -

Wednesday, I was the principal celebrant and homilist at a Mass at the Cathedral to honor the patron of our archdiocese, St. Patrick.

Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley celebrates St. Patrick's Day Mass at Boston's Cathedral of the Holy Cross March 17, 2010. Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley celebrates St. Patrick's Day Mass at Boston's Cathedral of the Holy Cross March 17, 2010. Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley celebrates St. Patrick's Day Mass at Boston's Cathedral of the Holy Cross March 17, 2010. Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

In my homily, I talked about this painting of St. Patrick I was given years ago while visiting Puerto Rico.

StPatrick

As you would expect, he is shown with his miter and crosier — the symbols of a bishop — and of course there is the symbol of the snakes. At the same time, it is also quite unique in that St. Patrick is depicted as a black man surrounded by palm trees.

The painting is a tangible reminder that the message of Patrick is truly universal.

Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley celebrates St. Patrick's Day Mass at Boston's Cathedral of the Holy Cross March 17, 2010. Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley celebrates St. Patrick's Day Mass at Boston's Cathedral of the Holy Cross March 17, 2010. Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley celebrates St. Patrick's Day Mass at Boston's Cathedral of the Holy Cross March 17, 2010. Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley celebrates St. Patrick's Day Mass at Boston's Cathedral of the Holy Cross March 17, 2010. Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley celebrates St. Patrick's Day Mass at Boston's Cathedral of the Holy Cross March 17, 2010. Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley celebrates St. Patrick's Day Mass at Boston's Cathedral of the Holy Cross March 17, 2010. Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley celebrates St. Patrick's Day Mass at Boston's Cathedral of the Holy Cross March 17, 2010. Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

For those of you who couldn’t make it to the Cathedral that day, here is an audio slide show with my homily that was put together by our archdiocesan newspaper The Pilot.

 

I finished my day staying at the Cathedral to hear confessions as part of The Light Is On For You initiative.

Peace be with you,

Cardinal Seán

12 Responses to Two great saints


Comments

  1. Comment by Rose | 2010/03/20 at 00:16:35

    Cardinal Sean, love reading your Blog and the pictures are beautiful. Wish I was able to be at the Cathedral for the beautiful Mass – and maybe receive the shamrocks. God bless you.

  2. Comment by Maureen Joyce Planchak | 2010/03/21 at 08:38:58

    God bless you, Cardinal Séan. Thank you for your blog.
    http://www.andiesisle.com/ThisBlessingIsForYou.html
    Siochan agus maitheas!
    Pax et Bonum,
    Maureen

  3. Comment by Lindsey | 2010/03/21 at 13:06:11

    Dear Cardinal Sean,
    I enjoyed reading your blog this week and reading about your views on health care. I also enjoyed learning about your Saint Patrick’s Day, and the mass you celebrated. The video of your Homily was wonderful and I really enjoyed listening to it. I liked hearing the part about the slaves in the people’s home, and how Saint Patrick went through the same thing and found his connection to God.
    Thank you,
    -Lindsey
    Saint Paul School
    Grade 8

  4. Comment by Gabrielle | 2010/03/21 at 14:45:55

    Dear Cardinal Sean,

    On Saint Patrick’s Day, each grade in our school performs one or two Irish songs and some of the students also perform Irish Step. I enjoy watching each performance and it is a great way to involve the community with our school. I watched your homily the Saint Patrick’s Day Mass and I thought it was wonderful.

    Thank you,

    Gabrielle
    Saint Paul School
    Grade 8

  5. Comment by Kate | 2010/03/21 at 20:17:39

    Dear Cardinal Sean,

    I hope that the nation will be able to see how wrong abortion is, and keep this in mind for health care.

    I’m Irish, so St. Patrick’s Day is a great day to celebrate for my family. At my school, we also always have a St. Patrick’s Day show, where all the grades sing Irish songs. This year, my grade sang with the seventh grade: “Ratlin Bog” and “Wild Rover” along with an eighth grade Irish step dance that we tried our best with, even if the result wasn’t perfect.

    It sounds like the Catholic University of America board meeting went well! And I was happy to see all the St. Patrick’s Day spirit at the Cathedral.

    Thanks for another great blog! God bless!

    Kate
    Grade 8
    Saint Paul School

  6. Comment by Mariah | 2010/03/21 at 20:57:45

    Dear Cardinal Sean,

    Thank you for this weeks blog about St. Patrick and St. Joseph. I always learn so much from reading your blog each week. I was particularly interested in your trip to Washington D.C.

    Sincerely,
    Mariah Ward
    Saint Paul School
    Grade 8

  7. Comment by Michele Jezewski | 2010/03/22 at 10:54:57

    Greetings Your Excellency,

    I am heartened to hear you are in favor the Hyde Amendment.
    I think it would be wonderful if you could gather some of the New England Bishops like Bishop Tobin and others to rally in a media event in favor of LIFE: Now that congress has passed this heinous bill we need to hear that our Catholic leaders will openly stand up for God’s Truth: with Integrity: without Compromise. For truly our Catholic heritage is dissolving before our eyes: there is nothing more important that defending life: not politics, not power, nor any other wordly attribute.

    You are in my constant prayers and I hope for our united success in ending abortion; and the passing of this bill makes our awareness/celebration of Divine Mercy uniquely compelling.
    We are all being tested, no?

  8. Comment by Julie McConville | 2010/03/26 at 09:07:34

    Cardinal Sean,
    I think it is appropriate that you talk to us in your blog and in the papers about the scandal in the Vatican as well as in Ireland. You discuss all your trips and visits! It is important that you address a critical issue that is on the minds of most Catholics and the broader community.

    The typical response from the hierarchy has been and is that all of these abuse issues are “exceptions”. The only problem is that all of these exceptions were handled in the same way with the same outcome which certainly suggests that there was a written or verbal edict to protect the Church, at any cost…which means cover up and hush money. When is the Church, all of us, able to be truthful and not in denial and show by our behavior that is a change of heart. Julie and Frank

  9. Comment by Stephen Dapic | 2010/03/29 at 17:36:01

    Dear Cardinal Sean,
    I enjoyed reading your blog, especially the sections on healthcare, abortion, and Archbishop Oscar Romero. I have read about these topics and am always glad to hear different opinions concerning them, especially from someone who can speak on behalf of the church. I was interested in your blog on Archbishop Oscar Romero and how he gave his life to bring worldly attention to an ongoing issue. Romero symbolizes the unity that the Catholic Church has with everyone, especially those in need of help. I hope that eventually we will be able to stop abortion and start treating each other as brothers and sisters.

    sincerely,
    Stephen Dapic
    Boston College High School
    Class of 2013

  10. Comment by Ben Fruth | 2010/03/29 at 17:50:09

    Dear Cardinal Sean,
    M name is Ben Fruth and I am a freshmen at Boston College High school. I enjoyed your blog and I learned more deep facts about Saint patricks day than ever before. I had never known he was such a significant figure in the Catholic Church. I had a great dinner with my family as we celebrated the Day within ourselves.
    Thankyou,
    Ben Fruth

  11. Comment by Teddy Patsos | 2010/03/30 at 09:57:13

    Dear Cardinal Sean,

    Thankyou so much for your blog, I especially appreciated the St. Patrick’s day pictures. It looked like a magnificent celebration. Although I am not Catholic, I do appreciate your mission and I believe that you are doing great things!

    God Bless!
    Sincerely Teddy Patsos
    Boston College High School
    Class of 2013

  12. Comment by Zachary Dunphy | 2010/03/30 at 12:44:22

    Dear Bishop O’Malley,

    I enjoyed reading this blog and I find your thoughts and ideas on the Health Care Reform very interesting. Plus the pictures about St. Patrick’s Day are awsome! I was wondering if you are going to attend the Boston Marathon that is coming up. Have a nice day!

    Sincerely,
    Zachary Dunphy
    BCHigh ’13


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