Cardinal Seán's Blog

Cardinal Seán shares his reflections & experiences.

Archive for 2010/06/25


Closing the Year for Priests

Greetings everyone,

On Friday evening, I went to the home of Steve and Ruth Barrett for a reception to show our gratitude for the work of the Improved Financial Relationship Committee. Steve and the other members of the committee have been working very diligently to improve the way parishes support the archdiocese.

It was a gathering to show our appreciation to those who have participated in this very important initiative to overhaul the way we fund our central ministries and other activities of the archdiocese.

We are grateful for the Barretts’ hospitality. Theirs is a very lovely home. It was once an Oblate seminary but it has been converted into a number of condominiums.

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We had the ordination of Brother Andrew, a Capuchin brother from the Saint Mary’s Province, on Saturday at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Jamaica Plain.

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As a deacon, he worked at Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta Parish in Dorchester. Right now, he is stationed at the friars’ house in Jamaica Plain.

Many friars, his family and a lot of parishioners from Our Lady of Lourdes gathered for the occasion.

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It was the first time I had seen the church since they had finished refurbishing it.

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Saturday evening, I had a private confirmation at St. Mary’s in Holliston for Benjamin Martell, the son of George and Susan Martell.

Benjamin Martell and his sponsor Chris Vasta, his campus minister at Xaverian.

Benjamin and his sponsor Chris Vasta, who his campus minister at Xaverian

Benjamin Martell and his sponsor Chris Vasta, his campus minister at Xaverian.

Father Mark Coiro, St. Mary’s pastor, very graciously hosted us, and had a reception afterwards in the rectory.

We had a private confirmation for Benjamin because his family was so involved with helping at our Men’s and Women’s conferences and the Men’s Conference was held at the same time that the parish confirmation was taking place.

Benjamin is a student at Xaverian High, and is very active in the parish. As a matter of fact, the following day he was leaving for Rome with 50 students from Xaverian.

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We were going to go to Incarnation of Our Lord Jesus Christ Parish in Melrose on Sunday for the 20th anniversary of the ordination of Father Jim Fields.  (Before becoming a priest, Father had been a Xaverian brother for many years.)

However, Father Jim is very sick with cancer and was rushed to the hospital just a few days before.

So, instead of going to the parish, I went to Mass. General and brought Father Jim Communion and anointed him. I was also able to have a wonderful visit with him.

He is very courageously living with cancer.  His whole parish has been so supportive of him and his courage and faith have been a great witness to the parish. At the same time, the support and devotion of his parishioners is also a great witness of our Catholic faith.

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Sunday, of course, was also Father’s Day, and my family was able to come here to see me. My sister Mary, nephew Nick and Danny Mulligan, a relative of my cousin’s son, were here to celebrate Father’s Day with me. We had a wonderful visit.

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On Monday, I met with Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, of Kampala, Uganda.

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He was here for a Mass to mark the feast of St. Charles Lwanga and his companions on Sunday with a Mass at St. Mary’s in Waltham. St. Charles Lwanga was martyred in Uganda in 1886.

It is always a very colorful Mass because they have the young men dress up as the martyrs with palms.

 

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The same day, I was visited by the Bishop of Balasore in India, Thomas Thiruthalil. He has a priest studying here in Boston.

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During our visit we had a chance to speak about his hospital and different works that he has done in his diocese.

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On Monday I visited Norfolk Prison were we had one baptism and six or seven confirmations.

One of the prisoners gave a drawing he had made of myself and St. Francis. It’s done in caricature style.

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You may remember this photo from a few weeks ago. They just had a Cursillo and I had sent them a palanca. In gratitude they sent me a thank you card with a hand drawn picture.

This drawing was done by the same artist.

They took pictures with the confirmandi and their sponsors before the Mass. We were also able to take one or two during the Mass as well.

We were certainly grateful for that because they don’t always allow photos to be taken in the prison.

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The Mass was tri-lingual. They had Spanish and Vietnamese choirs, which were both wonderful. There were also a number of other volunteers present.

Ms. Ruth Raichele, a lay Dominican, has done an extraordinary job as chaplain there. They also have a Third Order of St. Dominic Fraternity in the prison that Sister has started.

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On Tuesday, I was at the Sacred Hearts Retreat Center in Wareham for an annual retreat with our seminarians. In June, we always have a retreat for them, beyond the retreats they have in the seminary.

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It’s an opportunity to bring together the men studying at various seminaries. This year, even one of our students studying in Rome was able to join us.

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Father Ed O’Flaherty was the retreat master. I gave two conferences and had a dialogue and a Holy Hour with them.

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It is a lovely setting located near the water. The Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary does a marvelous job running this house.

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On Wednesday, to celebrate the closing of the Year for Priests, we had a convocation at Anthony’s Pier 4 in Boston. I believe there were between 300 and 400 priests there.

Annual convocation of priests of the Archdiocese of Boston held June 23, 2010 at Anthony's Pier 4 Restaurant, Boston.  Photo by Gregory L. Tracy, The Pilot

Annual convocation of priests of the Archdiocese of Boston held June 23, 2010 at Anthony's Pier 4 Restaurant, Boston.  Photo by Gregory L. Tracy, The Pilot

Annual convocation of priests of the Archdiocese of Boston held June 23, 2010 at Anthony's Pier 4 Restaurant, Boston.  Photo by Gregory L. Tracy, The Pilot

Annual convocation of priests of the Archdiocese of Boston held June 23, 2010 at Anthony's Pier 4 Restaurant, Boston.  Photo by Gregory L. Tracy, The Pilot

Annual convocation of priests of the Archdiocese of Boston held June 23, 2010 at Anthony's Pier 4 Restaurant, Boston.  Photo by Gregory L. Tracy, The Pilot

Annual convocation of priests of the Archdiocese of Boston held June 23, 2010 at Anthony's Pier 4 Restaurant, Boston.  Photo by Gregory L. Tracy, The Pilot

Annual convocation of priests of the Archdiocese of Boston held June 23, 2010 at Anthony's Pier 4 Restaurant, Boston.  Photo by Gregory L. Tracy, The Pilot

It was a time for fraternity. We had prayer and a vespers ceremony, and then we had a wonderful dinner.

Annual convocation of priests of the Archdiocese of Boston held June 23, 2010 at Anthony's Pier 4 Restaurant, Boston.  Photo by Gregory L. Tracy, The Pilot

Annual convocation of priests of the Archdiocese of Boston held June 23, 2010 at Anthony's Pier 4 Restaurant, Boston.  Photo by Gregory L. Tracy, The Pilot

Annual convocation of priests of the Archdiocese of Boston held June 23, 2010 at Anthony's Pier 4 Restaurant, Boston.  Photo by Gregory L. Tracy, The Pilot

I addressed the priests, reminding them of the commitments I’ve asked all our priests to make during this year for priests to deepen their own spiritual life.

Annual convocation of priests of the Archdiocese of Boston held June 23, 2010 at Anthony's Pier 4 Restaurant, Boston.  Photo by Gregory L. Tracy, The Pilot

With Msgr. Irwin

Then, I introduced Msgr. Kevin Irwin, who is the dean of the School of Theology at Catholic University of America.

Father Bob Barron was supposed to be our keynote speaker, but there were thunderstorms in Chicago and his plane couldn’t take off from O’Hare.

So one of my priest secretaries, Father Jonathan, called down to Washington and, I hear, interrupted Msgr. Irwin’s lunch! He immediately jumped on a plane and came up to Boston.

Msgr. Irwin gave a wonderful talk on presiding and preaching at Mass.

Annual convocation of priests of the Archdiocese of Boston held June 23, 2010 at Anthony's Pier 4 Restaurant, Boston.  Photo by Gregory L. Tracy, The Pilot

Annual convocation of priests of the Archdiocese of Boston held June 23, 2010 at Anthony's Pier 4 Restaurant, Boston.  Photo by Gregory L. Tracy, The Pilot

Annual convocation of priests of the Archdiocese of Boston held June 23, 2010 at Anthony's Pier 4 Restaurant, Boston.  Photo by Gregory L. Tracy, The Pilot

Afterwards, I accompanied monsignor to Regina Cleri to visit his colleague from the theology department at CUA, Father John Galvin. Father Galvin is recuperating from a fall but we are sure he will soon be returning to Catholic University.

My blessings,

Cardinal Seán