Cardinal Seán's Blog

Cardinal Seán shares his reflections & experiences.

Archive for 2011/07


Attending our Family Conference

Welcome back!

This week we are very pleased at the announcement that Cardinal Angelo Scola from Venice has been named the Archbishop of Milan which is one of the largest dioceses in the world. Cardinal Scola has been a friend of mine since he was a priest. Blog readers will remember that when I visited Venice I stayed at his home with him.

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He is a very dear friend and I am very pleased the H oly Father has called upon him to this very important ministry and I know he will give a great service to the Church in Milan. His participation in Communion and Liberation will also be a great source of encouragement to all the new ecclesial communities in the Church.

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Cardinal Scola recently hosted the Holy Father on a gondola tour of Venice.

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And now, to the events of this week

Last Wednesday we attended the annual Order of Malta dinner for senior priests at the Boston College Club. Jack Joyce and Jim O’Connor of the Knights have organized this wonderful meal for our senior priests. They always bring in bagpipes and Bob Crane and the Treasury Notes sing all the oldies but goodies.

The BC Club has a spectacular view of the city of Boston. Many of our priests have studied at Boston College of course, so it’s a very grand event for them.

A couple of our priests added their voices to the Treasury Notes including Father Richard Fitzgerald pastor of St. Paul’s in Wellesley. The closing prayer was led by Msgr. Paul McManus who is celebrating the 75th anniversary of his graduation from BC! He has been a priest for 69 years, ordained in 1942.

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On Saturday, I attended the Family Conference which was organized by the Office of Ethnic Ministries. It took place on the grounds of Malden Catholic High School with representatives from the various ethnic groups from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe who make up our local Catholic community. It was a magnificent event.

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During the event, many groups perform dances and singing from their respective countries

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At the beginning of Mass there was a procession with the flags of all the different countries.

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An African group processed in with the lectionary with the traditional ceremony that used when a king comes into their village. It is a very moving and beautiful experience.

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The Haitian choir from St. Angela’s in Mattapan sang the Mass parts in Latin four voice and then many other choirs sang the other songs.

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There were many priests from the Cape Verdean, Brazilian, Haitian, Vietnamese, Korean and Chinese apostolates who were all part of this very extraordinary manifestation of the catholicity of the Church and of our local Catholic Church in Boston.

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Father Mike Harrington was very much involved in organizing the event and Lorna DesRoses and her staff were very much involved in the preparations.

The event gave us an opportunity to publicly acknowledge the priests who are working in our ethnic apostolates and who come from all these various countries. Without their invaluable ministry we would not be able to serve these growing immigrant communities in the archdiocese.

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On Sunday we celebrated the Marriage Anniversary Mass at the cathedral.

Wedding Anniversary Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston, Sunday, June 26, 2011. (Photo/Lisa Poole)

We had over 200 couples celebrating their 2 5th, 50th, and 60th wedding anniversaries. It was also the solemnity of Corpus Christi so in my homily I tried to connect the Sacrament of Marriage with the Sacrament of the Eucharist which is the sacrament of love where Christ has made a gift of Himself to us, so giving us the strength to be able to make the gift of ourselves. This is precisely what happens in the sacrament of marriage.

Wedding Anniversary Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston, Sunday, June 26, 2011. (Photo/Lisa Poole)

I also cited the sad statistic that it has been announced this year that less than 50% of the households in the United States are comprised of married couples, so it is very important for us to celebrate marriage and the witness of love of the married couples who have embraced this vocation and whose lives are an invitation to others to seek and to embrace the vocation of becoming married people and the parents of children.

George and Mary Downing, of Quincy, renew their wedding vows during a Wedding Anniversary Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston, Sunday, June 26, 2011. They have been married for 50 years. (Photo/Lisa Poole)

During the Mass over 200 couples renewed their wedding vows. Kari Collela and her husband Steve, together with their staff, organized all of this. This gives us an opportunity to recognize the wonderful work that is being done by so many volunteers in the Pre-Cana and other marriage preparation programs of the archdiocese.

Couples who have been married for 50 years following a Wedding Anniversary Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston, Sunday, June 26, 2011. (Photo/Lisa Poole)

Couples who have been married for 25 years following a Wedding Anniversary Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston, Sunday, June 26, 2011. (Photo/Lisa Poole)

Couples who have been married for 50 years following a Wedding Anniversary Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston, Sunday, June 26, 2011. (Photo/Lisa Poole)

Couples who have been married for 50 years following a Wedding Anniversary Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston, Sunday, June 26, 2011. (Photo/Lisa Poole)

Couples who have been married for 60 years following a Wedding Anniversary Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston, Sunday, June 26, 2011. (Photo/Lisa Poole)

Couple who have been married for 60 years following a Wedding Anniversary Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston, Sunday, June 26, 2011. (Photo/Lisa Poole)

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That evening, I participated at the Cardinal’s Leadership Circle gathering at the home of Rich and Helene Monaghan in Hingham.

Leadership Circle event with Cardinal Sean at the Monaghan home in Hingham, MA Sunday June 26, 2011.

Leadership Circle event with Cardinal Sean at the Monaghan home in Hingham, MA Sunday June 26, 2011.

Leadership Circle event with Cardinal Sean at the Monaghan home in Hingham, MA Sunday June 26, 2011.

It was a great gathering of people who are friends and benefactors of the archdiocese.

Leadership Circle event with Cardinal Sean at the Monaghan home in Hingham, MA Sunday June 26, 2011.

I spoke about the training programs for the seminarians, the deacons and the lay ministers. On the same day the Globe had an article about Sister Olga so I also referred to that article during my remarks.

Father Hehir spoke about Campus Ministry and reaching out to our youth and young adults.

Leadership Circle event with Cardinal Sean at the Monaghan home in Hingham, MA Sunday June 26, 2011.

Leadership Circle event with Cardinal Sean at the Monaghan home in Hingham, MA Sunday June 26, 2011.

Rich Monaghan echoed Father Hehir’s words on the importance of communicating and engaging our young people. He also thanked and encouraged all to support our works.

Leadership Circle event with Cardinal Sean at the Monaghan home in Hingham, MA Sunday June 26, 2011.

Father Mozer and Lyn Shields share some thoughts

Leadership Circle event with Cardinal Sean at the Monaghan home in Hingham, MA Sunday June 26, 2011.

Leadership Circle event with Cardinal Sean at the Monaghan home in Hingham, MA Sunday June 26, 2011. Guests drove to the event in golf carts piloted by the Monaghan kids
which added to the festivity

Leadership Circle event with Cardinal Sean at the Monaghan home in Hingham, MA Sunday June 26, 2011.

Sharing a story with Claire and John Bertucci
and Damien DeVasto from our staff

Leadership Circle event with Cardinal Sean at the Monaghan home in Hingham, MA Sunday June 26, 2011.

Chatting with Linda and Jay Hooley

Leadership Circle event with Cardinal Sean at the Monaghan home in Hingham, MA Sunday June 26, 2011.

Here with the Vieth, Rielly, Murray and Joy couples, who are parishioners from St. Paul’s in Hingham

I am always happy to express appreciation and share our initiatives with our friends and supporters.

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On Wednesday,  Father Chris Marino of St. Michael the Archangel parish in Miami passed though Boston with his mother and the principal of his school. They visited the Pastoral Center and then came to see me at the cathedral. I’ve known him for over 30 years and he is a good friend of mine. It was his first trip to Boston and he was very impressed both with the Pastoral Center and the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.

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I was also happy to meet with Santiago Enrique, one of the children of our Pilot editor, who recently came back from spending time in Shanghai as part of his studies at Mass Maritime Academy in Buzzards Bay.

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While in China, Santiago went on pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of She Shan near Shanghai  and brought me back a beautiful replica of the statue that stands on top of the shrine.

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A view of the Basiilica

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You can see the statue standing on top of the church

He shared with me his experience in China and his love for the Chinese people.

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On Wednesday evening, the solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, I presided over a Holy Hour celebrating the 60th anniversary of ordination of the Holy Father at the cathedral. We have asked parishes throughout the archdiocese to offer prayers for the Holy Father on this joyful occasion.

I also sent a letter to the Holy Father on behalf of the Catholics in the Archdiocese in which I tell him we are praying for him particularly in this time that the Germans call the “Ablass Woche” which is a week of indulgences leading to Corpus Christi. I told him that during this time the Catholics in the archdiocese would be praying for him and also praying for vocations.

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Also on Wednesday,  we continued our tradition with the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of inviting each other to the celebrations of Saints Peter and Paul and Saint Andrew.

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Saints Peter and Paul, celebrated on June 29, are the Patron Saints of Rome, and Saint Andrew is the Patron Saint of the Greek Orthodox mother church, Constantinople. This year we hosted the event through at St. Joseph Parish in Needham and their pastor, Father David Michael together with Bishop Edyvean represented me and welcomed Father John Panteleimon Manoussakis, who represented Metropolitan Methodios at the event.

When we welcome each other to these celebrations, we emulate on the local level what is happening simultaneously half a world away: on June 29 the Holy Father in Rome also welcomes a delegation of Orthodox Christians from the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople. And on November 29 the Ecumenical Patriarch reciprocates. As the Holy Father said to the representatives a few days ago, “Your participation in this our feast day, like the presence of our own representatives in Constantinople for the Feast of the Apostle Andrew, is an expression of the friendship and the authentic fraternity which unites the Church of Rome and the Ecumenical Patriarchate, bonds which are solidly rooted in the faith received from the witness of the Apostles.”

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Pope Benedict XVI embraces Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew
of Constantinople in 2008.

Let us pray that the Lord may grant us the gift of full communion with our Orthodox brothers and sisters.

Until next week

In Christ

Cardinal Seán