Cardinal Seán's Blog

Cardinal Seán shares his reflections & experiences.

Archive for 2013/05


Ordaining five new priests for Boston

Hello and welcome!

I want to begin this week by offering my congratulations to Bishop Michael Barber, who was ordained a Bishop in Oakland, California on Saturday. Prior to being named a bishop, he was in charge of spiritual direction here at St. John’s Seminary. BARBER-INSTALL

We are very grateful for the outstanding service that he provided for the seminarians at St. John’s and we know that he will be a wonderful pastor for the people in Oakland. He is certainly in our prayers.

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On Thursday, I celebrated a special Mass at the Cathedral to induct 161 students into the next class of the Catholic Schools Foundation Scholars program. As a group, they will receive more than half a million dollars in scholarships toward their Catholic high school education.2534425885_CSF20130523-0060

Catholic Schools Foundation scholars are selected for their academic achievement and community involvement. This is the third year they have run the program.  2534429177_CSF20130523-0111

We are very grateful to the CSF for all the scholarships they provide. This extraordinary organization has provided scholarships for thousands of children in our inner-city Catholic schools.2534433612_CSF20130523-0173

After the Mass there was a reception in the Cathedral High School gym. I was able to greet many of the students and delegations from the various Catholic schools throughout the archdiocese.2534435199_CSF20130523-01972534435411_CSF20130523-02012534436538_CSF20130523-0221

 

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On Friday, I celebrated Mass for the jubilarian priests celebrating their 50th anniversary at Regina Cleri. JubileePriests-CPineo-007

The jubilarians in this particular class are still living in parishes. Though none of them are residents at Regina Cleri, they came there for the Mass itself.Celebration with jubilarian priests of the Class of 1963 at Regina Cleri, May 24, 2013.
Pilot photo by Christopher S. Pineo
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We missed having Msgr. Frank Strahan with us to lead the singing, but Father Ned Carroll did a marvelous job in his stead. He, of course, led them in the “Juravit Dominus”, a hymn written by Cardinal O’Connell that used to be sung at all the ordinations so many older Boston priests have an attachment to that hymn.Celebration with jubilarian priests of the Class of 1963 at Regina Cleri, May 24, 2013.
Pilot photo by Christopher S. Pineo
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Afterward we gathered for lunch. Among those at my table was Msgr. Paul McManus, the oldest priest in the archdiocese. I believe just yesterday he celebrated his 97th birthday and is still active and in good health.Celebration with jubilarian priests of the Class of 1963 at Regina Cleri, May 24, 2013.
Pilot photo by Christopher S. Pineo

At lunch I asked him the secret of his longevity. He told me that his brother was a doctor who had told him many years ago, “Paul, you see a lot of old men, and you see a lot of fat men. But you don’t see a lot of old, fat men.” So his brother told him to watch his diet and to exercise. Msgr. McManus has been faithful to both those things, and obviously it has paid off.

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Friday night was the night before the priesthood ordinations and it is my tradition to gather with the candidates for Vespers and dinner. Then, I meet with each of the men and give them their first assignments.

Ordination Mass of Fathers John A. Cassani, Thomas K. Macdonald, Jacques A. McGuffie, Gerald A. Souza, and Christopher W. Wallace May 25, 2013 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

The announcement of the first assignments used to be made at the ordination Mass, but I think it might have been a distraction. So, I prefer to do it before. As I told them during the homily, I was happy that they all showed up, even after they had received their assignments. I told them that was a good sign!Ordination Mass of Fathers John A. Cassani, Thomas K. Macdonald, Jacques A. McGuffie, Gerald A. Souza, and Christopher W. Wallace May 25, 2013 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

Ordination Mass of Fathers John A. Cassani, Thomas K. Macdonald, Jacques A. McGuffie, Gerald A. Souza, and Christopher W. Wallace May 25, 2013 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy
Of course, Saturday morning was the ordination Mass itself and it is always a very special time. We were blessed with a very cool day and the Cathedral was practically filled for the five men being ordained: Fathers John Cassani, Thomas Macdonald, Jacques McGuffie, Gerald Souza, and Christopher Wallace.Ordination Mass of Fathers John A. Cassani, Thomas K. Macdonald, Jacques A. McGuffie, Gerald A. Souza, and Christopher W. Wallace May 25, 2013 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy
Ordination Mass of Fathers John A. Cassani, Thomas K. Macdonald, Jacques A. McGuffie, Gerald A. Souza, and Christopher W. Wallace May 25, 2013 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy
Ordination Mass of Fathers John A. Cassani, Thomas K. Macdonald, Jacques A. McGuffie, Gerald A. Souza, and Christopher W. Wallace May 25, 2013 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy
Ordination Mass of Fathers John A. Cassani, Thomas K. Macdonald, Jacques A. McGuffie, Gerald A. Souza, and Christopher W. Wallace May 25, 2013 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy
Ordination Mass of Fathers John A. Cassani, Thomas K. Macdonald, Jacques A. McGuffie, Gerald A. Souza, and Christopher W. Wallace May 25, 2013 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy
Ordination Mass of Fathers John A. Cassani, Thomas K. Macdonald, Jacques A. McGuffie, Gerald A. Souza, and Christopher W. Wallace May 25, 2013 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

One of the ordinandi, Father Jacques McGuffie, was a late life vocation. He was a permanent deacon who decided to become “impermanent” by becoming a priest! Ordination Mass of Fathers John A. Cassani, Thomas K. Macdonald, Jacques A. McGuffie, Gerald A. Souza, and Christopher W. Wallace May 25, 2013 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

Father McGuffie

He had been a deacon for many years and is a widower and has children. Jacques is originally from Haiti but has been here in Boston for many decades.

The ordination is always a moment for us to give thanks for the gift of the priesthood and the dedication of our seminary faculties and staff, who are so diligent in forming men for the priesthood. We also took advantage of the occasion to appeal to people that they pray for vocations and support their priests.Ordination Mass of Fathers John A. Cassani, Thomas K. Macdonald, Jacques A. McGuffie, Gerald A. Souza, and Christopher W. Wallace May 25, 2013 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy
Ordination Mass of Fathers John A. Cassani, Thomas K. Macdonald, Jacques A. McGuffie, Gerald A. Souza, and Christopher W. Wallace May 25, 2013 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy
Ordination Mass of Fathers John A. Cassani, Thomas K. Macdonald, Jacques A. McGuffie, Gerald A. Souza, and Christopher W. Wallace May 25, 2013 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

Ordination Mass of Fathers John A. Cassani, Thomas K. Macdonald, Jacques A. McGuffie, Gerald A. Souza, and Christopher W. Wallace May 25, 2013 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

Ordination Mass of Fathers John A. Cassani, Thomas K. Macdonald, Jacques A. McGuffie, Gerald A. Souza, and Christopher W. Wallace May 25, 2013 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy
Ordination Mass of Fathers John A. Cassani, Thomas K. Macdonald, Jacques A. McGuffie, Gerald A. Souza, and Christopher W. Wallace May 25, 2013 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy
Ordination Mass of Fathers John A. Cassani, Thomas K. Macdonald, Jacques A. McGuffie, Gerald A. Souza, and Christopher W. Wallace May 25, 2013 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

 

I’d like to share my homily with you here:

The ordination is always televised by the CatholicTV Network. In fact, one of our priests told me that he was on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and was able watch it live on his computer. I also received many emails from people around the country who said they had watched the ordination on CatholicTV.

We are so grateful for this ministry that allows so many people to participate in important ecclesial events such as this.

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On Sunday, I celebrated the Spanish Mass at the Cathedral, during which we celebrated the First Communions.

Father Kevin O’Leary and I concelebrated the Mass and gave First Communion to the youngsters. I was also very pleased that our parochial vicar, Father Felipe Gonzalez, was able to be with us. He has been convalescing after an operation and we look forward to his return to the cathedral.1stcommcath-006

I tried to impress upon the children that, though this was one of the most important days of their life, it was not a singular event. I told them they are being called to be active members of a Eucharistic community, in which Christ keeps on giving us this same gift of the Eucharist and that he helps us lead faithful lives of discipleship as part of his family.

We are very grateful to Sister Belinda, Jenny and all of those who prepared the young people.

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Over this past week, our Capuchin province of Saint Augustine held its chapter to elect a new provincial and definitors. This year I was very pleased because our Father General, Father Mauro from Rome was there to preside at the chapter.8895965013_722bf8bdf6 DSC_03168896558702_a78e724156 DSC_0002

 

I always try to go for at least a day to the chapter and this year they invited John Allen, Archbishop Chaput and I to give talks on the new evangelization. The three of us gave talks on Tuesday.8896557648_fc81d72165 DSC_0020

John Allen

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Archbishop Chaput

It was just wonderful to be with the brothers; it is a very life-giving experience.8895919805_2e172a5107 DSC_02288896593268_518fcd03cf DSC_02458896592830_3045a233bb DSC_02558896591742_6213eb86a7 DSC_0261

I am very proud of our province. We have been blessed with a number of very wonderful vocations and have a very strong commitment to the missions.8896544434_492d6acfb8 DSC_0202

It was good to see our novices who were there, some of our missionaries from Papua New Guinea, as well as some of my classmates.

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By Wednesday, I was back in Boston and we had the lunch for the newly ordained and their families here at the Pastoral Center.Luncheon with the newly ordained priests and their families at the archdiocese's Pastoral Center, May 29, 2013.
Pilot photo by Gregory L. TracyLuncheon with the newly ordained priests and their families at the archdiocese's Pastoral Center, May 29, 2013.
Pilot photo by Gregory L. TracyLuncheon with the newly ordained priests and their families at the archdiocese's Pastoral Center, May 29, 2013.
Pilot photo by Gregory L. TracyLuncheon with the newly ordained priests and their families at the archdiocese's Pastoral Center, May 29, 2013.
Pilot photo by Gregory L. TracyLuncheon with the newly ordained priests and their families at the archdiocese's Pastoral Center, May 29, 2013.
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

It is always very good to have the opportunity to congratulate, not only the newly ordained, but also their families. On the day of the ordination there is such a throng of people and such commotion you do not really have an opportunity to spend time with the families.

Father Jerry Souza, representing his class, also gave a little talk expressing their joy and their gratitude for the gift to the priesthood.

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Over the last several days, I have met with each of the 12 pastors who are taking part in the first phase of our pastoral plan, Disciples in Mission, and on Thursday I met with a number of them.20130510_GTracy_IMG_6125

I have been meeting with each of the pastors individually to thank them for taking on the challenge of being pastors in these new collaboratives and talk to them about the importance of keeping evangelization as the priority as they begin to strategize and develop their pastoral plan for the collaborative.

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Finally, last night we had one of our regular meetings of the archdiocesan pastoral Council. We have a number of new members this year who are bringing a lot of enthusiasm.

We had reports and discussions around pastoral planning from Father Soper and Sister Pat. Janet Benestad also discussed youth ministry and the catechetical awards. Then, people had the opportunity to share with me some of their thoughts, suggestions and ideas. It is always very helpful to hear the input of the APC.

Until next week,

Cardinal Seán