Honoring our catechists

Friday, I attended the wake of Judge Joseph Nolan, a retired justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, at St. Joseph’s Church in Belmont.

He was the long-time president of the Catholic Lawyers Guild of the Archdiocese of Boston and throughout his life he has been very active in many Church activities.scan0018

Judge Nolan receiving the Knights of Columbus’ Lantern Award in 1993

He was a great lover of the Latin liturgy, and every time he saw me, he greeted me with the Latin phrase “Nos cum prole pia”. An my response would be, “benedicat Virgo Maria”. This was a favorite blessing of St. Lawrence of Brindisi, a Capuchin Doctor of the Church. I am sure that Judge Joseph Nolan was the only lay person in Massachusetts who knew that!

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Saturday I went to St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Norwood to celebrate confirmations. It was a very large confirmation class, in two groups.

One of the first confirmations I ever did in Boston was almost 30 years ago at St. Catherine’s, when I was still Bishop of the West Indies. They still have very large religious education classes and a wonderful Catholic school. It was a delight to be able to celebrate confirmations there.

Msgr. Garrity is now the pastor there and he is assisted by the retired pastor, Msgr. Paul Ryan, and they make a great team. Father Tony Luongo is also assigned there, however, he was unable to be at the confirmations because his mother’s funeral also took place on Saturday morning and at the confirmation Masses we offered prayers for him.Confirmation 2013 078

With Deacon John Brent, Msgr. Garrity and Msgr. Ryan

Msgr. Garrity, who did such an extraordinary job at St. Mary’s in Lynn, is very focused on promoting Catholic education in Norwood and we are very grateful that it is one of our larger schools, a very important center for Catholic education.

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Saturday afternoon I made hospital visits. I went to see Father Brian Smith who has been diagnosed with cancer and is in the cancer unit at Dana-Farber.

We also went to visit Jane Richard, the younger sister of Martin Richard, the 8-year-old who was killed in the Marathon Bombings. She survived the bombings, but lost a foot and was severely burned. It was very impressive to see how wonderful the doctors and nurses were with her and her family.

Her parents and uncle were there with her. I was accompanied by Father Sean Connor, their pastor, who has been working very closely with the family and providing pastoral support. We are very grateful for all that he has done.

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Saturday, I went to St. Benedict’s in Somerville to celebrate their Spanish Mass.



Father Oscar Martín is the pastor there and he is doing an excellent job.


It was very encouraging to see how vibrant the parish is, with such great enthusiasm and many young people. Benedict1

During the Mass we welcomed a new priest, Father Adriano Albino de Castro, who is from the Archdiocese of Brasilia in Brazil and has just arrived. He will be working with the Portuguese speaking community in the archdiocese.



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From Somerville, I went immediately to the Cathedral to join the Catechetical Leadership Awards Vespers Service that was being led by Bishop Deeley. I was able to address them and thank them for the important work they do for the archdiocese.CatecheticalAwards_CPineo_002CatecheticalAwards_CPineo_023CatecheticalAwards_CPineo_013CatecheticalAwards_CPineo_006

Three catechetical leaders were recognized with special awards. Donna Lee McIntosh and Maribelle Ortiz Millan received the Sister Marian O’Connor Award for Excellence in Catechetical Leadership and Amy Chapman received the Gaudium et Spes Service Recognition Award.


With Maribelle Ortiz Millan, Donna Lee McIntosh Bishop Deeley and Amy Chapman

Also, 75 catechists were recognized for their faithful service. CatecheticalAwards_CPineo_038CatecheticalAwards_CPineo_039

We are so grateful to Susan Abbott, Susan Kay, and Janet Benestad who organized this event to recognize our catechists.

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Monday, I visited the Boston Pre-Release Center in Roslindale, which is run by the Mass. Department of Corrections. I celebrated Mass for them and we had two confirmations.

I had not been to that particular institution before, but I was very impressed by how clean and well run it is. The men there work in the community at various jobs. The center provides a kind of transition, preparing them for when they are released from prison so they have job skills and a little money.

I told them that I was so happy to see that they have this kind of program. I said that when I was a prison chaplain 40 years ago, this type of program did not exist, at least where I was. There, the men were kept in prison and could not get parole unless they had a job, but no one would hire them sight unseen. As a result, hardly any of them were paroled.

To solve this problem, I had the brilliant idea to start a painting company to hire the men and get them at a prison— but I knew nothing about painting companies! I got some money from my father, and bought all the equipment that I thought we would need. Then it occurred to me that we would need a vehicle, but I had already spent most all the money I had on supplies.

It turned out that the only vehicle I could buy with the money that we had left was an old red station wagon that only went in reverse. So, we got to our first job driving in reverse the whole way! Thankfully, once we painted our first house, we had the money to get the car repaired.

So I told them I was glad that they had a prerelease program such as this because running a painting company is such a challenge!

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On Wednesday I attended the Catholic Charities reception for the Labouré Center where Bob Sheridan was honored. He is the former president of SBLI and is very generous in supporting many causes including several Catholic organizations such as Labouré Center.050113Laboure003

With Catholic Charities President Debbie Rambo, Laboure Center Director Sister Maryadele Robinson and Bob Sheridan

It was a wonderful event in a lovely venue.


They do wonderful work at the Labouré Center. A whole panoply of activities are carried on there, providing services for families, children and new immigrants.

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Thursday, I was happy to host our annual gathering of the superiors of men’s religious orders in the archdiocese here at the Pastoral Center.

There were presentations by Father Paul Soper and Sister Pat Boyle from the Pastoral Planning Office. IMG_20130502_134105_029IMG_20130502_134305_663

As we did with the women religious superiors last week, we spoke to them about the pastoral planning process and evangelization efforts, and asked for their input and ideas.

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Then, later in the afternoon, I was very happy to be visited by Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey and his wife, Marie, who are very active in the pro-life movement both in the United States and internationally.


They came to speak with me about some of their ideas and proposals for the pro-life movement. It is always a pleasure to see them.

Until next week,

Cardinal Seán

11 thoughts on “Honoring our catechists”

  1. Dear Cardinal O’Malley,

    I would also like to thank you for your great act of Charity by confronting Mr. Enda Kenny. He risks committing a terrible error in legislating for the killing of children in the womb for whatever misguided reason. As we know, it is one of the duties of every Catholic to admonish our brothers and sisters when they fall into serious error. Mr Kenny’s government was simply asked for Clarification NOT Legislation so there is no requirement from abroad to do what he says he intends to do. Ireland’s laws do not allow for abortion on the grounds of suicide they only permit intervention to save the mother’s life. And this intervention does not target the child for killing. The doctors always give mother and baby equal life saving treatment. Mr Kenny does not need to legislate just as previous governments have understood.
    Mr Kenny’s perverse idea of being Pro Life is that some children will be required to die. I applaud you for appealing to him to return to proper respect for human life, primarily for his own sake and then for the sake of all the people who live in Ireland.
    God bless you and thank you again.

    Maria Humphrey

  2. Dear Cardinal O’Malley,
    I echo others on this site who thank you for saying “yes” when you mean “yes” and “no” when you mean “no” even though it must so grieve you.

    As the descendent of Irish immigrants (though my married name would not at all indicate that!), I do believe those kin who are in the arms of Our Lord are MOST saddened by this turn of events in their native land, and by the evil of abortion that has tainted America–which they made their home of hope.

    That this stain should be upon a Catholic college, raised in no small part by many faithful Irish is all the more tragic.

    I also pray for my departed Irish family’s intercession before the throne of God for mercy, repentence, and reparation for this horrific affront to Our Creator!

    God bless all you do and keep you courageous!

  3. Dear Cardinal O’Malley
    Thank you for standing up to these so called Catholic institutions who of late seem to embrace every one and anything that disagrees with the teachings of the Church. I hope and pray that other so called Catholic Universities take notice.

  4. Dear Cardinal O’ Malley,

    I too would like to thank you for your strong leadership and decisive action in relation to the invitation of Mr. Kenny. He and his partners in government have consistently attacked our constitution since they came to office.
    Most people are horrified at their plan to change the law despite the fact that the Irish people view this crime against the smallest and weakest as despicable. We are ashamed of our leadership as they seem determined to attack our values and way of life in such a way that one would think that they hate the Irish people. It’s really heartening to know that someone with your authority will challenge these types of politicians when they travel abroad.
    Thank you and may God, the Blessed Virgin and St. Patrick be with you.

    Maria Humphrey

  5. I take great joy from todays national (Ireland) news which led with the story of the very courageous stand taken by Cardinal O’Malley re the Irish Taoiseachs (Prime Ministers) commitment to push through abortion legislation.
    If Enda Kenny succeeds in his shameful effot’s, it will be sufficient for a mother of an unborn child to claim to be suicidal, in order to obtain an abortio.
    We Irish Catholic’s rejoice and take heart in Cardinal O’Malley’s very public stand. We are encouraged and re-invigored in our campaign to oppose the deliberate killing of the unborn.
    May Cardinal O’Malley be strengthened in God’s holy Will, in his priestly vocation and in service to God’s people.

    Buiochas le Dia, (thanks be to God)
    Noel McKervey

  6. As a Catholic living in Ireland, I am disappointed by your position in relation to our Taoiseach (Prime Minister) and the Boston College. I remember so well from my Catechism at school that ‘no motive or reason can excuse a lie’. To say that Mr. Kenny is ‘pro abortion’ is untrue and therefore a lie. Mr. Kenny is a practicing devoted Catholic and very pro-life. The legal position in Ireland is that abortion is permitted in Ireland only in extremely rare cases including where the mother is in danger of death by suicide. This was not introduced to Irish law by Mr. Kenny but by our Supreme Court. Mr Kenny is legally required to codify this existing position in statute law and that is what he is doing and no more. Where do you stand on the cardinal virtue of CHARITY your Eminence? I was glad to see our wonderful new Pope reminding us of the importance of this cardinal virtue in his first hours after his election. For the record, I am a pro-life person.

  7. With regard to the cardinal’s position on Enda Kenney’s speaking in Boston, and a host of other positions of the Church, and particularly in view of the cardinal’s new position in deciding how the Church will be governed for the future, I offer the following advice.

    The clergy, and laity, should spend less time worshiping Christ and more time behaving with the compassion taught by Jesus.

    On balance, the Church has an almost unblemished record of, publicly, failing in this regard.

    My words are my credibility, but I am not unfamiliar with what it means to be Catholic.

  8. Cardinal O’Malley, this is not related to this post but I would like to thank you for your intervention regarding Mr Kenny and Boston College. The Irish people have rejected abortion in referendum after referendum but for some terrible reason our governments have been pushing and pushing this unspeakable crime. Our hearts are broken with them but we continue to work flat out against this horror. It is a relief to us to hear you stand up for righteousness so strongly. It is so helpful to the defense of children in the womb, our poor politicians who will have blood on their hands, and our poor country which would suffer greatly under this terrible scourge. Thank you and may God pour out his blessings on you.
    Lucy O’Brien

  9. Dear Cardinal O’Malley,

    I want to thank you so much for the courageous and public stand you took today regarding Boston College’s choice of commencement speaker, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny!

    Well done! I am convinced that we as laity must support and encourage this kind of heroic leadership!

    Thank you for calling Boston College to be authentically Catholic!

    God bless you,
    Jim Darr

  10. Cardinal , I did not know you had been prison chaplain in the past. I am the Founder of Sanctuary House whereby we invite prisoners to become laity brothers of the passions of Christ and come live at Sanctuary House and until then we issue monthly bulletins to them across the country to their State prisons. They are great men I luv them as additional sons tho some are close to my age which is 76. Sanctuary House began publicly in 1979 and began welcoming them in 1985 when they had to stay at my own home…..after my late wife Pat went to God..we even give one another brotherhood names.

    Frank Faas (Peter Ananias Paul Adam)PAPA Frank 🙂
    Albany NY

  11. Cardinal Sean,

    Thank you for the ‘glimpse’ that you give into the life of a Cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church. I have yet to meet even a Bishop in person. It is clear that all that you do is centered around the people in and out of the Church in conjunction with your fellow clergy members. I laughed out loud regarding the car that only ran in reverse. But praise be to God, He provides. Thank you, Cardinal. While I am not much as a layman in the Church, I have been particularly curious about the nature and mystery that is the clergy. I have so much reverence. Although my love abounds in quantity, I am striving for my love to be greater in quality. Postings such as these help me to accomplish that.


    Joseph Matonic

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