Cardinal Seán's Blog

Cardinal Seán shares his reflections & experiences.

Graduations and galas

Hello and welcome!

Recently, I attended a reception at the UMass Club in Boston given in honor of my good friend, Jim Karam. It was held in recognition of Jim’s years of service to the University of Massachusetts’ board, including two terms as chairman.UMass_003_DSC_1206

With Jim Karam

I have known Jim and his family for more than 20 years, dating back to my time as Bishop of Fall River. In particular, Jim provided great assistance to St. Ann Hospital, the Caritas Christi Health Care System and now he assists with the management of our Catholic hospitals within Steward Health Care System.

Many of Jim’s family, friends and colleagues gathered to show their appreciation for his dedication to advancing quality higher education.UMass_001_DSC_1148

Jim with Dr. Ralph de la Torre and Senate president Therese MurrayUMass_002_DSC_1186

UMass president Robert Caret

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Jim with his brothers, Skip and Bob

At the event, the UMass announced the establishment of the Jim Karam Scholarship Fund, to benefit college bound students from South Eastern Massachusetts. The university also announced that Jim has made a very generous contribution to the fund.

Through the years Jim has always made himself available to assist the Church and the wider community, we are deeply appreciative for his always being willing to help others.

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Friday I traveled to Washington D.C. to attend the American Cardinals Dinner, which is held to raise funds for scholarships to the Catholic University of America. Each year, the dinner is held in a different city, and this year was hosted by Cardinal Wuerl.

We began with Mass at St. Matthew Cathedral and followed by the dinner itself at the Washington Hilton. Cardinals_mass_edit_012.NEF
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There is always a great presence of the students at the dinner.American Cardinals Dinner
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I am always happy to support this event, which does so much to allow more students to experience the superior Catholic education provided by CUA. This year, I am pleased to say, we raised almost $1.7 million to support scholarships.

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The following day, Saturday, I was back in Boston to speak at the commencement at Regis College.Regis2013_001_IMG_2399

At the commencement, they presented me with an honorary doctorate in law. I have received many honorary degrees, but this is my first degree in law — so now I’m ready to hang out my shingle!Regis2013_006_IMG_2472Regis College commencement, May 11, 2013. 
Pilot photo by Christopher S. Pineo

After experiencing some challenges, the school is doing very well. This was their largest graduating class to date.Regis College commencement, May 11, 2013. 
Pilot photo by Christopher S. Pineo

The school is sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph. What strikes me is how the sisters and the board there have gone to great lengths to remain very faithful to the mission of providing an excellent education to working-class people, many of them minorities. They give many scholarships and I would not be surprised if many of the graduating class where the first in their family to finish college.

You can read my address to the graduates here.

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That evening, I attended the Boston Press Photographers Association’s annual dinner at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge. I was one of three people honored during the evening.BPPA-color-logo-small

Each year, the BPPA honors a Person of the Year and a Sports Personality of the Year. I was Man of the Year and two local Olympic gold medalists, Aly Raisman and Kayla Harrison, were co-winners of the Sports Personality award.

Aly, who was a member of the 2012 Women’s gymnastics team, couldn’t be with us because she is in California for “Dancing with the Stars.”

Kayla is a 2012 gold medalist in judo. It turns out that she is Catholic and was there with her boyfriend, who is also Catholic. It was nice to meet them both.BPPA_image001

Many of the members of the Association work for local media outlets and I recognized several of them from different events where they have been covering me, such as visiting the shelters around Christmastime. It was nice to see them in a more casual setting.BPPA_image002

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On Sunday, I joined St. Patrick’s Parish in Roxbury for their Mass and procession honoring Our Lady of Fatima. StPats_458836_527354273995210_1657630918_o

This is a very important feast for the Cape Verdean community at St. Patrick’s. They do such a wonderful job decorating the Church and the streets and the houses where the procession passes. StPats_893447_527354867328484_1371289256_oStPats_901028_527361610661143_2020449718_oStPats_919659_527360477327923_652862446_o

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Monday, I returned to St. Patrick’s to take part in the archdiocese’s Parish Service Week.Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley joins archdiocesan employees working to beautify St. Patrick Church in Roxbury as part of Parish Service Week, May 13, 2013. After the spring cleaning, Cardinal Sean visited St. Patrick School spending time with students and with the classmates of Barry Brinson, a 7th grade student at the school who was killed May 9 in a traffic accident in Allston.
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

Over the last couple years the staff at the Pastoral Center have been participating in a service week, wherein staff members volunteer to help out at a local inner-city parish for one or more days, doing things such as landscaping, painting, maintenance and general beautification. I always like to take an opportunity to join them.Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley joins archdiocesan employees working to beautify St. Patrick Church in Roxbury as part of Parish Service Week, May 13, 2013. After the spring cleaning, Cardinal Sean visited St. Patrick School spending time with students and with the classmates of Barry Brinson, a 7th grade student at the school who was killed May 9 in a traffic accident in Allston.
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy
Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley joins archdiocesan employees working to beautify St. Patrick Church in Roxbury as part of Parish Service Week, May 13, 2013. After the spring cleaning, Cardinal Sean visited St. Patrick School spending time with students and with the classmates of Barry Brinson, a 7th grade student at the school who was killed May 9 in a traffic accident in Allston.
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy
Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley joins archdiocesan employees working to beautify St. Patrick Church in Roxbury as part of Parish Service Week, May 13, 2013. After the spring cleaning, Cardinal Sean visited St. Patrick School spending time with students and with the classmates of Barry Brinson, a 7th grade student at the school who was killed May 9 in a traffic accident in Allston.
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley joins archdiocesan employees working to beautify St. Patrick Church in Roxbury as part of Parish Service Week, May 13, 2013. After the spring cleaning, Cardinal Sean visited St. Patrick School spending time with students and with the classmates of Barry Brinson, a 7th grade student at the school who was killed May 9 in a traffic accident in Allston.
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy
Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley joins archdiocesan employees working to beautify St. Patrick Church in Roxbury as part of Parish Service Week, May 13, 2013. After the spring cleaning, Cardinal Sean visited St. Patrick School spending time with students and with the classmates of Barry Brinson, a 7th grade student at the school who was killed May 9 in a traffic accident in Allston.
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy
Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley joins archdiocesan employees working to beautify St. Patrick Church in Roxbury as part of Parish Service Week, May 13, 2013. After the spring cleaning, Cardinal Sean visited St. Patrick School spending time with students and with the classmates of Barry Brinson, a 7th grade student at the school who was killed May 9 in a traffic accident in Allston.
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy
I understand people like the picture of me mowing the lawn.Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley joins archdiocesan employees working to beautify St. Patrick Church in Roxbury as part of Parish Service Week, May 13, 2013. After the spring cleaning, Cardinal Sean visited St. Patrick School spending time with students and with the classmates of Barry Brinson, a 7th grade student at the school who was killed May 9 in a traffic accident in Allston.
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

As part of my visit, I also stopped by the parish school.Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley joins archdiocesan employees working to beautify St. Patrick Church in Roxbury as part of Parish Service Week, May 13, 2013. After the spring cleaning, Cardinal Sean visited St. Patrick School spending time with students and with the classmates of Barry Brinson, a 7th grade student at the school who was killed May 9 in a traffic accident in Allston.
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy
Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley joins archdiocesan employees working to beautify St. Patrick Church in Roxbury as part of Parish Service Week, May 13, 2013. After the spring cleaning, Cardinal Sean visited St. Patrick School spending time with students and with the classmates of Barry Brinson, a 7th grade student at the school who was killed May 9 in a traffic accident in Allston.
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy
Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley joins archdiocesan employees working to beautify St. Patrick Church in Roxbury as part of Parish Service Week, May 13, 2013. After the spring cleaning, Cardinal Sean visited St. Patrick School spending time with students and with the classmates of Barry Brinson, a 7th grade student at the school who was killed May 9 in a traffic accident in Allston.
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy
Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley joins archdiocesan employees working to beautify St. Patrick Church in Roxbury as part of Parish Service Week, May 13, 2013. After the spring cleaning, Cardinal Sean visited St. Patrick School spending time with students and with the classmates of Barry Brinson, a 7th grade student at the school who was killed May 9 in a traffic accident in Allston.
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy
Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley joins archdiocesan employees working to beautify St. Patrick Church in Roxbury as part of Parish Service Week, May 13, 2013. After the spring cleaning, Cardinal Sean visited St. Patrick School spending time with students and with the classmates of Barry Brinson, a 7th grade student at the school who was killed May 9 in a traffic accident in Allston.
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy
Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley joins archdiocesan employees working to beautify St. Patrick Church in Roxbury as part of Parish Service Week, May 13, 2013. After the spring cleaning, Cardinal Sean visited St. Patrick School spending time with students and with the classmates of Barry Brinson, a 7th grade student at the school who was killed May 9 in a traffic accident in Allston.
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

I particularly wanted to visit the classmates of Barry Brinson, a seventh grader at the school who was killed in a traffic accident just last week.Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley joins archdiocesan employees working to beautify St. Patrick Church in Roxbury as part of Parish Service Week, May 13, 2013. After the spring cleaning, Cardinal Sean visited St. Patrick School spending time with students and with the classmates of Barry Brinson, a 7th grade student at the school who was killed May 9 in a traffic accident in Allston.
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

I spoke to them about what God tries to show us through events such as this and then gave them my blessing.Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley joins archdiocesan employees working to beautify St. Patrick Church in Roxbury as part of Parish Service Week, May 13, 2013. After the spring cleaning, Cardinal Sean visited St. Patrick School spending time with students and with the classmates of Barry Brinson, a 7th grade student at the school who was killed May 9 in a traffic accident in Allston.
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy
Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley joins archdiocesan employees working to beautify St. Patrick Church in Roxbury as part of Parish Service Week, May 13, 2013. After the spring cleaning, Cardinal Sean visited St. Patrick School spending time with students and with the classmates of Barry Brinson, a 7th grade student at the school who was killed May 9 in a traffic accident in Allston.
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

I am so grateful to Father Walter Waldron, the principal and the staff there for this great atmosphere that the school has.

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Tuesday, I returned to Washington for the baccalaureate Mass of the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family at the Catholic University of America. This is an institute that was originally established by Pope John Paul II in Rome and a number of satellite institutions have grown up around the world.JP2Inst_JP2Group2

The president and faculty, including the former head of the Institute, Professor David Schindler, were all there for the Mass, which was held in the crypt of the National Shrine. JP2Inst_O'Malley1

Father Antonio Lopez, who formerly worked here in Boston, is now the head of the institution. The vice president is Supreme Knight Carl Anderson.

The Knights of Columbus have been wonderful supporters of the Institute, which is such a wonderful resource for Catholic schools, dioceses and family life offices.JP2Inst_O'Malley2

I have been involved with the John Paul II Institute since its earliest days so it is nice to come back years later to see how they have developed and progressed. They originally started at the Dominican house of studies and now they have become a part of the Catholic University of America. The founding president was Carl Anderson and Father Lorenzo Albacete was very involved with the institute in the beginning, along with Monsignor Caffarra, who is now Cardinal Caffarra, the Archbishop of Bologna.

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While in Washington I also met with Tom Grenchik, Executive Director of the USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities. Tom has been dedicated to the work of the Pro Life Office for more many years and is a great help to me in my role as Chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities. Among the many initiatives he is currently working on is a national expansion of the Project Rachel Program, with the assistance of Marianne Luthin of the Archdiocesan Respect Life Office, who is recognized as a leader in this important ministry.

In these days, there have been a number of important developments relating to life issues. I would like to share with you the statements I issued on two of these matters.

First, in reaction to the announcement of human cloning:

The news that researchers have developed a technique for human cloning is deeply troubling on many levels. Over 120 human embryos were created and destroyed, to produce six embryonic stem cell lines. Creating the embryos involved subjecting healthy women to procedures that put their health and fertility at risk. And the researchers’ alleged goal, producing genetically matched stem cells for research and possible therapies, is already being addressed by scientific advances that do not pose these grave moral wrongs.

Creating new human lives in the laboratory solely to destroy them is an abuse denounced even by many who do not share the Catholic Church’s convictions on human life. Also, this means of making embryos for research will be taken up by those who want to produce cloned children as “copies” of other people. Whether used for one purpose or the other, human cloning treats human beings as products, manufactured to order to suit other people’s wishes. It is inconsistent with our moral responsibility to treat each member of the human family as a unique gift of God, as a person with his or her own inherent dignity. A technical advance in human cloning is not progress for humanity but its opposite.

And, of course, this week we also saw the verdict in the Gosnell trial:

Dr. Gosnell’s trial brought much-needed attention to the tragedy of abortion. His murder convictions of newly delivered infants have caused many people to reexamine their positions on abortion.

In addition to the violence against defenseless unborn and newborn children, women’s lives were endangered by his unethical practices. I hope and pray that Dr. Gosnell will come to regret and repent for his many crimes. Our nation needs great healing from the culture of death, of which this sad story is only one example. Let us pray for the children who have been lost and the many mothers and families who silently grieve their loss. Our Lord longs to heal every person affected by the tragedy of abortion and other violence.

I was pleased, and even relieved, that the court found this man guilty of these very heinous crimes. What I find difficult to understand is how some people who are horrified by these crimes somehow think that if he would have killed these babies a few minutes earlier, it would have been all right. But, thank God, at least these acts of direct infanticide are being condemned by a court of law.

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Tuesday, I met with Karen Clifton, Executive Director of the Catholic Mobilizing Network (CMN), a group formed several years ago in support of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops campaign to end the death penalty.Catholic_Mobilizing_Network_Death_Penalty

Among CMN’s many activities are diocesan and parish programs designed to educate the lay community about the Church’s teachings on the death penalty and facilitating respectful and informed discourse within the Catholic community and the community at large. CMN works closely with the USCCB Pro-Life Committee and provides an important service for the Church in sharing the message that the death penalty is a Respect Life issue.

Karen’s personal dedication and commitment to this mission are inspiring and a great help to the Church’s work of promoting a culture of life.

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On Wednesday evening we joined the Catholic Charities Spring Celebration. During the evening, we honored Marshall and Barbara Sloane, a couple who have been involved with Catholic Charities for almost 40 years, both on the board and through supporting different programs.CC_051513SpringCelebration366

The Sloanes are Jewish and Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner shared the invocation with Father Hehir. He gave a very beautiful prayer and spoke very movingly about the relationship between the Catholic Church and the Jewish community.

The Sloane’s have a very beautiful family and many of them offered remarks during the evening. One of their grandsons greeted me in Latin; I understand he is a student at Milton Academy.CC_051513SpringCelebration367

Another of the family members who spoke, I believe Linda was her name, told a wonderful story. She said that she was having her nails done in Newton, and she told the woman doing them that she wanted them to look nice because she was going to big event. When the woman who was doing her nails asked what the big event was, Linda said she was going to a fundraiser for Catholic Charities. When the woman heard that, she told Linda her story: She said she was 19 years old, pregnant and a refugee from Vietnam when she went to Catholic Charities for help. She said they helped her find a program to learn English, got her clothing, and helped her apply for a scholarship to become a beautician. Now, the woman said, she has her own business and has been able to send her children to college.

Also, during the evening we heard from a young Brazilian woman, Maria Navarro. She told us her immigrant parents were helped by Catholic Charities, and now she is going to be a student at West Point in the fall.CC_051513SpringCelebration368

Maria Navarro with Barbara and Marshall Sloane

Stories such as these help us to understand the vital, life-changing work that goes on at Catholic Charities. We’re so proud of the work Debbie Rambo and her staff are doing at Catholic Charities, especially in these days in the aftermath of the economic crisis that have placed such great demands on all charities.

Until next week,

Cardinal Seán

5 Responses to Graduations and galas


Comments

  1. Comment by TOCP | 2013/05/19 at 14:43:32

    The Cardinal attends many events – suppossedly his words are meant to inspire and to spread the Love of God. Yet he chooses to boycott the graduation ceremonies at Boston College thereby allowing people (especially impressionable young adults) see only his actions. And what do his actions show – to each person it may be different but to me it shows a childish response – if you don’t follow my rules I’ll take my ball and go home. When complaints came from the pro – lifers about Cardinal O’Malley presiding over Kennedy’s funeral – he made many comments including calling for a greater civility by Catholics. I ask simply for Cardinal O’Malley to explain so that we all understand why it’s ok for some pro – abortion supporters to be in his presence while others are not.

  2. Comment by Joe Murphy | 2013/05/23 at 04:46:49

    I’m so happy I discovered this blog…I’ve been reading it for several months now and find it always to be moving and inspiring.
    Thank you so much for it Cardinal Sean!!

  3. Comment by TOCP | 2013/05/23 at 06:38:42

    it’s quite obvious that the only opinions published on this website are those that agree with the Cardinal – it’s a shame that there is so much hypocricy within the Church and people still wonder why so many are walking away

  4. Comment by Mark Fairchild | 2013/05/25 at 18:25:53

    As a freshman at BC High Class of 2016, I appreciate the efforts of PACE to promote the importance of a Catholic education. Boston College High School has taught me a great deal about my faith, and as a result, has strengthened my beliefs in the Catholic church. The teachers at Boston College High School are role models for the faith. They have helped me demonstrate my faith both in the classroom and out on the soccer field and track. Over the next three years, I hope to grow stronger in my faith. I will continue to appreciate the work of PACE in support of my Catholic education.

    Mark Fairchild ’13 BCH

  5. Comment by Joe Murphy | 2013/05/30 at 18:12:20

    Why would you say that TOCP? You don’t seem to agree with the Cardinal yet I see your comments are here. I’m not sure what you expect to find here. I thought he did explain why he chose not to attend the BC graduation and I as a Catholic pro-lifer applauded his choice.


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