Cardinal Seán's Blog

Cardinal Seán shares his reflections & experiences.

Celebrating Pentecost

Hello and welcome!

I want to begin this week sharing a press release issued in response to the troubling news that the Vermont has legalized physician assisted suicide.

Cardinal O’Malley: New Vermont Assisted Suicide Law Reveals Slippery Slope

May 21, 2013

WASHINGTON—Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, warned of an “alarming trend nationwide” after Vermont legalized physician-assisted suicide, May 20. He called for “all people of good will to fight the future passage of such laws.”

“I echo Bishop Matano of Burlington in calling this a tragic moment for Vermont. It is also a sign of an alarming trend nationwide. In the three states where physician-assisted suicide is now legal, doctors are called upon to destroy life, rather than to save life and provide much-needed comfort in times of pain and distress,” Cardinal O’Malley said.

“The new Vermont law goes beyond that in place in Oregon and allows the state in the coming years to drop even the so-called ‘safeguards’ against abuse,” Cardinal O’Malley said. “In the name of autonomy and empowerment, seriously ill patients in Vermont who cannot speak for themselves are at risk of becoming victims of this law.”

“The ‘slippery slope’ that critics of the euthanasia agenda have long warned against is in full view here,” Cardinal O’Malley said. “I invite Catholics and all people of good will to fight the future passage of such laws, which offend human dignity and undermine true respect and care for people with serious illness.”

In 2011, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement on assisted suicide, “To Live Each Day with Dignity.” The full text, as well as information on the Catholic Church’s advocacy on end-of life issues, is available online: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/assisted-suicide/to-live-each-day

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Last Friday, the Parents Alliance for Catholic Education known as PACE had a gathering at the Pastoral Center to unveil their new poster. PACE is the organization of parents of Catholic school students. PACE logo

It was originally started as an initiative of the Massachusetts Catholic Conference about 20 years ago, when I was Bishop of Fall River, to promote Catholic education. Steve Perla was the original director and founder and is still active on the Board of Directors and now the current president is the former mayor of New Bedford Fred Kalisz.

PACE poster unveiling, March 17, 2013.<br /><br />
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />

Fred Kalisz

Each year, PACE develops a new poster to raise awareness of the organization featuring a Catholic school from one of the four dioceses in Massachusetts. This year, it was the Archdiocese of Boston’s turn and the school they selected to work with was the new St. Joseph’s Academy in Brighton. PACE poster unveiling, March 17, 2013.<br /><br />
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />
Two of their students were featured on the poster and they were there for the unveiling along with the teacher who helped design it.

PACE poster unveiling, March 17, 2013.<br /><br />
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />

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Friday evening, I was pleased to welcome Mar Theodosius, Bishop of the Mar Thoma Church for North America and Europe, and members of his clergy to the Cathedral. Mar_Cardinal Sean O'Malley visit 05172013 004

The Bishop was also joined by Dr. George Abraham, President of the Medical Staff at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Worcester. The Mar Thoma Church is an Eastern Oriental Church that traces its origins to the evangelistic activity of Thomas the Apostle in the 1st century. Our discussions during the Bishop’s visit noted our shared adherence to Biblical teachings and our initiatives directed to promoting respect for life and upholding the values of marriage and family.

The bishop brought me this book as a gift, “In search of Christian identity in global community.”photo (6)

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Saturday, we were visited by Cardinal Prosper Grech, who is an Augustinian Friar and was in the area to receive an honorary degree from Merrimack College.Grechphoto (38)

He was one of the two preachers who preached to us during the meetings of the conclave. Both he and Father Raniero Cantalamessa led meditations for us.

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Then, that evening, we celebrated the Pentecost Vigil in the Cathedral. Following the example begun by Pope John Paul II and continued by Pope Benedict and Pope Francis, we invited members of many of the new apostolic movements and ecclesial communities in the archdiocese to join us as well as those who were newly baptized at the Easter vigil.Pentecost Vigil celebrated by Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston May 18, 2013.<br /><br />
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

For those who have never attended one, the Pentecost Vigil in a way parallels what we do at the Easter Vigil, with an extended Liturgy of the Word. Pentecost Vigil celebrated by Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston May 18, 2013.<br /><br />
Pilot photo by Gregory L. TracyPentecost Vigil celebrated by Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston May 18, 2013.<br /><br />
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

We also proclaimed the gospel in about 12 languages including Chinese and American Sign Language.Pentecost Vigil celebrated by Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston May 18, 2013.<br /><br />
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

In my homily, I mentioned that when I was a child, before the Council, the Paschal Candle was extinguished during the Mass for Ascension Thursday. When the Gospel reading got to the part about the Ascension the custom was to extinguish the Paschal Candle. Pentecost Vigil celebrated by Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston May 18, 2013.<br /><br />
Pilot photo by Gregory L. TracyPentecost Vigil celebrated by Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston May 18, 2013.<br /><br />
Pilot photo by Gregory L. TracyPentecost Vigil celebrated by Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston May 18, 2013.<br /><br />
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

Of course, the reading was proclaimed in Latin and many people could not understand it, so I suppose that was a way of making it more clear. But now, in the new liturgy, the Paschal Candle is extended through Pentecost, which shows that this is still part of the Paschal season. I said that somehow this makes more sense, you do not blow out the birthday candle nine days before the birthday!

Also like the Easter vigil, Pentecost is a traditional day to perform baptisms. In fact, in my homily I explained that in the United Kingdom, Pentecost is often called Whitsun for “White Sunday” because of the white baptismal garments.

This year, we baptized Vincent Francis Noe, the newborn son of Vincent and Meghan Noe.Pentecost Vigil celebrated by Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston May 18, 2013.<br /><br />
Pilot photo by Gregory L. TracyPentecost Vigil celebrated by Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston May 18, 2013.<br /><br />
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

As I mentioned, this year we also invited those who had been baptized at the Easter vigil to participate join us for the Pentecost Vigil this year. Normally, the catechumens who are to be baptized see the Cathedral for the first time at the Rite of the Election, which is held on the First Sunday of Lent. However, this year the weather was very bad that day and many were unable to be with us. So, we were very happy to have the opportunity to invite them to join us for the Vigil and give them a chance to visit the Mother Church of the Archdiocese.

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On Sunday, I went to Our Lady of Victories in Boston for the Mass to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Marist Fathers’ presence in America.OLV_032

In fact, they have been at Our Lady of Victories for most of that time, over 100 years. The Marists were founded in France, and because of the number of French Canadians present in New England, they have had a very long and important ministry here.OLV_008OLV_040

The provincial, Father Ted Keating, gave the homily, which was a very beautiful reflection on the mission of the Marists. He said their national presence, even though it has continued for 150 years has been very subdued, because that is part of their spirituality. Mary, though constantly present, was always in the background. For that reason, he said, they are mostly known only in the local communities where they serve. He also spoke about the gifts of religious life.OLV_photo (35)

With the pastor Father Joe McLaughlin and Father Keating

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From there, I came back to the Cathedral to celebrate confirmations for the Brazilian community in the archdiocese. It is always a wonderful event which brings adolescents and young adults from all the various Brazilian Mass communities together.

The Brazilian community is one of our larger immigrant communities. Of course, the music is very energetic and enthusiastic!

I was very pleased to be able to celebrate the confirmations with them. Many of the priests and sisters who are serving the Brazilian community were also able to be with us.

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On Monday, I attended the awarding of the Medeiros Scholarships at Boston University.

The scholarship has been awarded for a number of years. It was begun by President John Silber to honor Cardinal Medeiros.

Every year they give about a dozen full four-year scholarships to graduates from Catholic high schools in the archdiocese.13-6475-MEDEIROS-117

To date, they have given out about 400 scholarships with a total value of about $42 million. This year’s scholarships alone are worth $2 million. Obviously, the parents and students are very, very grateful. We also are grateful to the University for doing this for our Catholic school graduates.

University Provost Jean Morrison made the presentations of the scholarships and then invited me to say a few words.13-6475-MEDEIROS-050

The ceremony was also an opportunity for me to present the new Catholic chaplain at Boston University, Father David Barnes who will be taking over for Msgr. John McLaughlin who will now be working at St. John’s Seminary. We are so grateful for the fine work that Msgr. McLaughlin has done and we are sure Father Barnes will continue that.

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On Tuesday, I went to Cristo Rey Boston High School for the blessing of their new chapel. It is a very beautiful worship space that I know will serve the school well. We were joined by a number of people, including the local pastor Father Jack Ahern.CristoRey_photo (37)CristoRey_IMG_0027CristoRey_IMG_0035CristoRey_photo (32)

CristoRey_photo (34)It was also an opportunity to say farewell to Father José Medina, who is leaving the school to become the head of Communion and Liberation in United States. We are very grateful for the wonderful service that he gave to Cristo Rey.

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Later that day, we had one of our regular meetings of our recently ordained priests, those who have been ordained for five years or fewer. We come together for a Holy Hour, followed by dinner and a time of conversation.

During our time together, we spoke about the conclave and my experience of my recent pilgrimage to the Holy Land. It is always a wonderful opportunity for me to be together with them as their Bishop, and also for them to be together with each other to reflect on priestly spirituality and ministry, evangelization, the life of the Church and the life of the archdiocese.

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Wednesday, we invited those priests in the archdiocese who are celebrating their Silver Jubilee of ordination to join us for Mass and luncheon at the Pastoral Center.

Mass with Silver Jubilarian Priests May 22, 2013.<br /><br />
Pilot photo by Gregory L. TracyMass with Silver Jubilarian Priests May 22, 2013.<br /><br />
Pilot photo by Gregory L. TracyMass with Silver Jubilarian Priests May 22, 2013.<br /><br />
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

We were very happy to be able to thank God for their vocations and thank them for their fidelity, generosity and service to God’s people.Mass with Silver Jubilarian Priests May 22, 2013.<br /><br />
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy

With us were Fathers Robert W. Murray, Gerard Petringa, Charles J. Higgins, James M. DiPerri, Bryan K. Parrish, Michael B. Medas, Francisco J. Anzoategui, Francis E. Sullivan, Miroslaw Kowalczyck, FDP, Stephen J. Madden, Brian J. McHugh

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After the Mass, I had an opportunity to meet the incoming president of Matignon High School, Tim Welsh, who happened to be visiting the Pastoral Center. photo

He was previously at LaSalle Academy in Providence and starts at Matignon on July 1. We wish him well in his new position and look forward to working with him in the future.

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From the luncheon with the priests, I went immediately over to St. John’s Seminary for the commencement exercises of the Theological Institute for the New Evangelization. St. John’s Seminary Theological Institute for the New Evangelization commencement ceremony, May 22, 2013.<br /><br />
Pilot photo by Christopher S. Pineo St. John’s Seminary Theological Institute for the New Evangelization commencement ceremony, May 22, 2013.<br /><br />
Pilot photo by Christopher S. Pineo

In addition to the Master of Arts in Ministry degrees, this year they were also awarding their first degrees in the master of theological studies program.

Sister Catherine O’Connor of Covenant Health in Lexington gave the commencement address. St. John’s Seminary Theological Institute for the New Evangelization commencement ceremony, May 22, 2013.<br /><br />
Pilot photo by Christopher S. Pineo

The student speaker was Ellen McDonough. Both gave very inspiring addresses.St. John’s Seminary Theological Institute for the New Evangelization commencement ceremony, May 22, 2013.<br /><br />
Pilot photo by Christopher S. Pineo

In my remarks to the graduates, I reflected on how important it is, as we move forward with pastoral planning, to have well formed and trained laity to work in our parishes. I also expressed our gratitude for their generosity in taking the time to complete this very rigorous program that not only affords them intellectual training but also the spiritual formation and preparation for the new evangelization.St. John’s Seminary Theological Institute for the New Evangelization commencement ceremony, May 22, 2013.<br /><br />
Pilot photo by Christopher S. Pineo

One of the graduates, Mary Ellen Cassani, is the mother of Deacon John Cassani one of five men who will be ordained tomorrow at the Cathedral the Holy Cross.

We are so grateful to Father Chris O’Connor who is the president of TINE; Dr. Aldonna Lingertat, who is the director of the MAM program, and Drs. David and Angela Franks for all they do in making these important programs possible.

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Yesterday, we gathered to bid farewell to Father Bill Dunn, who was buried from his parish, St. John Chrysostom in West Roxbury. Many of his friends, parishioners and family — including several of his brothers and sisters — and about 50 priests were there.450x300_Pilot_12574

Father Bill took ill and passed away very recently. In fact, he had just been with us on our pilgrimage to the Holy Land in April. In his homily, Father Kevin Sepe spoke about the fact that Father Bill had celebrated Mass with us at the Holy Sepulchre, where the Resurrection took place.

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In my remarks, I said that, as Catholics, we have a tradition of praying to St. Joseph for happy death — St. Joseph was surrounded by Jesus and Mary as he was dying. What more beautiful way to die than having just made the retreat to the Holy Land and having been in those places surrounded by Jesus and Mary at Galilee, Nazareth and Jerusalem? How beautiful it is that he is able to continue his pilgrimage to the heavenly Jerusalem after that experience.

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Finally, as I mentioned above, I will have the joy of ordaining five men to the priesthood tomorrow morning at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.

Please join me in praying for Deacons John Cassani, Thomas Macdonald, Jacques McGuffie, Gerald Souza and Christopher Wallace as they prepare to answer God’s call.

Until next week,

Cardinal Seán

4 Responses to Celebrating Pentecost


Comments

  1. Pam
    Comment by Pam | 2013/05/25 at 03:51:44

    I wish the Church would have put as much energy towards defeating this bill on assisted suicide as they have against abortion and homosexuality. Unfortunately the Scandals have weakened the Church’s voice as a moral authority in the world. No one listened in Vermont. In our nation’s capital seniors are being turned away from cancer clinics because Medicare does not pay enough to cover the cost of treatment. What is next? At 65 we are offered our last meal and an injection as in the movie “Soyalent Green”. Scary world we are leaving our children.

  2. Comment by María Alejandra Colasantti | 2013/05/26 at 21:31:40

    I want to share something with you and your congregación :

    In a new biography of Pope Francis by Evangelina Himitian I read:
    “…For whom did the Pope vote ? Given the complete anonymity of the vote, it is difficult to say. However, several of his associates slipped a name, although not quite sure : Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley…”

    The book mentions something that I had already read on your blog, that during 2012 both of you had a meeting in Buenos Aires and that Francis gave you a CD with the Misa Criolla.

    The book refers to a phrase attributed to you:
    “I could see that he was under too much pressure at this point. He hardly ate anything”

  3. Comment by Nick | 2013/05/30 at 11:05:30

    I agree with Cardinal Sean O’Malley’s post. I believe that People need to completely experience life to the last moment, but I do feel sorry for people inflicted with such awful suffering. I only hope that people can know that God is with them during their pain and hardships.

  4. Comment by Dutch | 2013/05/31 at 19:29:50

    Congratulations to the silver jubilarians! Especially to my pastor, Fr Charles Higgins of Mary Immaculate of Lourdes, Newton. Ad multos annos, Father!


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