Cardinal Seán's Blog

Cardinal Seán shares his reflections & experiences.

Archive for 2013/08


On retreat with my brother bishops

Hello and welcome!

Since 2008 the Catholic Pro-Life Committee, Respect Life Ministry of the Diocese of Dallas, with the support of the USCCB Pro-Life Office, has organized the bi-annual Hispanic Congress of the Americas for Respect Life and Evangelization. Congreso_logo

This year it was held from August 16 to 18 in Plano, Texas, which is part of the Diocese of Dallas. The theme of the congress was “The Year of Faith: “What Do We Have to Do to Do the Work of God?”.

I was asked to celebrate the Opening Mass. In my homily I reflected on the Gospel of Life.Congresso_20130822_171806Congreso Mass

I was there with a number other bishops including Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Bishop Kevin Farrell of Dallas, Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso and Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix, who was very involved in this effort, along with other Hispanic leaders and people from the Dallas Pro-Life Office.Congresso_20130822_171758V__3946Congresso_20130822_171758V__DC29

The Congress was attended by about 2,000 people and featured a number of keynotes and breakout sessions led by a number of bishops and laypeople in both English and Spanish. There was even a special track of sessions for young people.1005223_595412973844652_383004964_n

It was a wonderful event and I was very happy to be a part of it.

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On Sunday, I celebrated Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas in Jamaica Plain, which is one of the parishes taking part in Phase 1 of our new pastoral plan Disciples in Mission.JP_20130817_232357002JP_20130817_234038005

I was happy to be able to celebrate with the pastor, Father Carlos Flor.JP_20130818_002137019

It was an opportunity to visit the parish and see how things are going in the new collaborative. We also installed two new altar servers at the Mass.JP_20130818_104910812JP_20130818_004058029JP_20130818_005426032JP_20130818_003852028

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That afternoon, I was visited by Ken Hackett, who came for lunch. Ken was head of Catholic Relief Services for many years and has now been named the U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See.

I have known Ken for a number of years. In fact, I was on the board of CRS when he was hired as director.

We are very pleased that someone who knows the Church so intimately and has been involved in the relief efforts of the Catholic Conference will be our Ambassador to the Vatican.

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Every year Sacred Heart Hospital in the Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin, which is part of the system run by the Hospital Sister of St. Francis, holds a medical ethics conference and I was asked to give the keynote address on Monday.Clipboard01

During the conference they presented the Father Lawrence G. Dunkley Excellence in Ethics Award to Dr. Peter Cataldo who is our chief Health Care Ethicist for the Archdiocese of Boston.LaCrosse_20130820_112622DSC_9647

Doctor Cataldo is a very well respected medical ethicist who for a number of years worked for the National Catholic Bioethics Center and then in New Hampshire before coming to work with us in Boston.LaCrosse_20130820_113427_DSC8765

We are very pleased that Dr. Cataldo was selected for this honor, which is just one more indication of the fine work he is doing.

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Then, on Tuesday, I joined the bishops of New England at our annual retreat at St. Edmund’s Retreat Center on Enders Island in Connecticut and have spent much of the rest of my week here.Enders_20130821_1358076

Enders Island is a tiny island off the coast of Mystic, Connecticut. It provides a very peaceful and prayerful setting for retreat.

This year, Bishop Arthur Kennedy has served as our retreat master and he has given wonderful talks and reflections. In his conferences, Bishop Kennedy has spoken about the interior life and the journey of faith while frequently drawing from contemporary theologians and philosophers. I know all the bishops are very grateful for Bishop Kennedy’s fine reflections.Enders_20130821_1127154

Enders Island is run by the Edmundite Fathers under the direction of Father Thomas Hoar, who does an outstanding job. We have been having the bishops retreat here for a number of years and the staff and all those involved with center are always very gracious. Also, in addition to their retreat work, they also host an Institute of Sacred Art and a number of other ministries.3

I always look forward to this opportunity to be with the bishops of the two Metropolitan areas of Hartford and Boston.

Until next week,

Cardinal Seán