Cardinal Seán's Blog

Cardinal Seán shares his reflections & experiences.

Joining the Feast of the Three Saints in Lawrence

Hello and welcome!

I want to begin this week by making note of some important issues.

Firstly, I would ask everyone reading to respond to Holy Father’s call for Saturday to be a day of fasting and prayer for peace in the Middle East and throughout the world. POPE-VIGIL

We have all seen the terrible atrocities that have been perpetrated in Syria. The loss of life has been enormous (at least 100,000 people have died). And, of course, who wasn’t moved by the images of the children and other innocent civilians who were victims of a chemical weapons attack?

The Holy Father’s call for prayer and fasting is an important witness of our Church’s desire to bring about peace in this very conflicted part of the world.

Here in the Archdiocese of Boston, besides asking the parishes to pray, we will be having a vigil to parallel the Holy Father’s vigil in Rome. It will be held in the Chapel at St. John’s Seminary beginning at 1 p.m. on September 7. All are invited to join us there and, if they cannot be present physically, to unite with us in prayer as we join with the Holy Father and our brothers and sisters throughout the world in this day of prayer and fasting for peace in our world.

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Another very important effort that we, as Catholics, are facing at this moment in history is the reform of our immigration policies to make them more just and to bring relief to the many people in our country who do not have any protections of law. We have asked the parishes to reflect on the importance of immigration reform and to pray for an enlightened decision by our lawmakers in Washington.Cardinal_ImmigrationReform-1

This week, I issued a letter on this subject to all parishes and asked their help in making our stance on this issue more widely known to our people.

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Even as we continue to be concerned about religious freedom in the world — and particularly persecution of Catholics and other Christians in the Middle East— here in our own country we continue to face challenges to religious freedom as a core value in our society. Indeed, it is a guarantor of our other freedoms.

The US conference of Catholic bishops has prepared this video on the subject that I want to share with you:USCCB

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Now on to the events of my week:

As I mentioned last week, it is traditional to start off the academic year in each seminary with the Mass of the Holy Spirit. This week, I celebrated the Mass at Blessed John XXIII National Seminary in Weston.BJXXIII-2

We are very proud of Blessed John Seminary founded by Cardinal Cushing for second–career vocations. There, we provide a wonderful service for dioceses throughout the country who send us more mature candidates, older men, who are aspiring to the priesthood. I was very happy to celebrate the Mass of the Holy Spirit with them in the Chapel that was recently refurbished.Index_collage

We are very grateful to Father Bill Palardy, the staff, and the faculty who do such a remarkable job preparing men for the priesthood there.

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On Sunday I went to Lawrence to join in the celebration of Feast of the Three Saints at Holy Rosary Church of Corpus Christi Parish. The Feast is sponsored by the local St. Alfio Society.The Feast of the Three Saints celebrated Sept. 1, 2013, Sunday of Labor Day Weekend, at Holy Rosary Church of Corpus Christi Parish in Lawrence. Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley celebrated the Mass to mark the 90th anniversary of the feast.<br /><br />
Photo by Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />
The Feast of the Three Saints celebrated Sept. 1, 2013, Sunday of Labor Day Weekend, at Holy Rosary Church of Corpus Christi Parish in Lawrence. Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley celebrated the Mass to mark the 90th anniversary of the feast.<br /><br />
Photo by Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />

The Feast of the Three Saints celebrated Sept. 1, 2013, Sunday of Labor Day Weekend, at Holy Rosary Church of Corpus Christi Parish in Lawrence. Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley celebrated the Mass to mark the 90th anniversary of the feast.<br /><br />
Photo by Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />

Father Francis Mawn is the pastor there

The festival is named for three ancient martyrs during the persecutions of Christians in 3rd century Imperial Rome, Sts. Alfio, Filadelfo and Cirino.The Feast of the Three Saints celebrated Sept. 1, 2013, Sunday of Labor Day Weekend, at Holy Rosary Church of Corpus Christi Parish in Lawrence. Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley celebrated the Mass to mark the 90th anniversary of the feast.<br /><br />
Photo by Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />

The three were brothers from a noble Christian family in southern Italy. During the persecution, the three refused to renounce their faith but, because they were nobles the emperor didn’t kill them straight away but tried different methods to persuade them. Eventually, he lost patience and sent them to the governor of Sicily in the city of Lentini to be tortured. Along the way, they passed through Trecastagni, the village where many people in Lawrence have roots. Even under the governor’s torture the three refused to apostatize and they were eventually martyred. St. Alfio, the oldest and most outspoken, had his tongue torn out; St. Filadelfo was burned on a grill and St. Cirino was boiled in oil.

These three martyrs have had a very large impact on the religious life of the people of Sicily. In Trecastagni, the celebration has been observed for more than 500 years. It has been 90 years that they been observing the feast in Lawrence.

They tell me that all that time, this is the first time the Archbishop of Boston has celebrated the Mass for the Feast.The Feast of the Three Saints celebrated Sept. 1, 2013, Sunday of Labor Day Weekend, at Holy Rosary Church of Corpus Christi Parish in Lawrence. Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley celebrated the Mass to mark the 90th anniversary of the feast.<br /><br />
Photo by Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />
The Feast of the Three Saints celebrated Sept. 1, 2013, Sunday of Labor Day Weekend, at Holy Rosary Church of Corpus Christi Parish in Lawrence. Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley celebrated the Mass to mark the 90th anniversary of the feast.<br /><br />
Photo by Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />
The Feast of the Three Saints celebrated Sept. 1, 2013, Sunday of Labor Day Weekend, at Holy Rosary Church of Corpus Christi Parish in Lawrence. Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley celebrated the Mass to mark the 90th anniversary of the feast.<br /><br />
Photo by Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />
The Feast of the Three Saints celebrated Sept. 1, 2013, Sunday of Labor Day Weekend, at Holy Rosary Church of Corpus Christi Parish in Lawrence. Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley celebrated the Mass to mark the 90th anniversary of the feast.<br /><br />
Photo by Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />
The Feast of the Three Saints celebrated Sept. 1, 2013, Sunday of Labor Day Weekend, at Holy Rosary Church of Corpus Christi Parish in Lawrence. Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley celebrated the Mass to mark the 90th anniversary of the feast.<br /><br />
Photo by Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />
The Feast of the Three Saints celebrated Sept. 1, 2013, Sunday of Labor Day Weekend, at Holy Rosary Church of Corpus Christi Parish in Lawrence. Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley celebrated the Mass to mark the 90th anniversary of the feast.<br /><br />
Photo by Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />
The Feast of the Three Saints celebrated Sept. 1, 2013, Sunday of Labor Day Weekend, at Holy Rosary Church of Corpus Christi Parish in Lawrence. Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley celebrated the Mass to mark the 90th anniversary of the feast.<br /><br />
Photo by Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />
The Feast of the Three Saints celebrated Sept. 1, 2013, Sunday of Labor Day Weekend, at Holy Rosary Church of Corpus Christi Parish in Lawrence. Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley celebrated the Mass to mark the 90th anniversary of the feast.<br /><br />
Photo by Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />
The Feast of the Three Saints celebrated Sept. 1, 2013, Sunday of Labor Day Weekend, at Holy Rosary Church of Corpus Christi Parish in Lawrence. Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley celebrated the Mass to mark the 90th anniversary of the feast.<br /><br />
Photo by Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />
The Feast of the Three Saints celebrated Sept. 1, 2013, Sunday of Labor Day Weekend, at Holy Rosary Church of Corpus Christi Parish in Lawrence. Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley celebrated the Mass to mark the 90th anniversary of the feast.<br /><br />
Photo by Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />

The relic of St. Alfio

During the Mass, the Society also inducted several new members.

The Feast of the Three Saints celebrated Sept. 1, 2013, Sunday of Labor Day Weekend, at Holy Rosary Church of Corpus Christi Parish in Lawrence. Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley celebrated the Mass to mark the 90th anniversary of the feast.<br /><br />
Photo by Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />

After the Mass, I visited the headquarters of the St. Alfio Society, which is just across from the church, to bless the building and greet the members.The Feast of the Three Saints celebrated Sept. 1, 2013, Sunday of Labor Day Weekend, at Holy Rosary Church of Corpus Christi Parish in Lawrence. Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley celebrated the Mass to mark the 90th anniversary of the feast.<br /><br />
Photo by Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />
The Feast of the Three Saints celebrated Sept. 1, 2013, Sunday of Labor Day Weekend, at Holy Rosary Church of Corpus Christi Parish in Lawrence. Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley celebrated the Mass to mark the 90th anniversary of the feast.<br /><br />
Photo by Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />
The Feast of the Three Saints celebrated Sept. 1, 2013, Sunday of Labor Day Weekend, at Holy Rosary Church of Corpus Christi Parish in Lawrence. Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley celebrated the Mass to mark the 90th anniversary of the feast.<br /><br />
Photo by Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />
The Feast of the Three Saints celebrated Sept. 1, 2013, Sunday of Labor Day Weekend, at Holy Rosary Church of Corpus Christi Parish in Lawrence. Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley celebrated the Mass to mark the 90th anniversary of the feast.<br /><br />
Photo by Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />
The Feast of the Three Saints celebrated Sept. 1, 2013, Sunday of Labor Day Weekend, at Holy Rosary Church of Corpus Christi Parish in Lawrence. Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley celebrated the Mass to mark the 90th anniversary of the feast.<br /><br />
Photo by Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />
The Feast of the Three Saints celebrated Sept. 1, 2013, Sunday of Labor Day Weekend, at Holy Rosary Church of Corpus Christi Parish in Lawrence. Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley celebrated the Mass to mark the 90th anniversary of the feast.<br /><br />
Photo by Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />

It is a very colorful festival with the bilingual Italian-English Eucharist as the centerpiece, but there are also processions, marching bands and a wonderful street fair.The Feast of the Three Saints celebrated Sept. 1, 2013, Sunday of Labor Day Weekend, at Holy Rosary Church of Corpus Christi Parish in Lawrence. Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley celebrated the Mass to mark the 90th anniversary of the feast.<br /><br />
Photo by Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />

The Feast of the Three Saints celebrated Sept. 1, 2013, Sunday of Labor Day Weekend, at Holy Rosary Church of Corpus Christi Parish in Lawrence. Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley celebrated the Mass to mark the 90th anniversary of the feast.<br /><br />
Photo by Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />
The Feast of the Three Saints celebrated Sept. 1, 2013, Sunday of Labor Day Weekend, at Holy Rosary Church of Corpus Christi Parish in Lawrence. Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley celebrated the Mass to mark the 90th anniversary of the feast.<br /><br />
Photo by Gregory L. Tracy<br /><br />

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Monday, of course was Labor Day and I was happy to be able to join about 100 of the other priests of the archdiocese for our traditional Labor Day barbecue. 3

We are very grateful to Father Bob Casey in the parish family of Saint Brigid’s-Gate of Heaven that every year serve as our gracious hosts.

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Also that day I was visited by Bishop Manuel da Rocha Felício of the Diocese of Guarda, Portgual. photo (2)He was in the area for a meeting in Rhode Island and stopped by to greet me.

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In the afternoon I was visited by Pablo Gomis, one of our seminarians who is originally from Spain.

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He just came back from summer vacation and brought me a jersey of the Spanish national soccer team with my name. Spain is the current World Cup champion, I was happy to get a jersey from the winning team!

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Then, that evening Father Bob Oliver, the new Promoter of Justice at the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith came to have dinner with us, while he is home visiting.

He is doing very well in his new job and we are very grateful for his willingness to take this challenging position which is of such great importance in the life of the Church.

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Wednesday, the local members of the World Apostolate of Fatima joined us here at the Pastoral Center. fatima3It is the 25th anniversary of their presence in the archdiocese and Father Ed Riley brought them here for Mass and lunch here at the Pastoral Center.fatma4fatima1

It is always good to be together with them!

Until next week,

Cardinal Seán

2 Responses to Joining the Feast of the Three Saints in Lawrence


Comments

  1. Comment by Mina Kaddis | 2013/09/08 at 23:20:11

    Thank You so much, Your Eminence Cardinal O’Malley, for praying for us Christians in the Middle East. We feel your prayers and ask that God protect us. We are facing many hardships, and our community here is Boston has over 1000 families that have fled persecution in Egypt. Please intercede on our behalf as we have been trying to purchase St James the Great in Wellesley, MA, to keep it a church for our Christian community, rather than demolish it. We are desperate trying to find a home for all our Christian brothers and sisters fleeing persecution, many of whom have witnessed their Church be burned down. Please continue to pray for us and help us.
    Thank You Your Eminence
    in Christ,
    Mina Kaddis

  2. Comment by Sharon e Anderson | 2013/09/09 at 10:36:44

    Happy that immigration reform is a priority.
    The question that never is answered re ,
    – Why do illegal immigrants who do not go through immigration application system get free admitance when so many others have waited& paid money to become Am. Citizens.?
    -What is the core problem? – America has a cut off number as to how many are going to be accepted every year?
    It appears that doing illegal acts & ignoring laws gets rewarded- it does not sit well with people who have struggled to work legally with the system, like “cutting in line ” should be frowned upon. Wait your turn.


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