Celebrating Trinity Catholic Academy

I want to begin this week with a couple items of note.

We were very pleased to learn today that the Supreme Judicial Court has upheld the traditional wording for the Pledge of Allegiance describing our country as “one nation under God.” There are many manifestations in our public life of the existence and the presence of God and it would be unjust to try to erase those. It is part of the tradition of our country and an expression of our religious freedom.

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Also this week we learned of plans by a Harvard University student club to sponsor a “black mass” event on their campus this coming Monday, May 12. This is very distressing news and I want to share with you the statement we released about the event:

The Catholic community in the Archdiocese of Boston expresses its deep sadness and strong opposition to the plan to stage a “black mass” on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge.

For the good of the Catholic faithful and all people, the Church provides clear teaching concerning Satanic worship. This activity separates people from God and the human community, it is contrary to charity and goodness, and it places participants dangerously close to destructive works of evil.

In a recent statement, Pope Francis warned of the danger of being naïve about or underestimating the power of Satan, whose evil is too often tragically present in our midst. We call upon all believers and people of good will to join us in prayer for those who are involved in this event, that they may come to appreciate the gravity of their actions, and in asking Harvard to disassociate itself from this activity.

In response to this misguided initiative, our parish community at St. Paul’s in Cambridge will host a Holy Hour on Monday from 8 to 9 p.m.

St. Paul’s, which is located at 29 Mt. Auburn St., hosts the Harvard Catholic Center and I am pleased that the parish and the Catholic Harvard students are reacting to this event by hosting a vigil of prayer.

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As I mentioned last week, we held our initial meeting of the Commission for the Protection of Minors from May 1-3 with the members who have been appointed up until now.

We have wonderful group of very competent professionals: Hanna Suchocka, a former Prime Minister of Poland and ambassador, who is a law professor and a very accomplished jurist; Marie Collins who is herself a victim of sexual abuse by clergy in Ireland and who has been a very eloquent spokesperson for the survivor community; Baroness Sheila Hollins, a member of the House of Lords, who is a child psychiatrist; a psychiatrist from France and expert in sexual abuse from France, Catherine Bonnet. There are also two Jesuit priests on the committee: Father Hans Zollner, head of the Institute of Psychology at the Gregorian University and the Center for the Protection of Minors and Father Humberto Miguel Yáñez, who is a moral theologian also from the Gregorian University. -SS. Francesco-Domus Sanctae Marthae-Gruppo del Card. O'Malley  02-05-2014</p>
<p> - (Copyright L'OSSERVATORE ROMANO - Servizio Fotografico - photo@ossrom.va)

One of our first tasks is to propose further membership to the Holy Father to make the group more representative of the wider Church.

Saturday morning we held a press conference in the Vatican Press Office to speak about the work of the commission, but at this point we are very much involved in trying to prioritize the issues we want to deal with and to continue on the proposals for the statutes for the group and nominations for enhanced membership.

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Sunday I returned to Boston, and on Monday I attended the annual board meeting of the Missionary Society of St. James the Apostle, commonly known as simply the St. James Society. The current president of the Society, Father David Costello, is doing a fine job and the reports the board heard were very encouraging.StJames_10

Over the last 50 years, the St. James society has sent many priests to serve in Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia. Among those priests is Bishop Robert Hennessey, who was with us at the meeting and was a member of the St. James Society serving in Bolivia for many years. In addition to Bishop Hennessey, I believe there have been three other bishops from the United States who have been members of the St. James society: Bishop Edmond Carmody, Bishop Victor Galeone and Bishop Thomas Daley.StJamesSoc2

It is my hope that, as we become more aware of the need to have well-trained personnel to work among Hispanics, more and more bishops will consider sending men for four or five years to work with the St. James society with a view to having the benefit of their services when they return, having learned the language, culture and having had pastoral experience in Latin America.

During the meeting, I mentioned the study just released this week by Boston College on parishes with Hispanic ministry in the United States. I said the study points to the challenges and opportunities we have in serving Hispanic Catholics. In the last three years 70% of the growth in the Catholic Church has been due to the Hispanic population, yet it is underserved. Obviously, we need to recruit more and more of our ministers from that community itself but, at the same time, we also need to train our non-Hispanic priests to be able to serve the Hispanic community and to equip them, not just with linguistic knowledge, but also with an experience and appreciation for the culture that these Catholics come from.

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Tuesday morning, I attended a breakfast gathering hosted by Deacon Chuck Clough and his wife Gloria at Clough Capital Partners. As a part of Chuck and Gloria’s commitment to the success of pastoral planning, they invited several leaders of the business community to gather with me and Father Soper to learn first-hand about the goals pastoral planning as a whole. I also spoke about some of the lessons we have learned from Phase 1 of the plan and, most importantly, how they can participate either on a parish or archdiocesan level to assist the process.SAMSUNG

In addition to being good friends, Chuck and Gloria have both been wonderful benefactors to the archdiocese and have provided key support to our work in pastoral planning. They played a pivotal role in pastoral planning, providing the support to get the work done from the inception of the plan to where we are today. In fact Chuck, along with Msgr. Bill Fay, led the Pastoral Planning Commission that worked so hard to present to me the plan that has become our pastoral plan, Disciples in Mission, which is being implemented throughout the archdiocese.SAMSUNG

In my talk, I spoke about some of the objectives of the pastoral plan and particularly around how it relates to the new evangelization. I was also able to share some of the recent developments in the worldwide Church as well as how Disciples in Mission fits in with the Holy Father’s view of engaging the laity to be heralds of the Gospel, going out to the peripheries.

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That afternoon I stopped by to greet the pastors who were taking part in the training for Phase 2 of our Pastoral Plan Disciples in Mission here at the Pastoral Center.Collaboratives_AX5E1413Collaboratives038

I stopped by to address them and thank them for all that they are doing to serve the Church and God’s people.Collaboratives_IMG_9362

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Tuesday evening, I attended Trinity Catholic Academy’s Shields Founders Award Legacy Gala held at the Shields Science Center at Stonehill College.

This year’s awardee was Jack Connors.


Trinity chair Mary Lou Jackson, Jack Connors and Tom Shields

The event was organized to thank those who helped build the 500-student elementary school in Brockton and each year, teachers, trustees, supporters and parents come together to celebrate how well the school is doing.

Trinity Catholic Academy is a great success story. There were three failing Catholic schools in Brockton and they were amalgamated into a single school with two campuses. Now, they have twice the enrollment of the three former schools put together.Trinity_IMG_1995

And not only is enrollment up, but the school itself is flourishing. They just recently won the CYO regional basketball tournament, they have a wonderful band, the buildings have been refurbished, and the curriculum has been completely revamped. It is a great success story.IMG_1972

The school band, the Swinging Angels, performed for us

Many of the benefactors who made that possible were there at the gala. I was especially happy to see Tom Shields and his family and one of the especially generous supporters of the Campaign for Catholic Schools and Trinity Catholic, Jerry Sheehan, who attended with his daughter, Elizabeth.Trinity_IMG_2048

During the dinner, several members of the Stonehill community stopped by our table and asked if they could take a “selfie” with me and I was happy to oblige.

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Wednesday I celebrated the annual Golden Jubilarian Mass at Regina Cleri, our home for retired priests.Class of 1964

We had nine jubilarians at the Mass

Msgr. McManus

Greeting Father Paul McManus, the oldest priest in the archdiocese

It is always a very beautiful event, and I was happy with a part of it.

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That afternoon I gathered with our recently ordained for one of our ongoing formation meetings. We gathered for a holy hour in the Chapel followed by dinner and a time of dialogue.Recent-IMG_0345_1

As part of our discussion, we spoke about our new Saints Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II. It was interesting to see how many of the young priests had an experience of seeing Pope John Paul II in person. Pope John XXIII is a more distant figure to them because, of course, he was only pope for a relatively short period of time many years ago but John Paul II, because of his travels and of the World Youth Days, was much more present to them.

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That evening I went to the Motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Joseph for an evening of prayer and a reception for Boston priests and religious brothers.

CSJ__DSC_0115CSJ__DSC_0152CSJ__DSC_0164CSJ__EvwWPrsts CAbb-MSteele-CSean-GDonahueCSJ__EvwWPrsts Marian w DanWaltersThey had done something similar to this for the Year of the Priest and this event was part of their 140th anniversary celebrations. CSJ__CSJ_EvwWPrsts RBrennan w Card Sean

With President of the Sisters of St. Joseph Sister Rosemary Brennan

During the prayer service we read the following prayer 140th anniversary of the Sisters of St. Joseph:CSJ_photo (4)

God of Great Love, you are with us, for us, in us.

May we who share in the spirit of the Sisters of Saint Joseph

see relationship with God and others at the heart of all we do.

In every relationship may we be and act in ever-widening circles

of love poured out toward every kind of neighbor without distinction.

May we live and work with the zeal of Christ Jesus, “that all may be one.”


It was a wonderful evening and we are so grateful to Sisters of St. Joseph for their wonderful hospitality and making us all feel so welcome.

Until next week,

Cardinal Seán

10 thoughts on “Celebrating Trinity Catholic Academy”

  1. @ Richard

    I disagree. Jesus would never have us enter the court on a Felony Charge. Do you remember when Peter cut off the ear of Malchus? We can all relate emotionally and how one would want to lash out. Instead, Jesus healed the servant and told Peter to put away his sword.

    Lucien, aka Greg Mesner, a Harvard Grad, contacted the Harvard Extension Cultural Studies Club. Who knows what conversations took place, but he got himself in invite. Naive Harvard students!! But we all know the devil appears as an angel of light so maybe we need to have pity on them and their ignorance, and lack of discernment.

    Greg is disturbed. Who knows what his background is or why he has chosen the path he is on. He needs prayers, maybe even an exorcism.

    Fr. Mario, the Pastor of my parish was very outspoken about these events and extended the Holy Hour for the evening. I am so proud of him and think he totally rocks for all he does for our parish.

    Peace to all of you. Keep your eye out on this dude, Greg, and pray for him. It’s easier than you think.

    Sorry Cardinal Sean for focusing on the evil when you have much joy to share. It was important to me to voice my concerns.

    God Bless

  2. I think it was Cardinal O’ Malley with his excellent remarks that stopped the Black Mass.

    Many think he was also responsible for stopping assisted suicide.

    Thank you Cardinal O’Malley

  3. May I share with you an even deeper concern which has caused
    me pain for some time?

    We who love our church and wish the best for her, do not always
    understand the way she defends herself.

    When a priest stands before an assembly of lay people, he re-
    presents God. We are the People of God led by His shepheards.

    But when our church is criticized for abuse, she compares herself with other public organisations and says that she has no jurisdiction over her employees outside of the Vatican.

    No other public organisation claims to be the People of God, nor its employees to represent God. And we see that when a priest transgresses, be it in doctrinal matters or with wild overspending, he is called to Rome and at times suspended. This is a double standard.

    Forgive me for saying that an unteneable defense is worse than
    a frank admission of guilt. I trust to the noble American tradition of self-criticism and soul-searching in writing so openly.
    Let us help each other to move forwards and reclaim the Spirit
    of Jesus, as bishop Robinson describes it so beautifully.

    Thank you for your patience – the love of our church forces me.

  4. Most eminent Cardinal O’Malley – my dear brother in Christ,

    Thank you so much for sharing! It is a lovely way of being close
    to us all.

    When you write that you are looking to suggest new members for the commission on child abuse, I venture to ask if you have happened on the wonderful book:

    “Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church – Reclaiming the Spirit of Jesus” by former Australian auxiliar bishop Geoffrey Robinson, “Liturgical Press” Collegeville, Minnesota, http://www.litpres.org 2008, ISBN 978-0-8146-1865-3.

    It goes right to the bone in a simple language – we should all read it. And bishop Robinson, a very spiritual man deeply loved in Australia, seems most eligible for the commission.

    Thank you for letting me express an opinion. United in prayer.

  5. I could not agree more with the four comments–Thank you.

    Today I feel so joyful—my day could not have started any better. To know that the satanic mass had not taken place at Harvard; meant a lot to me. My BIG THANK YOU also goes especially to all of the courageous Harvard University students lead by Matthew Menendez’14 who signed a petition opposing that wicked event http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2014/5/11/black-mass-extension-school/?page=single. Please let’s keep them all in our prayers. It must be one of the most difficult tasks to fight against the dark forces of evil—God always prevails—May He protect and bless them abundantly. Cardinal Sean may we say a special prayer for them during masses on Sunday—it will be great to acknowledge their bravery in some way so their actions don’t go unnoticed, even though there is GREAT rejoice in Heaven?

    When I attended Mass on Sunday, I was expecting some sort of communication relative to that satanic mass, however I was astonished that nothing was mentioned about it. I also thought that we would have a “Holy Hour”, an hour of prayer or at least only a request to say a prayer. I heard that Parishioners from Santa Maria Church in Cambridge were reaching out to other members, to encourage them to participate in a march that they were planning for yesterday evening—What a great role model to emulate!

    Regardless; my humbly opinion is that with these dreadful events, we need more communication not only within the Churches of the Boston Archdiocese, but also with all other Churches that worship God, and have a plan in place–only something to consider?. The people of God need to know what is going on—not everyone listens to the news. Thank you very much.

  6. Thank you for voicing out against the satanic black mass, Cardinal. Thanks to the courageous Priests, all Clergies, and the Catholics of the Archdiocese of Boston who went out and voiced out their opposition against it too. God bless you all.

  7. Your Eminence, With regard to the satanic black mass this evening, I totally agree with the previous response on this blog. This is not free speech but pure and simple ‘hate’ No different that to re-enact a KKK demonstration of cruelty!
    These students know that our Blessed Sacrament is something very special or they would not have ‘stolen’ a consecrated host, but just used bread itself.
    As a matter of fact, this ‘Priceless Treasure” that was stolen should be considered grand theft, even more than a stolen Rembrandt!
    The archdiocese should pursue a felony against the group. I know little would happen but it would be a great entre to discussing the Eucharist to the public.
    We all are offended and hope that just as Paul was struck blind and from his horse, that the Holy Spirit will enlighten the participants and that St Michael will drive the evil spirit forever to hell.

  8. Thank you for the posting pAdre, have the day with our Lord JeSuS Christ, from Juliana Sydney

  9. With all due respect, I wish you had more to say about the “black mass” being planned on the campus of Harvard University. This is an opportunity to evangelize and reiterate the Catholic teaching on the practice of satanic worship in your own words and in great detail. It’s really a matter of life or death.

    I am in disbelief that the students would even invite the leader of this satanic temple to their school for so-called educational purposes. People that are not Catholic may not even understand the insult, gravity, and danger in what they are getting themselves involved in. But you would think having knowledge of his character would be disturbing enough to send him away. He targets the youth who feel rebellious against authority…they promise to intervene at school and at home. Their all for satanic prayer in school. His group is trying to erect a satanic statue, with happy children by its side, to stand next to the Ten Commandments monument on the steps of the Oklahoma State House. As the satanic leader put it, “the statue serves to send a strong message ‘more in line with American values of inclusiveness and equality in the eyes of the law.'” That to me is so chilling! He said it was designed so people could sit on its lap to meditate.

    You can do a google search on the pink mass he did over the graves of two people. I won’t repeat what he did as it was totally disgusting and extremely disrespectful.

    Every church in the diocese should be hosting a Holy Hour,for the soul of this leader, and all that show up in attendance for this black mass for they may lose all hope.

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