Hello and welcome!
Following the March for Life last week, I stayed in Washington for a couple of days to attend the Cardinal O’Connor Conference on Life at Georgetown University on Saturday.
Conference on Life is an all-day event sponsored by three groups on campus: the pro-life group, the Catholic Daughters of the Americas and their Knights of Columbus chapter. I was asked to give the keynote address in Gaston Hall.
There were several hundred people in attendance, including many students.
Georgetown University is the oldest Catholic University in the country.
This is a picture of one of their historic chapels:
This is a picture of a mural that is in the hallway of Gaston Hall, which shows John Carroll the first Bishop of United States in his episcopal robes.
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While in Washington, I went with the Friars to visit the Missionaries of Charity at their house called the Gift of Peace, where they take care of AIDS patients, homeless and mentally ill persons. A number of our Capuchin brothers work there as volunteers.
They have about 50 residents there, as well as a house of formation for the sisters.
There are over 30 sisters at the house. A couple of the sisters had worked in Boston and New Bedford so I knew them from their time in Massachusetts.
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I also had the opportunity to have lunch with Pedro and Alicia Esteban and their daughter. I had married them and baptized their children. They were very active in the pre-Cana program that I used to run at the Centro Catolico and they are still very involved in the church.
It was great to have a chance to see them again.
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By Sunday I was back in Boston and so I went to Northeastern University for a Mass and reception with the students.
Brother Sam and the Brotherhood of Hope are doing an excellent job there and we are so grateful for all they do.
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The keynote speaker for the day was Anthony Esolen.
In my remarks, I spoke a little bit about the events at the March for Life and how over 1,000 people from Massachusetts went down to be with us at the March. I thanked them for all their support for the cause of life.
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Sunday evening I celebrated the Mass for benefactors at St. John’s Seminary.
During the evening they honored Secretary of State Bill Galvin to the Archbishop John J. Williams Award.
We also presented Jim and Pattie Brett with the Saint John the Evangelist Award.
As some of you may know, the rector of St. John’s Seminary, Msgr. James Moroney, has his own blog and he has a very nice post on the event.
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That night I attended the wake of Catherine Abruzzese, the mother of Msgr. John Abruzzese. Monsignor Abruzzese has been stationed in Rome, but was able to come back to be with his mother in her last days and to celebrate her funeral.
We tender our condolences to Msgr. Abruzzese and his family, and assure them of our prayers.
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On Monday evening, I was visited by the responsible team of the Neocatechumenal Way in the United States: Giuseppe and Claudia Gennarini and Father Angelo Pochetti and Adelchi and Franca Chinaglia from Venice.
They were in town for meetings, and so I asked them to join me for dinner at the Cathedral.
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On Tuesday, it didn’t really matter what I had on my schedule because, like everybody else, it turned into a free day of getting work done at my desk. We were blessed that we did not lose power or heat, as some people did due to the storm. But unlike many local schoolchildren, I only got one “snow day” out of the Blizzard of 2015. So by Wednesday my schedule had resumed as normal.
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On Wednesday, I visited the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Brookline for the yearly Board Meeting. It was a very good meeting in which Father Tony Medeiros, the rector, updated us on the main events in the life of the seminary and also informed us of their current needs.
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From there I went to St. Patrick’s in Stoneham for their ecumenical service to celebrate the third anniversary of the establishment in the U.S. of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, which was established by Pope Benedict for those who wished to enter full communion with Rome but maintain their Anglican traditions.
There were a number of different ministers from local churches present for the celebration.
Father Jürgen Liias organized it with his parishioners from St. Gregory the Great Church, which is the ordinariate community in the diocese.
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Thursday, we traveled to Vermont for the installation of Bishop Christopher Coyne as the new Bishop of Burlington. We are very happy to have Bishop Coyne back in New England.
In addition to their being many, many priests from the diocese of Burlington, there were also quite a number from Boston and Indianapolis. We were also joined by Bishop Salvatore Matano the previous Bishop of Burlington, who is now in Rochester, New York, and the Archbishop of Montréal and his auxiliary. (I had not realized how close Burlington is to Montréal – only an hour and a half away.)
The installation Mass was celebrated in the co-Cathedral, which is a beautiful church dedicated to St. Joseph.
They Apostolic Nuncio was not able to be with us and so he was represented by the first counselor of the Nunciature, Msgr. Angelo Accattino.
Bishop Coyne gave a beautiful homily and seemed very happy.
In my remarks I was able to thank Bishop Matano for all is fine work during his tenure in Vermont and express our support and best wishes for Bishop Coyne as he begins is new ministry there.
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Finally, as many prepare to watch the Super Bowl this weekend, we send our best wishes to the New England Patriots.
It is good to know that Governor Baker, Mayor Walsh and Boston Police Commissioner Evans encourage all fans to have an enjoyable and safe time during the game and afterwards, with recognition of the importance of public safety.
Also, we wish to express our gratitude to the Sloane family and Century Bank, who generously donated four first rate tickets to the Super Bowl, to be auctioned for the benefit of Catholic Charities. The bidding was competitive and produced a substantial donation, which will greatly assist with Charities’ mission of responding to individuals and families in need. Before the coin toss takes place at the 50 yard line Sunday evening, the Sloanes’ game plan has led to a big win for Catholic Charities!
Until next week,