Hello and welcome,
I want to begin this week by noting the passing of Bishop Thomas Daily. Though a sad occasion, I was pleased to attend the services in Brooklyn.
In addition to being the former Bishop of Brooklyn he was also a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston and was a member of the St. James society who served in Latin America. Of course, he also served as an auxiliary bishop here and as vicar general.
In 1984, he was named the founding Bishop of the Diocese of Palm Beach. I was present at his installation there and 20 years later I would come to be bishop of that same diocese. He was very beloved by the people in Palm Beach. From there, he went on to become Bishop of Brooklyn. He was also the Supreme Chaplain of the Knights of Columbus.
He is from a family that has given three fine priests to the Archdiocese of Boston — Bishop Daily, his brother Father Vin Daily and his nephew, Father Vincent Daily.We want to extend our condolences to them and to his many relatives and friends who are mourning his passing and assure all of them of our prayers for him.
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As I mentioned in my last post, this past Saturday was the Centennial anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, and I was so happy to be able to be in Fatima for the celebrations with the Holy Father.
It was also the occasion for the canonization of two of the visionary children of Fatima — St. Francisco Marto and his sister, St. Jacinta Marto.
There was great enthusiasm among the many hundreds of thousands of pilgrims gathered there.
Among them were pilgrims from Boston, including a group from the Cape Verdean community of St. Patrick’s in Roxbury, a group from St. Anthony’s in Cambridge accompanied by their pastor Father Walter Carreiro, as well as Father Darin Colarusso.
The Holy Father arrived on Friday evening and conducted a prayer service and presided over the rosary, which was followed by the candlelight procession with hundreds of thousands of people.
The following morning, the Holy Father himself celebrated the Mass of canonization of the new saints.
The Bishop of Fatima (who has the same surname as the new saints) Dom Antonio Marto greeted Pope Francis and gave a very beautiful address to the Holy Father on behalf of the Portuguese people and the pilgrims present.
The Holy Father gave a very touching homily.
Present at the Mass was the little boy from Brazil who experienced the miracle that led to the canonization. During the offertory procession he came up with his parents and sister, and he gave the Holy Father a big hug. It was a very touching moment!
I heard an interview with his father on Portuguese television, in which he explained that his son had a terrible accident and was essentially given up for dead. The doctors said he had practically no chance for survival and, if he did survive, he would have terrible, permanent brain damage. The father said he prayed to the children of Fatima for his son because they themselves were children and, as we saw at the canonization, he has made a complete recovery.
It was very beautiful that the miracle was received by a child because that is one of the most important aspects of this canonization — it shows the importance of children and their call to holiness. It also underlies the importance for the adult members of the community to transmit the faith to new generations of disciples.
This tree is very near the site where the apparition took place.
While I was in Fatima was very happy to see a number of old friends from my Portuguese Parish in Washington D.C. including João and Maria Cortez de Libao. I presided at their marriage and baptized their 8 children.
I also had an opportunity to speak with EWTN on some of the important aspects of the canonization and Our Lady of Fatima. I’d like to share that video with you here:
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The jubilarians we honored were:
Reverend Robert M. Blaney
Reverend Paul T. Clifford
Reverend Steven S. Donohoe
Reverend Alejandro López-Cardinale
Reverend James M. Mahoney
Reverend John J. Unni
Reverend Broderick Walsh, CSP
Reverend Stephen O. Zukas
Brother William Lambert, FMS
Brother Christopher Coccia, OFM
Brother Anthony LoGalbo, OFM
Brother David Wiggin, CFX
Brother Paul Alves, SSCC
Brother Thomas Banacki, SA
Brother Sam Gunn, BH
We want to express our congratulations to all the jubilarians!
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On Wednesday evening, I went to the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum to attend Catholic Charities’ annual Spring Celebration.
We were very pleased to be joined by Gov. Charlie Baker. It was the governor’s first time attending the Spring Celebration.
Mike Sheehan served as the evening’s emcee.
Each year during the Spring Celebration Catholic Charities presents their Justice and Compassion Award, and this year they honored William F. Kennedy.
Over the last several decades, Bill has shown an exemplary spirit of service towards the community, not only through his support of Church organizations such as Catholic Charities, St. Anthony Shrine and John Paul II Catholic Academy, but also through his work in the public sphere.
Also during the evening, a 19 year old young woman named Monica Teixeira, who works at Catholic Charities Labouré Center, shared her story of how her own struggles trying to be the first in her family to finish college informs her work at Catholic Charities.
It was just such an inspiring event.
Last Saturday, Catholic University of America held their commencement ceremony for the 2017 graduates, and while I was unable to attend, I want to acknowledge one of the special honorees of the event: my good friend Mario Paredes, who received a well-deserved honorary doctorate from the university.
Mario has been involved for many decades as a dedicated layman in Hispanic ministry, serving as founder and director of the Northeast Hispanic Catholic Center and acting as a consultant to the Vatican Commission for Latin America, among other things, and has had a huge impact on the life of the Church. I was very happy that he was given the honorary degree Doctor of Liberal Arts for all his tireless work.
Mario with noted writer Peggy Noonan, who gave the keynote at the commencement
and Bishop Octavio Cisneros, auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn
Until next week,