Hello and welcome!
Last Saturday I had the joy of ordaining 12 Jesuit deacons at St. Ignatius Church in Chestnut Hill.
The new deacons come from various Jesuits provinces, including three that are from Nigeria.
The evening before, I joined the scholastics for dinner and Vespers at the Peter Faber House, the Jesuit community at Boston College. We are very blessed to have so many young Jesuits here who come to Boston to study at Boston College for many of their provinces throughout the world. During their time here, all of them were assigned work in various parishes of the archdiocese. Many of them are from countries that have a large immigrant population in Boston, so it’s particularly helpful for us to have them present, helping out in our parishes.
At the dinner, we took this photo together in their chapel at the Peter Faber House.
To our left, you see the statue of Our Lady of Montserrat, which I gave the Jesuit community as a gift several years ago. Our Lady of Montserrat is the patroness of the Jesuits because, at the time of his conversion, St. Ignatius went to Montserrat to lay down his sword and weapons as he began his new vocation to serve the Lord.
On Monday, I went to St. Brigid’s in South Boston to attend the annual Labor Day barbecue that Father Robert Casey hosts for priests. This year we had about 100 priests join us.
Even though the weather on Sunday was so terrible, we had excellent weather for the barbecue. (I think we all wonder how Father Casey arranges such great weather every year!)
This is always a great event that the priests of the archdiocese look forward to, and we are so grateful to Father Casey for hosting us every year.
Tuesday, which was the first day of school at many of our schools in the archdiocese, I went to visit Ursuline Academy in Dedham.
There, I celebrated the Mass of the Holy Spirit to begin the academic year, and afterward, I blessed their new Athletic and Convocation Center, which is just a stunning facility.
We were very pleased to be joined at the Mass by three of the Ursuline Sisters who worked at the school for many years. I told the sisters and the students that my mother attended Ursuline College in Cleveland, which was one of the first women’s colleges in the United States.
For 500 years the Ursuline Sisters have been providing excellent Catholic education to young women, and Ursuline Academy is just one more example of that legacy. We are indeed blessed to have this Academy in our archdiocese.
Wednesday morning, I attended the funeral Mass for Msgr. James Tierney at Sacred Hearts Church in Bradford. Many will remember Msgr. Tierney from his service in recent years as head of our Regina Cleri residence for retired priests.
He was ordained in 1950, and among his many assignments, he served for many years in the Metropolitan Tribunal and also as pastor of Sacred Hearts.
The church was full of parishioners who still remember and revere him.We were also joined by a large number of priests and auxiliary bishops for the Mass.
After the Mass, I took the opportunity to visit each of the classrooms at Sacred Hearts School and greet the students.
It was a lovely visit and I was happy to see the school was thriving. We are so grateful to Sacred Hearts’ pastor, Father John Delaney, that the principal, Kathleen Blain, for all they do to make the school the success it is.
Then, in the afternoon, I returned to the Cathedral where I met with Father Godfrey Mathews Mwanza, a young priest from the Diocese of Chipata, Zambia who has been serving in the archdiocese on a Missionary Co-Operative through a special partnership with his diocese and our office for the Propagation of the Faith.
The Missionary Co-Operative program, which is a program of the USCCB, is run by the Propagation of the Faith on my behalf. It is the Bishop’s Conference’s way of guaranteeing that the “mission message” is proclaimed at least once a year in every parish. Religious orders, missions dioceses, and mission groups apply to be assigned to parishes within the archdiocese every year.
We work to rotate groups and expose parishioners to a mix of priests, sisters, brothers, and lay missionaries from all over the world. The purpose is so that the faithful of Boston can more fully come to appreciate and support their own baptismal commitment to the world mission of the Church and to live as committed missionary disciples.
During his time here, Father Godfrey has been doing mission appeals in the Quincy Collaborative and also at St. Christopher’s in Dorchester. He is now returning home, so he came to thank me and send me greetings from his bishop, Bishop George Lungu, who in fact came to visit me at the Pastoral Center a few years ago.
Unfortunately, because of Msgr. Tierney’s funeral, I was unable to be present at the Pastoral Center Mass where Father John Chen and Father Eduardo Marques were incardinated as priests of Boston. I am grateful to our Vicar General, Bishop Peter Uglietto, who agreed to celebrate the Mass in my place.
Both Father Chen, who is originally from China, and Father Marques, who is originally from Brazil, have served in the archdiocese for many years. So, it is a great joy for us that these two priests who have already made great contributions to the local Church have chosen to become priests of Boston.
Until next week,