Hello and welcome!
Last Friday, we had a farewell gathering for two long-time employees of the Pastoral Center: Security Coordinators Frank Mendes and Dan Nisby. They were usually the first people to greet you when you arrived at the Center and we are very grateful for the wonderful service that they provided for so long. Frank is retiring and Dan is moving on to a new position, so we wish both of them many blessings and are filled with gratitude for the generous service they provided, helping to create a friendly and welcoming atmosphere at the Pastoral Center while at the same time assuring our security and taking care of so many different details.
It was also an occasion to bid farewell to Msgr. Bill Fay, who has a new assignment that will take him out of the Pastoral Center. Msgr. Fay has worked on so many different projects for the archdiocese, and his last latest assignment was overseeing Campus Ministry and the Pontifical Mission Societies for the archdiocese. He is leaving those positions to teach at Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary. We are very grateful for all his hard work and creativity and, of course, for the many contributions he has made to the life of the archdiocese, including all of his work on our pastoral plan, Disciples in Mission.Bishop Uglietto made a few remarks acknowledging each of their accomplishments and then I had an opportunity to thank them.
That afternoon, I had lunch with Father Matthew Bradley from the Foyer of Charity in Scituate. Father Matt has been ill, and he wants to plan for the future of that wonderful ministry. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to hear about his experiences and his hopes for the future.
He is in our prayers and we are very grateful for the spiritual services that have been provided to so many over the years at the Foyer of Charity.
Sunday, we had the installation of my former priest secretary, Father Jonathan Gaspar, as the new pastor of St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Brookline.
It was a wonderful celebration. Of course, there was a little excitement when the smoke detectors went off (always one of the challenges of using incense in the liturgy!) but, luckily, they were able to turn off the alarms quickly and the whole program was very, very beautiful.
The parishioners worked very hard and were very welcoming to their new pastor.
Many of Father Jonathan’s relatives, including his parents and his sister, were able to be there. There were also many people from parishes where he had served in the past, including Immaculate Conception in Marlborough, as well as many priests, deacons, religious, and seminarians.
We wish him all the best in his new assignment!
Sunday, we had our annual celebration for priests at Regina Cleri at the Boston College Club in Boston. This annual luncheon for the senior priests is sponsored by the Order of Malta and the B.C. Club.
It is always a very pleasant affair and an opportunity to enjoy the company of our senior priests in that very beautiful venue with its spectacular view of the city of Boston.
Then, I departed to Rome for the consistory for the creation of new cardinals. The consistory was originally scheduled to be held on the feast of St. Peter and St. Paul but was changed to be held on the eve of the feast, Thursday.
There were 14 new cardinals created, among them was Cardinal Sako, the patriarch of the Chaldeans from Iraq; Cardinal Ladaria, who is the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; Cardinal De Donatis, the papal vicar for the Diocese of Rome; Cardinal Becciu who is heading up the Congregation for Saints’ Causes; and Cardinal Krajewski, the Holy Father’s almoner.Cardinal Krajewski’s task is overseeing the care of the poor and needy. His being made a cardinal is to emphasize the Holy Father’s commitment to these works of mercy and charity for the poor.
Also among the new cardinals is the Bishop of Fatima in Portugal, Don Antonio Marto as well as archbishops from many parts the world — Peru, Japan, Bolivia, Mexico and Madagascar. Once again, the Holy Father is going “to the peripheries” to incorporate those Churches that, in the past, may not be very well known into the College of Cardinals.
Every year for the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, teams of volunteers create beautiful images out of flower petals all the way down the Via della Conciliazione. So, on Thursday night, I stopped by to see the progress of their work.
I’m always so impressed by these beautiful images that they create using just flowers!
Today, the Holy Father celebrated the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul at St. Peter’s Basilica where he welcomed representatives of the Patriarch of Constantinople.
Here in the archdiocese of Boston, we also have a practice of exchanging delegations with the Greek Orthodox on this feast, as well. Unfortunately, this year Metropolitan Methodius was unable to attend and I, of course was in Rome. Still, representatives from each of our Churches were present for our Mass at the Pastoral Center earlier today.
Since the significant growth of fellowship between Orthodox and Catholics starting at Vatican II, it has become a custom for the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople to send a delegation to Rome to share the feast of Rome’s Patron Saints. So, just as the Holy Father welcomed them so, also in Boston, we welcomed Father Demetri Tonias, the Dean of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral here in Boston, representing the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston.
Local traditions, such as ours in Boston, are so important to the work of restoring full unity among all Christians. Since the joint pilgrimage of Boston Catholics and Orthodox in 1996 to Rome and Constantinople, with the follow-up Pilgrimage in 2007, it has become a tradition here for the Archdiocese to invite the Eastern Orthodox to join us for the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul.The local celebration in Boston has always been important as a way of bringing to life the examples of the hierarchs and beginning to make reality of our hope for unity.
Until next week,