Author: Cardinal Seán

The Feast of Corpus Christi

Hello and welcome!

Last Friday, I went to Atlanta to participate in their annual Eucharistic Congress.2018 Eucharistic Congress (Day 2)

This is a 24-year tradition for the Archdiocese of Atlanta. It was started by Archbishop John Donoghue and Archbishop Wilton Gregory has continued and augmented this wonderful event, which has grown to about 30,000 participants.IMG_8716

It is a two-day event that includes different language tracks, exhibitors and number of different speakers, which this year included Bishop Robert Barron, our own Mother Olga, and Catholic author and speaker Stephen K. Ray.2018 Eucharistic Congress (Day 2)

It certainly is the largest Eucharistic Congress in the country and it is very encouraging that it is held annually. As soon as one Congress is completed, they begin the planning for the next year’s event.

I was there as part of the Eucharistic procession Saturday morning, after which led adoration and benediction.2018 Eucharistic Congress (Day 2)2018 Eucharistic Congress (Day 2)Hispanic dancers whirl in vibrant costumes, dancing to the Virgin of Guadalupe as the Saturday morning procession begins for the 2018 Eucharistic Congress. This group was one of several dance troupes from churches around the archdiocese. Photo by Thomas SpinkParishioners representing the Alpharetta parish of St. Thomas Aquinas process into the hall with an eye-catching rosary. Photo by Thomas SpinkCardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley, OFM. Cap., archbishop of Boston, was the homilist for during the June 2 morning service of the Eucharistic Congress. Photo by Thomas Spink

The procession was quite impressive; it took about an hour-and-a-half for everyone to make their way into the convention center because the crowd was so huge. You can see the banners and signs of the different communities in the far as you can see the banisters of different parishes, the Aztec dancers from the Mexican community, the banner of the Vietnamese community, for example.

I was very happy to see my relatives Brett Woods and his daughter Lauren, who were with us at the procession.IMG_8726

It is an extraordinary event each year, and I was very happy to be a part of it.


Sunday, I returned to Boston to take part in the Corpus Christi Mass and procession at St. Mary’s in Waltham.IMG_8731

We are all very delighted that Father Michael Nolan is back in the parish and doing so well after his recent health challenges.IMG_8727

This year, Corpus Christi, as observed United States, coincided with the feast of the Ugandan Martyrs, which is June 3. So, the parish decided to postpone their observance of the Ugandan Martyrs until this coming Sunday but also asked the Ugandan community to join us at the Corpus Christi Mass. So, the assembly was made up largely of Ugandan and Hispanic parishioners.IMG_8729IMG_873120180603_11252020180603_11373720180603_121020

IMG_8732There were wonderful Ugandan and Hispanic choirsIMG_8733

Following, the Mass we had the procession with three benedictions (the tradition for Corpus Christi processions), which went from St. Mary Church to St. Charles Borromeo Church.20180603_12415420180603_12420520180603_124255IMG_873720180603_124634IMG_8738

I led the first benediction on Waltham Common, and then Father Noland led the other two.20180603_12540320180603_13111120180603_13135920180603_132754

These processions put me in mind of the great Corpus Christi procession in Port of Spain, Trinidad, which I participated in many years ago when I was bishop in the Virgin Islands. There, they have the largest Eucharistic procession in the Caribbean, with hundreds of thousands of people. It goes on for hours with thousands and thousands of people.34506532_10158637401884619_5532661211532886016_n

They had a canopy that was on rollers with a shelf for the bishop to rest the Blessed Sacrament on, because he would have never been able to carry the monstrance for that long. They told me that when the British invaded Trinidad, the Spanish refused to surrender the island to the British until they promised that they would guarantee the continuance of the Corpus Christi procession!

It was an extraordinary sight, and I always think of it on the Feast of Corpus Christi.


That evening, I went to Quincy to attend the 9th annual gala dinner of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary of Boston.Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary of Boston’s annual Gala Dinner held at June 3, 2018. During the evening, the seminary honored Apostolic Nuncio to the United States Archbishop Christophe Pierre and Dr. Lucy Bayer-Zwirello, Chief of Maternal Fetal Medicine at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center. Pilot photo/ Gregory L. TracyRedemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary of Boston’s annual Gala Dinner held at June 3, 2018. During the evening, the seminary honored Apostolic Nuncio to the United States Archbishop Christophe Pierre and Dr. Lucy Bayer-Zwirello, Chief of Maternal Fetal Medicine at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center. Pilot photo/ Gregory L. TracyRedemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary of Boston’s annual Gala Dinner held at June 3, 2018. During the evening, the seminary honored Apostolic Nuncio to the United States Archbishop Christophe Pierre and Dr. Lucy Bayer-Zwirello, Chief of Maternal Fetal Medicine at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center. Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy

I was so pleased to see so many people come out to support the seminary.Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary of Boston’s annual Gala Dinner held at June 3, 2018. During the evening, the seminary honored Apostolic Nuncio to the United States Archbishop Christophe Pierre and Dr. Lucy Bayer-Zwirello, Chief of Maternal Fetal Medicine at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center. Pilot photo/ Gregory L. TracyRedemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary of Boston’s annual Gala Dinner held at June 3, 2018. During the evening, the seminary honored Apostolic Nuncio to the United States Archbishop Christophe Pierre and Dr. Lucy Bayer-Zwirello, Chief of Maternal Fetal Medicine at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center. Pilot photo/ Gregory L. TracyWe were also happy to be joined by Bishop Donald Pelletier. He is a LaSalette Father from Massachusetts who, for many years, was bishop in Madagascar.Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary of Boston’s annual Gala Dinner held at June 3, 2018. During the evening, the seminary honored Apostolic Nuncio to the United States Archbishop Christophe Pierre and Dr. Lucy Bayer-Zwirello, Chief of Maternal Fetal Medicine at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center. Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy

The evening featured a video highlighting the work of the seminary and another on the life of Franciscan Father Roderick Crispo, spiritual director at the seminary, who is celebrating his 90th birthday.Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary of Boston’s annual Gala Dinner held at June 3, 2018. During the evening, the seminary honored Apostolic Nuncio to the United States Archbishop Christophe Pierre and Dr. Lucy Bayer-Zwirello, Chief of Maternal Fetal Medicine at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center. Pilot photo/ Gregory L. TracyRedemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary of Boston’s annual Gala Dinner held at June 3, 2018. During the evening, the seminary honored Apostolic Nuncio to the United States Archbishop Christophe Pierre and Dr. Lucy Bayer-Zwirello, Chief of Maternal Fetal Medicine at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center. Pilot photo/ Gregory L. TracyRedemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary of Boston’s annual Gala Dinner held at June 3, 2018. During the evening, the seminary honored Apostolic Nuncio to the United States Archbishop Christophe Pierre and Dr. Lucy Bayer-Zwirello, Chief of Maternal Fetal Medicine at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center. Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy

The evening’s two honorees were the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States Archbishop Christophe Pierre and Dr. Lucy Bayer-Zwirello, the Chief of Maternal Fetal Medicine at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center.Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary of Boston’s annual Gala Dinner held at June 3, 2018. During the evening, the seminary honored Apostolic Nuncio to the United States Archbishop Christophe Pierre and Dr. Lucy Bayer-Zwirello, Chief of Maternal Fetal Medicine at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center. Pilot photo/ Gregory L. TracyRedemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary of Boston’s annual Gala Dinner held at June 3, 2018. During the evening, the seminary honored Apostolic Nuncio to the United States Archbishop Christophe Pierre and Dr. Lucy Bayer-Zwirello, Chief of Maternal Fetal Medicine at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center. Pilot photo/ Gregory L. TracyRedemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary of Boston’s annual Gala Dinner held at June 3, 2018. During the evening, the seminary honored Apostolic Nuncio to the United States Archbishop Christophe Pierre and Dr. Lucy Bayer-Zwirello, Chief of Maternal Fetal Medicine at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center. Pilot photo/ Gregory L. TracyRedemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary of Boston’s annual Gala Dinner held at June 3, 2018. During the evening, the seminary honored Apostolic Nuncio to the United States Archbishop Christophe Pierre and Dr. Lucy Bayer-Zwirello, Chief of Maternal Fetal Medicine at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center. Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy

They both gave very inspiring addresses.Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary of Boston’s annual Gala Dinner held at June 3, 2018. During the evening, the seminary honored Apostolic Nuncio to the United States Archbishop Christophe Pierre and Dr. Lucy Bayer-Zwirello, Chief of Maternal Fetal Medicine at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center. Pilot photo/ Gregory L. TracyRedemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary of Boston’s annual Gala Dinner held at June 3, 2018. During the evening, the seminary honored Apostolic Nuncio to the United States Archbishop Christophe Pierre and Dr. Lucy Bayer-Zwirello, Chief of Maternal Fetal Medicine at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center. Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy

Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary of Boston’s annual Gala Dinner held at June 3, 2018. During the evening, the seminary honored Apostolic Nuncio to the United States Archbishop Christophe Pierre and Dr. Lucy Bayer-Zwirello, Chief of Maternal Fetal Medicine at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center. Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy

Also during the evening, I had the onerous task of pulling out the winning number of a raffle of a yellow Corvette to benefit the seminary.Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary of Boston’s annual Gala Dinner held at June 3, 2018. During the evening, the seminary honored Apostolic Nuncio to the United States Archbishop Christophe Pierre and Dr. Lucy Bayer-Zwirello, Chief of Maternal Fetal Medicine at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center. Pilot photo/ Gregory L. TracyRedemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary of Boston’s annual Gala Dinner held at June 3, 2018. During the evening, the seminary honored Apostolic Nuncio to the United States Archbishop Christophe Pierre and Dr. Lucy Bayer-Zwirello, Chief of Maternal Fetal Medicine at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center. Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy

I was so glad the winner wasn’t one of my priests because people would have said it was rigged — not to mention the fact that I don’t want my priests driving around in yellow Corvettes!Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary of Boston’s annual Gala Dinner held at June 3, 2018. During the evening, the seminary honored Apostolic Nuncio to the United States Archbishop Christophe Pierre and Dr. Lucy Bayer-Zwirello, Chief of Maternal Fetal Medicine at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center. Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy

As they always do, the seminarians regaled us with songs towards the end of the evening.Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary of Boston’s annual Gala Dinner held at June 3, 2018. During the evening, the seminary honored Apostolic Nuncio to the United States Archbishop Christophe Pierre and Dr. Lucy Bayer-Zwirello, Chief of Maternal Fetal Medicine at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center. Pilot photo/ Gregory L. TracyRedemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary of Boston’s annual Gala Dinner held at June 3, 2018. During the evening, the seminary honored Apostolic Nuncio to the United States Archbishop Christophe Pierre and Dr. Lucy Bayer-Zwirello, Chief of Maternal Fetal Medicine at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center. Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy

It was a wonderful celebration and I was very happy to be there to encourage support for the seminary.Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary of Boston’s annual Gala Dinner held at June 3, 2018. During the evening, the seminary honored Apostolic Nuncio to the United States Archbishop Christophe Pierre and Dr. Lucy Bayer-Zwirello, Chief of Maternal Fetal Medicine at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center. Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy


Monday, I went to Washington D.C. to participate in the annual Cardinals Dinner to support the Catholic University of America. In the past, it has been held in different dioceses around the country but now is being held at Catholic University. The six cardinal-archbishops of the United States were all part of the celebration.34658218_575886112811747_3715467025405968384_n

During the evening, they talked about a number of recent positive developments at the university, including the fact that this has been a record fundraising year. They also spoke about the increasing enrollment, and I was particularly pleased that Hispanic enrollment at CUA has doubled.

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President Garvey has made outreach to the Hispanic community an important goal in his tenure, and clearly, those efforts are paying off.

 

For example, every year they seek out a prominent Hispanic leader to include among those receiving honorary degrees. They also plan to establish satellite campuses in the Southwest that will combine instruction with distance-learning. This is part of the university’s effort to reach Hispanic students in that area, many of whom will the first in their family to attend college. So, there was a lot of good news and joy. The university has done some restructuring in the academic departments that has created some tensions, but I am confident the university administration is going to work to heal those tensions. I am also very encouraged to see how popular President Garvey is among the student body. Whenever I talk to students from Catholic University, they are very enthusiastic about the leadership he is providing.


Finally, Wednesday I had lunch with around 15 of our senior priests and soon-to-be-senior priests at the Pastoral Center. It was an opportunity for me to thank them for their service and their ministry.ClergyFunds

Prior to the luncheon, representatives of the Clergy Funds met with them to explain the services they offer to senior priests and to make sure they are aware of the programs available to them during this time of transition.

Until next week,

Cardinal Seán

June 2018
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