Hello and welcome!
Last week, I attended the annual meeting of FADICA to receive an award and deliver the keynote address at the banquet celebrating their 40th anniversary.
FADICA, which stands for Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities, is an organization of Catholic foundations, many of them started by individual Catholic families, that support the charitable works and works evangelization of the church all over the United States. Many of our agencies and apostolates in Boston have been the beneficiaries of their generosity and support over the years.
In my remarks to them, I spoke about the ministry of the Holy Father, the Year of Mercy and the Works of Mercy that are so central to the life of the Church and, of course, the work of this organization.
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Saturday I was visited by Mother Maureen Weiss, the new local superior for the Little Sister of the Poor.
She came to greet me and speak a little bit about the Sisters’ ministry.
We are so blessed to have Little Sisters of the Poor working in our archdiocese at their Jeanne Jugan Residence in Somerville.
I was so pleased to learn that they are beginning to speak in the parishes again, as they had done in the past. I think it is a wonderful opportunity for our young Catholics to be exposed to consecrated life and the wonderful care of these Sisters who care for the aged and infirm.
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That evening, I visited the Catholic Weymouth Collaborative of St. Jerome’s and Immaculate Conception Parishes and celebrated Mass for them at St. Jerome’s. Afterwards there was a dinner for clergy in the area.
They have a thriving Catholic school in the collaborative, St. Jerome Elementary SchoolSt. Jerome Elementary School. So, I was pleased to be visiting them during Catholic Schools Week, this time when we celebrate the transformative value of Catholic education. Catholic schools provide not only a superior academic experience, but a place where young people can be formed as disciples of Christ and follow him to build a civilization of love.
As I like to say, we learn the faith the way we learn a language — by living in a community that speaks that language. Catholic schools play a vital part in that mission and we are so grateful to all the students, parents, teachers, administrators and supporters who allow that work to continue.
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Sunday, I went to St. John’s Seminary for their 3rd annual Benefactors Banquet.
We began our evening with a Mass, followed by the dinner.
During the evening they honored Craig and Nancy Gibson and Dr. Phil Crotty for their ongoing support of the seminary.
Dr. Crotty received the, Archbishop John J. Williams Medal, named after the founding bishop of the seminary, for his “tireless efforts on behalf of and contributions to the temporal life of Saint John’s Seminary.”
The Gibsons were awarded the St. John the Evangelist Medal, named for the patron saint of the seminary, for their “constant willingness to go above and beyond for the good of the Church, and for their faithful contributions to the spiritual life of Saint John’s Seminary.”
I want to congratulate and thank them again for the important support they give to St. John’s!
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On Monday, I spent the day at MCI Framingham, the women’s prison in Massachusetts, where Sister Maureen Clark, assisted by a dedicated team of volunteers, does such a phenomenal job ministering to the women.
I visited all the women in the hospital unit and then I had Mass, during which I received a young woman into the faith.
I also made sure I visited all the women in solitary confinement. We are hoping that, going forward, that the use of solitary confinement will be reduced. We know the courts and the governor are looking at that now.
After that, I visited the women in the pre-release center and had a dialogue with them.
Monday night, I had dinner at the cathedral with two of my cousins who were visiting Boston, Patrick and Ellen.
It was wonderful to be able to see them and spend some time together with them.
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Tuesday, I joined one of our periodic St. Andrews Dinners for young men considering a vocation to the priesthood, which was hosted by Father Chip Hines at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Walpole.
In all we had about 30 young men, who in many cases were accompanied by their parents or youth ministers from their parish.
The dinner takes its name from St. Andrew, who was the first Apostle to follow Jesus. When he asked Jesus where he was staying, Jesus replied “Come and see.” St. Andrews then went and brought his brother, Peter, to Christ.
During the evening, the young men heard from three seminarians who spoke about their vocation: Marcos Enrique, Denis Nakkeeran and Andrew Solkshinitz.
We prayed Vespers together followed by lovely meal and a time of conversation.
Until next week,