Cardinal Seán's Blog

Cardinal Seán shares his reflections & experiences.

Hello and welcome,

This week, the American Cardinals dinner, the annual fundraiser for the Catholic University of America was held in St. Louis. The dinner this year was a great success, raising over $1 million for scholarships to CUA.

As always, the evening begins with a Mass, and this year it was celebrated by Archbishop Robert Carlson in the very beautiful Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. I would certainly say it is one of the most beautiful cathedrals in United States.StLouis_IMG_4117StLouis_IMG_4125StLouis_IMG_4130StLouis_IMG_4135CardinalsDinner_001CardinalsDinner_003

In his homily, Archbishop Carlson recalled Cardinal Francis George who, of course, had planned on being there but, sadly, passed away recently.CardinalsDinner_002

There was a large contingent of priests and people present, including several of the trustees of the University, as well as a number of students.StLouis_IMG_4137

Following the Mass is the dinner program. The ballroom was impressively decorated with a number of the emblematic symbols of St. Louis.

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From there I went to Washington D.C. to join in the celebration of the 175th anniversary of St. Matthew’s Cathedral. I had worked there for 20 years, so they invited me to give a talk on the Cathedral.1280px-Cathedral_of_St_Matthew_the_Apostle10959534_904668609574431_8153051101975294847_n

I shared many of my personal experiences of working there, and reflected on the idea of the cathedral as the New Jerusalem, a field hospital and the home of the Good Shepherd.11163746_904668402907785_5359344991334532782_n

There were about 800 people there for the celebration. It was an opportunity to see a great number of former parishioners, and many people I had baptized or married.10268480_904666286241330_7931445129454274173_n11025707_904666362907989_8217926340930344001_n

StMatthew_image003StMatthew_image005StMatthew_image006StMatthew_image008StMatthew_image009– – –

Tuesday we had a Mass to thank Father Kevin Sepe for his fine service as Episcopal Vicar and Secretary for Parish Life and Leadership. Father Kevin is leaving his post at the Pastoral Center to become a pastor in Wellesley.20150428Sepe_gm_000220150428Sepe_gm_000320150428Sepe_gm_000420150428Sepe_gm_0005

After the Mass, we had a light reception upstairs, with a very impressive cake!20150428Sepe_gm_000820150428Sepe_gm_000920150428Sepe_gm_0010

We are also grateful to Father Bryan Parrish, who will be stepping to Father Sepe’s shoes.

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Tuesday evening, we had one of our regular St. Andrew’s Dinners for young men considering a vocation to the priesthood at St. Margaret’s Parish in Burlington.IMG_6693

It’s always an opportunity for us to spotlight our seminarians, and several of them spoke and gave witness talks. Afterward, the young men had an opportunity for questions and answers.

I have always found that these dinners are a very good way of introducing the theme of vocations and vocational discernment to young men throughout the diocese.

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Wednesday morning, we had our regular meeting of the bishops of the Boston Province here at the Pastoral Center. We meet twice a year as a province.Meeting of Bishops of the Boston Province April 29, 2015.<br />
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy<br />
Meeting of Bishops of the Boston Province April 29, 2015.<br />
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy<br />
BishopsMeet_GTracy_01Meeting of Bishops of the Boston Province April 29, 2015.<br />
Pilot photo by Gregory L. Tracy<br />

We were happy that so many of the bishops were able to be with us, including a number of retired bishops, such as Bishop McNaughton, who is a retired Maryknoll bishop who lives in the area. This was also the first time that Bishop Chris Coyne, the new Bishop of Burlington Vermont, was with us.

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That afternoon, we had our gathering of the recently ordained priests. We gathered for a Holy Hour in our Bethany Chapel and, afterwards, we had a discussion on pastoral themes, including the upcoming Year of Mercy.

We concluded our gathering with a dinner together.IMG_4142

From that dinner, I went to another dinner with some of our pre-theology seminarians at the Cathedral.

When I meet with the priests, we have something of an outline of themes to discuss, but with the seminarians, it’s much more of a free-flowing discussion.IMG_6698

I found them to be very enthused and looking forward winding down the academic year and beginning their summer assignments.

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Thursday, I met with a group of students from Boston College whom I had briefly met back in September and had asked me if I would meet with them.20150430BCmeet_gm_0014

We had a very nice dialogue. They all seem very interested in their faith in the life of the Church and we spoke about the themes of vocation and evangelization. Afterward, they had a small tour of the Pastoral Center.20150430BCmeet_gm_000420150430BCmeet_gm_000620150430BCmeet_gm_000720150430BCmeet_gm_0012

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Then, in the afternoon, we had a meeting of the Board of Directors of Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary in Weston. Among the issues we discussed was the planning of the ground breaking for their new library building.

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Yesterday evening, I attended the dinner at Boston College celebrating the naming of the college’s School of Arts and Sciences after Robert Morrissey. CD4IH9kUUAAAGgx.jpg large

The dinner was held in the beautiful library building.

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Bob is a very generous and committed Catholic who has been very involved with the archdiocese, particularly with our finance committee. He and his five children are graduates of Boston College and he was a member of the Board of Trustees of Boston College for more than 30 years.

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Earlier today, we celebrated the Funeral for Father Mike McClellan, who died unexpectedly at his parish in Canton on Good Shepherd Sunday. It was certainly quite a shock to all of us.Father McLellan's obituary

His brother, who is a Franciscan preached the Mass and many of his classmates joined us as well. It was a sad loss, but we commend his soul to God’s mercy and pray for his parishioners, many of whom are still in shock. A sudden death like this leaves people completely unprepared. He was a relatively young man, so that made it all the more traumatic.

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Finally, this past week I received a wonderful surprise. Students from a number of our Catholic schools sent me cards, letters and other art for Good Shepherd Sunday. Card_08

IMG_7550IMG_7545IMG_7547I’d like to thank the following schools for their gifts:

Austin Preparatory High School

Bishop Fenwick High School

Immaculate Conception School, Newburyport

Lowell Catholic High School

Malden Catholic

Mount Alvernia Academy

Notre Dame Academy, Hingham

Sacred Heart School, Kingston

St. Agatha School, Milton

St. Anthony School, Everett

St. Catherine of Genoa School, Somerville

St. Jerome School, Weymouth

St. John Paul II Catholic Academy, Neponset

St. John the Baptist School, Peabody

St. John the Evangelist School, Beverly

St. Joseph Prep, Brighton

St. Joseph School, Haverhill

St. Mary of the Hills School, Milton

St. Michael School, North Andover

Trinity Catholic Academy


Until next week,

Cardinal Seán