“This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased…”

Buona sera!


This morning, I had the great joy of celebrating a baptism in the baptistry at Saint Peters Basilica. It was the first time that I ever had the privilege to have a baptism there. It was a very moving experienceand at the same time it was a bit like celebrating a baptism in Grand Central Station because there are thousands of tourists walking around inside the Basilica. Logistically, the sacristan and officials had to place some stanchions near the baptismal font so that we could proceed.

Im sure that over the course of the last 500 years there have been many children baptized at the huge St. Peters baptismal font.children of kings and children of peasants, from every nation under heaven.

It was certainly special. However, I believe that any baptism is a great event. It is Christ who is acting through the sacraments and the child or adult who receives baptism is being reborn into Gods life. It is very significant.

At Jesus baptism in the Jordan, the voice of the Father was heardThis is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased…. In baptism we become Gods beloved children. Its the beginning of our vocation a call to holiness, a call to discipleship, a call to be a member of a family, a faith. Its a call to be part of a communal mission, to work to make Gods presence more visible, to build a civilization of love where theres greater justice and greater concern for those in need. Its a wonderful event, not only for the family, but also for the entire community of believers.

Baptizing Declan Sean Kennedy At St. Peter’s.

The child that I baptized is Declan Sean Kennedy, son of Sean and Gina Kennedy. When Sean graduated from Georgetown University, he became a lay missionary, working one year in Samoa and then working with me in the West Indies for two years. During his tenure in the West Indies, he started a shelter for the homeless. We named it Bethlehem House because in Bethlehem, Jesus, Mary and Joseph were homeless and there was no room at the inn. Sean did a wonderful job and was a fantastic example to the young people of my Diocese. After he left his three years as a volunteer, he went back to school to study public health. He then went to work for the United Nations and was in Africa for a while.

He and his wife, Gina, came back to the Islands after they were engaged and I married them. It was quite an event because many of their relatives came to the ceremony in the Islands.

Sean and Gina are originally from Utah, which is very interesting there are not many Catholics in Utah. Sean said, Being a Catholic in Utah was like belonging to a very exclusive club. Both Sean and Gina work for agencies of the United Nations Gina dealing with world hunger and Sean is making strides with agriculturally challenged areas of the world. They have been living here in Rome for a number of years and after many years of praying to have a child, theyve been blessed finally with a little baby. I was so pleased when they e-mailed me and asked me if I would have the baptism. I knew that Id be coming over here at this time, so it worked out very well. The baby was born a couple months ago.

I suggested that we might try to do the baptism at St. Peters. I thought that would be something that Declan would know his whole life that he was baptized there at St. Peters. It would be so wonderful – the fact that we could do it so near to where St. Peter was buried.this spotfor two thousand years, Christian Pilgrims have come here, St. Patrick was sent to evangelize the Irish from here, St. Boniface was sent to evangelize the Germans from here, St. Ignatius.every great personality in the Churchs history has come here and prayed and found inspiration in this place.
So to have a baptism here is a very special thing.and not just because of the architecture or the beauty of St. Peters – it was built to be a beautiful place in that period of the counter-reformation, the beauty of the Baroque churches was intended to give people a glimpse of Gods beauty and of heaven. For us, if there was no church here at all, just the fact that Peter was buried hereand as Jesus said upon this rock I will build my Church, and indeed the Church is built on the rock of Peters faith, his commitment and his martyrdom. So, it was a very special event.

Sean and Gina were both thrilled. The baptism today was special for me, as well. These are friends and people that I am very pleased to see that God has blessed with a child. I know that they will be very good parents and instill that spirit of service and generosity that has been characteristics of their lives. They are people with a sense of vocation, giving their lives to work for the betterment of humanity.


Ornate St. Peter’s Baptismal Font.


At the Font.


You can see the rather large crowd of people inside St. Peter’s that were attracted to watch the baptism.


Entering St. Peter’s Basilica this morning for the baptism.

I wore my Cardinal Reds today because I was in the Basilica of St. Peter. It was a bit embarrassing and a bit amusing to see the ushers parting the Red Sea through the crowdlol.


Meeting with new Cardinal Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

This afternoon I went to visit and have a meeting with the new Cardinal Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. I was able to talk with him about the situation of the Church in Boston and share with him some of my hopes and aspirations for the future of our Archdiocese. We also touched on our request for new Auxiliary Bishops.

I also reminded him that one of our Auxiliaries, Bishop Emilio Simeon Allu, is a member of his community, as a Salesian. Cardinal Bertone is quite outgoing and very friendly. He just recently began serving in his new role as Vatican Secretary of State. Previously, over the years when he was Archbishop, one of his great joys was to do a little sports broadcasting for the soccer games in Italy.

As Secretary of State, he serves in a role that one could describe as the Vice President of the Church.much like our Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia in a Diocese, who administers so much of the life of the Church. Cardinal Bertone is a very important figure in the life of the entire Church. We had a productive and enjoyable visit.


Torre di San Giovanni – Tower of St. John.

It was also very interesting to see where his office is located in the Vatican – in an old tower in the Vatican wall, called Torre di San Giovanni – Tower of St. John. Its a tower that was built many centuries ago with the purpose of protecting the Vatican from invasion. We noticed how the wall has a passageway so that people could have escaped from other parts of the Vatican into that tower.


Passing by parts of the beautiful Vatican Gardens on the way to Torre di San Giovanni.


More of the Vatican Gardens.


View of St. Peter’s Basilica and the city on the way to Torre di San Giovanni.

I am very much looking forward to tomorrows Mass and ceremony at Santa Maria della Vittoria. It will be a very significant moment. The Mass is very ceremonial, but more importantly, it is symbolic of the connection of Boston and Bostons Cardinal-Archbishop, with the Diocese of Rome, which is the Diocese of St. Peter – the place where the center of Christianity resides and which is the guarantor of the unity of the Church throughout the world.

I have received a few comments from people who indicated that they are having difficulty finding previous posts one may access each days post by clicking on the corresponding date in the calendar on the right side of the screen.

Until my next post.

God Bless,
Cardinal Sen


23 thoughts on ““This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased…””

  1. Dear Cardinal Sean,
    Where are you, we miss you! Are you home, what is a typical day of a Cardinal like?? Jane

  2. Dear Cardinal Sean,
    It is with joy, peace and laughter that I read your blog today about the Baptism of Declan Sean Kennedy, especially as I will be attending a Baptism in my family next Sunday. I will remember your inspiring words. Thanks! Another Christian Praise God!. I also liked the little personal info on Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone which makes him so real to the average person. With all that is going on in the Church today, your sharing of ..my hopes and aspirations with Cardinal Bertone for the Archdiocese of Boston was very uplifting! And your Parting of the Red Sea comment left me smiling the rest of the day.
    Your the Best!
    Jack Ryan

  3. Your Eminence,

    Yes, being Catholic in Utah is a bit like belonging to an exclusive club! It was especially interesting on Ash Wednesday. I would go to work, having just received the ashes and receive many interesting comments from my Mormon co-workers. They were all very nice people, but being a Catholic in Utah means being a part of a small and not always understood minority. Thankfully, relations between Mormons and Catholics have generally been good. May it always be so.

    It was in Salt Lake City that I received the grace of baptism. I converted from Mormonism over ten years ago. I was baptised in the Cathedral of the Madeleine by Bishop William Weigand. God does indeed work in strange ways. He brought me to a city which is the centre of Mormonism, and it was there that he lead me to his Church.

    Thank you for all your postings! I hope that more bishops embrace the wonders of the internet. As lay people, we need to hear from our shepherds. And a blog is a wonderful way to do it!

  4. Dear Emminence Cardinal Sean:
    It is wonderful to follow your footsteps as you travel! The recounting of your experiences is like travelling with you. I found the site with the photos of the Consistery. What an amazing slideshow. Thank you for sharing them with us.
    It was a great surprise to see the baptism of Sean Kennedy’s baby. I remember when he was here on St. Thomas working at Bethlehem House, which still ministers to so many of the poor and needy.
    God bless all that you do.
    Claire Foster

  5. Dear Cardinal Sean,

    It is wonderful to read your blog. My daughter said that she thought the blog was wonderful. She was conscerned that the Church will make you stop the blog. I told her that I would guess that you will continue. This blog is what the Holy Spirit meant when it descended on the apostles and commanded them to speak in tongues. The Internet is the tongue of the new global internet generation. It is from this new generation of young people that will come the next generation of priests and next generation of leaders of the Catholic Church. Please continue to reach out to them and educate them through this blog.

  6. Your Eminence! (It seems a bit incongruous to say that to one who models so well the humility of Francis, his founder, but you are now, after all, also a Prince of the Church!) As one who was born, grew up and lived most of his life in the Archdiocese of Boston, I feel like I’m still part of your flock, even though I now live in the diocese just to the north, Manchester. I join so many others in thanking you most respectfully for all your efforts to heal the recent, terrible wounds suffered by the Church of Boston. You are succeeding, and we all pray for your continued progress. Thanks also for this terrific blog …. and for becoming a “techie” in this age of electronic everything! Enjoy your stay in Rome! Ad multos annos!

  7. This blog humanizes your leadership so well and pulls us into the circle. It is a brilliant stroke which I hope can be picked up by many. Most of us cannot go to Rome and move with you through the affairs of the church. But Rome and the Church belong to all of us and your reaching out gives us a little more sense of ownership. Thanks so much.

  8. Well organized website!Very informative.My cousin
    Rev.Francis Gallagher who is retired thinks it
    is great too.I live in sacred Heart parish in RosdlindaleMa.
    Keep up the good work and God bless you!
    bob kane

  9. Card. Sean,

    It has been a great joy to read your posts here. This particular post touched me deeply, especially the last picture in the post: the red hat before the Cross of Christ. It is as if you were saying to all of us: “I will shed my blood for Jesus Christ and for you”, “would you do it also?” Being a seminarian I am deeply touched by that silent but intense message. I study at Mount St. Mary’s seminary along with some of the religious of the FPO, from your diocese.

    Thank you for your witness, and for sharing these experiences with us.

    In the Holy Eucharist,

  10. Dear Cardinal Sean,

    Thank you very much for baptizing me yesterday at the Vatican. My first day as a Christian has gone very well.

    Love Declan.

    P.S. My new godmother helped me with this message.

  11. What a joy!

    I just returned from the Sunday Eucharist which was gloriously accompanied with the gift of joyful tears, only to open your blog and have a magnificent renewal of those blessed tears!

    God bless you, Cardinal Sean !!!

  12. Dear Cardinal Sean – Thank you for preaching the Gospel in such an appealing way. Many of us seminarians here in Boston are keeping up with the blog every day. Thanks for showing us our connection with Rome and the universal Church. – Paul

  13. Greetings from your former home, the Virgin Islands. It is sheer delight to follow along on your journey, via this blog.
    St. Francis must be mighty proud of his little brother.
    Oh and in advance,
    Begging your prayers,
    offering mine,

  14. What a beautiful story to start out my day on this ‘respect life Sunday’…my family and I will hopefully be heading out to do the walk in a few hours…please keep everyone in your prayers…and also that the weather holds out…lol.

  15. Dear Father Sean,

    I am very happy that you started your blog. I enjoy very much reading your notes and watching the pictures (they are of excellent quality). I hope you continue your blog. I suggest that you post your homilies on your blog – I always enjoy them so much. You are, as always, in my prayers.

    God Bless,


  16. Dear Cardinal Sean:
    My prayers are with you and the fine people of Boston during this spirit-filled and joyful celebration in Santa Maria della Victoria.

    Your knowledge, wisdom and above all your love for the local and universal Church shines through in every post. May St. Therese, whose feast day is today, patroness of missions and vocations–both so near and dear to your heart– bless you on this special day.

    Please remember us in your prayers,

  17. Welcome into our family Declan Sean Kennedy! Upon this rock where you were baptized, God will build his church…in you and through you!

  18. Dear Padre Sean we are closer to you in prayer and we are certainly closer to you in our love for our Lord and for you. Rome is certainly also closer to us with your blog! We send you our love always hoping to accompanying you tomorrow with all God’s people from heaven and on earth who dearly love you and who are praying for you in the communion of Saints. May our blessed Mother takes care of you always, especially tomorrow in Santa Maria della Victoria and may Saint Therese continues to protect you as the loving missionary for Christ that you are. Cheers for the little baptized Sean!

  19. Cardinal Sean! Thank you for this wonderful blog. You have, like your Seraphic Father, brought the Gospel to the people by example and life! I cannot think of anyone else who has gone to these great lengths to keep the sheep informed and learning! Perhaps you give “preaching to the birds” new meaning! Thank you, Cardinal Sean, for this gift. Tomorrow you will be held in prayer and thought. Pax et bonum!

  20. It’s a great thing to be baptised in St Peters and at the same time to realise that it’s the same baptism whether it’s there or in a small hut in a mission country or a parish church. We are all members of this great Body of Christ. 🙂

  21. Dear cardinal Sean, Thank you for your personal tour of Rome
    and comments on the history and architecture. I may never have the opportunity to travel to see the Vatican and your personal insights are treasures! Thank you!

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September 2006