Celebrations & Events For Young Catholics: A Common Theme This Week

I hope you had a wonderful week.

Its been a busy and productive week here, with much to reflect upon and share with you.

On Tuesday night, I participated in the Theology on Tap…TOT. You may have heard about this program, geared for young adults. For the last several years around the country, TOT has brought groups of young people together to meet at restaurants and taverns, where a more informal dialogue about faith can occur. It has been very successful and very well received throughout the country.


I was happy to say yes when I was invited by our Archdioceses Office of Family Life and Office of Young Adult Ministry to go to Lowell this past Tuesday to partake in the Theology On Tap. I was pleased that we were able to extend the program to the Lowell area of our Archdiocese. I was also so pleased to see so many young people avail themselves to come together on Tuesday night. It was an unusual venue, being at a restaurant-bar, but people seemed to enjoy themselves.

TOT was scheduled for 7:00. That night, there was a rainstorm and the traffic was very heavy. But despite that, a good size crowd braved the weather to join us. I am grateful for their participation. There were even three students from Boston College, who traveled up to Lowell to be with us. I was so gratified that they would come from so far with most of the people participating on Tuesday being from the Lowell area.

Obviously there is great interest on the part of young adults to learn more about their faith. So I was very happy to part of it.

It was certainly an unusual setting for a meeting, but with TOT the restaurant/tavern setting fosters an informal discussion on faith.
I was pleased by the turnout of young adults at the Brewery Exchange In Lowell for TOT.
Crowd shot for TOT in Lowell.
I was impressed that Boston College students Robert VanAlstyne, Lindsay Wilcox and Jen Kendall braved the traffic and weather to join us.

I would invite and encourage our young adults to participate in the program and gather together at an upcoming Theology on Tap meeting. The next one takes place on Tuesday October 24 at 7:00 in Boston at the Harp at the Garden. Fr. Matt Williams will be the guest speaker.

There was much to rejoice about this week in our own Allston-Brighton neighborhood, both with the good news of an agreement with the Presentation School Foundation and with a special Mass of Celebration for the St. Columbkille School coming up this Sunday.

The Mass will take place at 11:15 a.m. on Sunday at St. Columbkille to celebrate the partnership between Boston College, St. Columbkille and the Archdiocese. Fr. Bill Leahy, President of Boston College, Msgr. William Fay, the Pastor of St. Columbkille and Fr. Joseph OKeefe, Dean of the Lynch School, will concelebrate the Mass with me.

We are very lucky to have a number of Catholic Colleges and University in the Archdiocese. They have all generously expressed a desire to be supportive of Catholic education. In many ways they are reaching out to our Catholic Schools and being of assistance on many different levels.

The recent partnership between Boston College, St. Columbkille and the Archdiocese is just one wonderful example. This union was forged to make this school a great success, to guarantee that they have the resources they need and to make sure that Catholic education will be a very strong reality in Brighton as we go forward.

Boston College has committed significant resources for St. Columbkille School. Additionally, they have made commitments for teacher development, support services and state-of-the-art approaches to teaching and learning. All of that has sparked a great deal of interest in the school. We see that the enrollment has jumped from 190 students last year to over 280 students this year, with a jump also in Kindergarten and Pre-Kindergarten.

We are very grateful to Fr. Bill Leahy for his great role, efforts and generosity for the St. Columbkille School and the Archdiocese. I also wish to thank Msgr. Fay, the new Pastor of St. Columbkille, who has worked tirelessly to make this a success.

We also hope that as we work on the 2010 Initiative for Catholic Schools, people of the Archdiocese will see that the Catholic Church is very serious about our educational system. We must have the highest quality education to strengthen the Catholic identity of our schools and to try to make it as available as we possibly can to as many Catholic and non-Catholic children as possible throughout the Archdiocese.

Last Sunday, I had the pleasure of participating in the 125th Anniversary Celebration of St. Bridget Parish in Maynard. It was a beautiful experience. I was quite impressed by the fact that the Choir did a lot of polyphonic music, which one doesnt hear too often. They performed many beautiful Latin Mass arrangements. I think that for a festive occasion like that one, the parish enjoyed very much hearing those special arrangements. Obviously it meant hours and hours of practice on the part of the choir prior to the Mass. It was apparently a labor of love for them.

You may not be familiar with polyphonic music. It is harmonized music. The old four part Masses featured much polyphonic music and it was very prevalent in the 15th and 16th centuries. Its quite beautiful. Its close harmonysort of like a barbershop quartet, but in LatinLOL!

This past week, I was so pleased to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation for three different groups of young Catholics, with nearly 200 teenagers receiving the Holy Spirit, at Immaculate Conception in Weymouth, Most Precious Blood in Hyde Park and at St. John The Evangelist in Chelmsford.

All of the Confirmations went very well. I always enjoy doing Confirmations – an opportunity to be with young people and their families at a very important moment in their life as they receive this Sacrament and recommit themselves to a life of discipleship and the Catholic Church.

I also had a Confirmation at a prison this past week. In an upcoming post, Id like to share with you my thoughts about prison ministry and the role of clergy in prison ministry.

I’d like to take an opportunity now to respond to some blog visitors comments. Again, I am grateful for your time in visiting and returning to my blog. I am also thankful for your thoughts, questions, support and prayers that you continue to share with me through my blog.

Several visitors have asked about the Tridentine Mass, as many have heard various reports and discussions regarding this Mass recently. There may be a bit of confusion regarding this topic. Jamie commented and asked:

Cardinal Sean-
You encouraged questions in an earlier post and I am wondering if maybe you could explain to me the recent buzz about the Tridentine Mass and its potential restoration. What will this mean, specifically for the Archdiocese of Boston? Will our Priests have to say a Latin Mass or will this be optional? Thank you for your time and work that you put into this blog. I must say I agree with Peter Skipper when it is said that you are the coolest Cardinal in the whole Church! And I also wish to thank you for starting the conversation and idea in Bishop Bagnards head to bring the heart relic of Saint Vianney on tour. I very much enjoyed Saturdays Mass and Veneration. Youre the best Cardinal Sean!

Comment by Jamie

First Jamie, thank you for your comment and kind words. There has been much discussion recently and perhaps a degree of confusion about the Tridentine Mass and Latin Mass. Latin is still the official language of our Ritethe Latin Rite. Catholics, we, since the Second Vatican Council of 1962-1965, say the Mass in the vernacular – local language – as well. Any Catholic Priest in the Latin Rite can celebrate the Mass in Latin.

The question at hand is about the old Rite, the Tridentine Mass. In order to celebrate the old Rite, you need permission of the Bishop. We are authorized to give that permission iffor a number of reasonsthere are enough people who are requesting and there is a pastoral need and if we have assurances that those same people are not rejecting the validity of the new Mass, then we are allowed to grant permission.

In the United States, I suspect that many Dioceses have Tridentine Masses. Most Dioceses have a Tridentine Mass somewhere in the Diocese. Usually its a rather small, but a very committed community that goes to that Mass. There are churches that have Latin Mass with the new Rites. The numbers of such Masses are very limited because there isnt a great demand for them. There has been one here in the Archdiocese of Boston for many years. It will continue. That is not in question. I initiated one when I was in Fall River at the request of people who wanted to have one, and after guidelines were satisfied.

The numbers in the United States have always been relatively small. In Europe by comparison, this is a much more pressing issue, where there a very large numbers of Catholics who are very attached to the Tridentine Mass. But, its my belief.and I agree with the Holy Fatherwhere there is a pastoral need, that we will allow it. As I mentioned, we already have a Tridentine Mass here in the Archdiocese and if for some reason there were many more people that wanted to have another Tridentine Mass, well, then we would add another Mass. I dont foresee at this moment the need to add another one, but we stand ready to respond to whatever pastoral needs there are.

Its not a question of anyone being obliged to celebrate the old Mass. As far as the language is concerned, the new Mass can be celebrated in Latin without permission. As a matter of fact, when I was first ordained, if we celebrated Mass alone, we were supposed to celebrate it in Latin. I still follow that custom. The idea being that the vernacular was allowed for pastoral reasons for the people.

In all of our Missals, the Sacramentary the book priests use for Mass, in the back of the Missal, there is a section that contains all of the prayers and readings in Latin. It is there for what one may call private Masses, although strictly speaking, no Mass is really private because even when saying Mass alone, the whole Church is spiritually involved.

John sent a note about his newborn son:

Dear Cardinal Sean
Could you please keep our new born son in your prayers, and all who read this. His name is Joseph Francesco Dyson. He is now 1 month old and it has been a difficult month for him. Thank you. I will be consecrating him to Jesus at Saint Catherines of Sienna. Thanks again.

Comment by John

John, thank you for writing. Im very sorry to learn that your newborn son is going through a challenging time. Im sure that this must be a tremendous stress and pain for you and your family. Through the intercession of St. Joseph, who is now your sons heavenly patron, may this noble Saint, who cared for the child Jesus, watch over your beloved son. Please know that your entire family, as well as all who read this, will be remembered each day when I celebrate the Mass.

I wish I were able to respond personally to each and every individual comment on my blog. Please know, that I appreciate all of your comments, prayers and well wishes. You are all in my prayers.

Beautiful shot of a hawk perched on a cross here on the Chancery grounds in Brighton.

Well, I look forward to posting again next week and again, thank you very much for visiting my blog.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Until my post next Friday

God Bless,

Cardinal Sen

34 thoughts on “Celebrations & Events For Young Catholics: A Common Theme This Week”

  1. Dear Cardinal Sean,

    Thank you for writing such a lovely and insightful blog. I am a middle school teacher in a Catholic School in the archdiocese. I look forward to Fridays and your posting. I learn so much and feel that you have opened a window on church activities.

    God Bless,


  2. dear cardinal sean: new to your Blog, but enjoying it immensely.God Bless You and stay well and happy.l

  3. Cardinal Sean
    I enjoy the blog and gave the address to your friend and my Bishop, Alvarro Corrada, but I don’t think he sat still long enough to look at it yet. I’d like to invite you to visit us in the Diocese of Tyler and see our simply beautiful Cathedral. Keep that in mind around the middle of January when the wind chill in Boston is about 8 and we’re in the 50’s!

  4. Dear Cardinal Sean,

    I’m a 66 year old, well educated person who was born, educated, and lived in Massachusetts until relocating to Louisiana in 1995. The events of world history during my lifetime, my family’s history, and my life experiences have brought me to the point of despair over the unspeakable war the US is waging in Iraq. The reasons for of our invasion and our rationale for behavior and continued presence in the country constitute the greatest examples of intellectual and moral fraud in my living memory. Iraq is one specific. The greater issue is the unspaeakble polices and actions of the Uited States in the entire middle-east.

    We are facing a national election in a few days which could have been an opportunity for an honest referendum on the truth of the Iraq issue. But, truthful, bed-rock facts are in painfully short supply any more and shameless mendacity has been twisted become an admired and acceptable virtue.

    The thing I want to know is, where is the voice of the US Roman Catholic Church? Where is even the attempt at moral and intellectual leadership in the face of this disaster? The secular issue is what has happened to our country and are the current circumstances the ultimate example of what you have called our philosophy of death? I’m not sure of that one, but I know you have phrased something that way.

    You seem like a good guy. You had a rough start in Bosstown but seem to be recovering. My wife and I started our married life together in Pittsburgh 45 years ago. We lived with our Jewish couisns in Squirrel Hill. The older I get, the more Jewish I feel.

    Please keep me and all the rest of us in you prayers.

    Best personal regards,

    John McCloskey

  5. I wanted to thank you for allowing me to share with honor and joy in the liturgy, celebration, and investiture recently held at the Catherdral. As I mom, it was a moment that touched my heart.
    Again, thank you.
    With warm blessings, Cindy

  6. Dear Cardinal Sean , Every Friday , I look forward to reading your blog . It is a great means to spread the good news of the gospel and your own life and personality as the leading shepherd of God ‘s flock in Boston . I pray for you and for the unity and peace of our beloved Church and suffering world .
    In Jesus and Mary , Frances ,Victoria , BC Canada

  7. This entry makes me wish I lived a bit closer (I’m in Mississippi) so I could have stopped by that particular Theology on Tap. Looks like it was a very successful event!

  8. As a 32 year-old founder of a local men’s Gregorian chant group, I can tell you it’s not that hard to organize a Latin Mass (Mass of Paul VI). Many priests will happily do this if enough people ask for it (and there is music provided). Ignatius Press has a worship aid that has all the peopel’s parts in Latin with a translation.

    I think that a Tridentine Mass is beautiful, but it would require a rubrical training for the priests, and it may be slightly disorienting for younger Catholics (though I would still encourage them to try it out). Perhaps the Bishops might consider a Pauline Latin Mass to mee the needs of more solemnity while preserving the image of Vatican II in the eyes of the average believer. At Novus Ordo Masses we’ve donr, many Traditionalists can hardly tell a difference.

  9. Dear Cardinal,
    I’m an Italian “young guy” (27) who has been really impressed from your blog. Great idea for a Cardinal to be such close to young people!
    I’m just asking you to remember me and my girlfriend in your prayers. We’ve been together for eight years and we were planning to get married…a couple of month ago she lost her mind after an older colleague, divorced with a 6 yr old daughter…I can’t give up, and accept this situation, but all I can do Is “just” pray (well I try to pray as much as I can, but God sometimes seems not to care very much, I know he does, but if he lets me know, I’ll have better…) and ask god to help us…

    Thanks. I hope that many other Cardinals, or priest will start blogging and going over the internet, as well as a “global mission”


  10. Your Eminence, unfortunately, after reading your description of polyphony, I can’t listen to Palestrina without thinking of four guys in bow ties and straw hats, singing “Lida Rose, I’m home again, Rose.” 🙁

  11. Most Reverend Eminence
    Cardinal Sean,

    This is a note of thanksgving for your blog site. It is wonderful to get news first hand from you about some of your weekly activity and your thoughts on different Catholic events or issues.

    I too agree you are the “coolest” Cardinal yet, but equally important I find you so holy and so singular of purpose in having our community strengthen its faith, love of God and neighbor.

    Being instrumental in having St John Vianney’s relic here was beautiful -I attended the Mass, Rosary and final bendiction at the Cathedral and it was a wonderful day of prayer including the opportunity for confession.

    Christ in the City is another terrific program and was happy to hear you as well as Andreas this month. i look forward to Sister Olga’s talk next month.

    The young adult activities such as TOT are great ways of exploring fellowship and faith – I’m a bit older so maybe there will be something for the over 40 crowd on your agenda too.

    Thank you for your commitment to our Archdiocese – it is so needed and appreciated especially in light of the church closings and past clerical abuses.

    Elaine Kwiecien

  12. Dear Cardinal Sean: I applaud your maintaining a blog. Blogs are becoming an increasingly important communications tool, not only for journalistic-type purposes, but in business, as well. I have often wanted to discuss things on a Catholic blog, but there don’t seem to be very many. When we share our good thoughts in cyberspace, where so many moderns can be reached, who knows what good seeds may be planted in others’ hearts and minds. I had an interesting experience a while back. While in the center of town, I was approached by an Evangelical Christian, a Baptist, as I had been a good many times before, but this time, he asked me their famous, or infamous, question: “Are you saved?” I asked him about their position on some things and tried to explain the Catholic position. I had heard priests on EWTN, the Catholic television network, discussing what might be a proper response to the inevitable question, so I wasn’t totally unprepared, and didn’t do too badly. But it took me by surprise, so I was SOMEWHAT unprepared, and didn’t do great, either. I asked him what he thought were some of the differences between them and Catholics that they had a problem with. He said they feel Catholics place too much emphasis on good works as the way to salvation, tending to believe we can earn our salvation, and not enough emphasis on faith as the way to salvation. They believe if you “accept Jesus Christ in your heart as your Savior,” you are “saved.” I explained that the Catholic Church also teaches that we cannot earn salvation by our own merit. We needed Jesus Christ to make up the shortfall and obtain for us a share in God’s Divine Life. But we have a free will to accept or reject it. Christ opened the gates, but the rest is up to us. I tried to think of the quote from Scripture a priest on EWTN used in explaining this, and couldn’t remember it until later. I think it’s St. Paul: “I must work out my salvation with trepidation.” We are given a share in God’s Divine Life in Baptism, but we’re not saved until we’re in Heaven. He talked about Scripture. “But who’s going to interpret Scripture,” I asked. He said each one of us must interpret it for ourselves. I said no, we must rely on the Magisterium of the Church. The Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, as promised by Christ, must interpret it. Otherwise potentially everyone will have his own unique interpretation of it, and they can’t all be right. He said, on an apologetic note, that he wasn’t proselytizing, trying to convert me. I said I was glad to talk about these things, otherwise I wouldn’t have engaged him in conversation about them. He was a gentleman, and had his young son there with him. We Catholics should give some thought beforehand to how we will respond to our Evangelical brothers and sisters.

  13. “What do you think young people really hunger for in our parishes?”

    Dear Cardinal Sean,
    Thank you for this blog. Your response to Lisa’s question is eagerly awaited. No doubt, you see the best and worst as Cardinal Archbishop.

    In the trenches, though the picture is bleak. By their teenage years, most are lost to the Church, as the hungers that young people identify are fed elsewehere. Their natural appetite for God is suffocated by both the secular world and by the fluff that is dished out in parish programs. Christ has gotten lost in the guidelines and platitudes, and most young people, with no knowledge of Him and no awareness that they even need Him, spend the time (that is required of them) in church looking for the “Exit” signs.

    You recently wrote that the greatest heresy of the modern age is the denial of sin. If we deny sin, do we know God? And, if we don’t know God, isn’t that a crisis? This is not written with any sense of hopelessness, but with frustration over the inaction that persists despite widespread catechetical failures affecting generations of Catholics. The question in my mind is not how to teach the truth, but whether to teach it. And, when looked at that way, it’s not really a question at all. It’s a challenge. Will the Archdioces of Boston rise to it?

  14. Is there a regularly scheduled Latin Novus Ordo mass in the diocese? I was pleasantly suprised by how much of the televised masses from Rome I could follow last spring and it would give my oldest a rare chance to use the Latin he has been so dilligently studying. A Tridentine mass is too intimidating – not so much the Latin (I inheritated a missal with the English on a facing page) as not knowing all the standards of behavior and not wanting to give offense.

  15. Cardinal Sean, This weekend (Oct 20-22) anyone who knew Father John Crispo of St. Margaret’s in Burlington is grieving over his death in a car accident, even as we are all convinced that he went straight to heaven. So a word is in order here. Father Peter Shen rightly described Father Crispo as “the father” of that whole town, a true patriarch to thousands of people, not lording it over them, but bringing them into more abundant life and grace. He was a man who looked you in the eye, who “remembered” you, and his inner life had a similar clear regard, simplicity. Not John Vianney in personality, but Vianney in spirit and purpose, someone who showed what priesthood is.

  16. Dear Father Sean, it is so pleasing to know what you and the people of Boston are doing together for the Lord!
    We thank you and thank our Lord for you because our Lord is keeping you available to spread His love and mercy with everybody and you are making Him known and love in that closed encounter that He is with you so we could also encounter Him in our daily lives and be enriched by your example and experiences in following Him and doing His will.
    In this World Mission Sunday, we are praying for all missionaries, especially those who are serving Him in difficult places like in Iraq and for you who are His loving missionary reaching out to all kinds of people always and for your faithful and dear people in Boston who are along with you, doing Gods work praising His name for the good of the entire Church.

  17. Cardinal Omally,

    Cool Blog, and thank you for making yourself available for our questions.

    I recently read an article on the EWTN site stating the Holy Father intends to grant a universal indult on the Tridentine Mass.

    Here is the link http://www.ewtn.com/vnews/getstory.asp?number=72164

    What is your openion of this?? I personally think its fantastic. Another option is a good thing. It’s as though the reverance has been removed as well as what made the Church visable and tangable.

    It seems the Tridentine Mass would help restore authentic Catholic spirituality and make the faith more tangable and visable. ( Ialso believe the Novus Ordo can do the same thing because It’s not the Latin, It’s the reverance)

    Also Some diocese have moved the age of confirmation to just after First Commmunion. What is your opinion on this.

  18. Thank you Cardinal Sean for your weekly blog. I have shared your blogsite with many here in St. Rose Parish in Crockett, California. You are a true inspiration.

  19. I would like to know more about the TOT program. Is there a group in Arlington, VA or Norwalk, CT. Two of my children, both in their late 20s live in these areas. Would it be appropriate for them?
    Thanks and God Bless, Pat

  20. TOT sounds very new. It is something like when Jesus Christ walked on Earth. If people would not want to come to church for whatever reasons, why not bring the faith to wherever they are ? Cheers !

  21. Eminence,

    May the Lord bring you His Peace.

    Is there a TOT for us married 40 somethings? This sounds like an awesome program. Also, please pray for me as I discern a Franciscan vocation for my state in life.



  22. LISA . .

    just a comment on your comment — what do we do??? — ever notice that when people look for jewelry they seek “real diamonds”? . . . if “religion” just stays ‘real’ sooner or later people will seek it out . . . that’s what they hunger for and need . . . all the “trinket religious spirituality” gets set aside for ‘the real thing” in time . . .

  23. Hi, on Father Roderick’s podcast I heard about the blog. It’s so cool! I am also from the Netherlands and a protestant and via the Internet (podcasts, blogs, forum) I learned a lot about catholicism. Now, I’m considering to become a catholic.

    Without the modern technology and the Internet I would never have thought about it. So that’s why I’m so happy with those new ways of communicating.

  24. Dear Cardinal Sean:

    Thanks again for taking the time to write this blog.

    Regarding the Tridentine Mass, I don’t think the issue is a matter of Latin or the vernacular; it’s a matter of whether the Mass will be a prayer, led by the priest, of the priest and the people to God or whether it will be a diologue between the priest and the people, which, sad to say, it is in far too many parishes in our Archdiocese. A couple of examples: there is a priest on the North Shore who *always” says ‘Thank you’ following the liturgical response to “The Lord Be With You.” Another priest I know, a lovely man, paraphrases *every* prayer of the Mass even occasionally going so far as to substitute the ‘Hail Mary’ for the Penetential Rite. I asked him about it and he said he thinks the Mass needs a personal touch. No it doesn’t. It needs fidelity to the Sacramentary. It needs to be a homage to the Lord alone, not to ourselves and each other. That is not an issue with the Tridentine Mass.

    I’m certain there are many young people in this Archdiocese who have no idea what an authentic Catholic Mass looks and sounds like. I pray you will correct these egregious, and I’m sure, unintentional abuses of the Mass.

    Thanks for your time. God bless you. You are in my daily prayers.

    Ferde Rombola, Beverly

  25. “Lowell” . . . i remember Lowell/Andover from when i was a student there in 1962 . . . i remember it as a really nice town and area . . . and now that it is “fall” memories of long walks down long rural roads through the changing colored foliage and falling leaves become synonymous with my memories of Lowell and Saint Francis Seraphic Seminary — where we also raked quite a few piles of leaves in the fall. ha! — it is good to read that the youth of Lowell remain faithful and loyal and spiritually-minded members of the Church.

  26. That’s interesting – I never knew that priests might celebrate the Mass “alone”, or that priests were allowed to celebrate the Novus Ordo Mass in Latin without special permission. I know that many like the Tridentine rite for reasons other than the Latin, but it would be nice to hear some of the prayers in Latin. I was born in the 70s, so the only Latin Mass I’ve ever seen was Pope John Paul II’s funeral Mass.

    Thanks for all the information – I’ve found this blog highly educational.

  27. I love the way you enjoy the young people! I had heard of ToT – but somehow, I guess I had never really quite envisioned the whole standing at a podium thing…. don’t know what I was thinking… maybe a table discussion? Open mike nite? LOL *shakes head* I’m glad it went well for you – looks like you enjoyed yourself!

    You certainly seem comfortable in that kind of environment. Off the cuff questions seem to be your forte. I will never forget how you handled the Boston Globe and their impertinence last year during that interview! You were amazing!

    What do you think our young people really hunger for, in our parishes? I have taught middle school and talked to high schhol CCD kids for years – and the universal cry is “we’re bored!!” Why is that? I feel like tearing my hair out sometimes! On the one hand – I say to them – “if you truly understood what was happening, you’d weep tears of joy, with the angels and saints” – and they look at me like I’m an idiot. Yet, the “guitar Masses” haven’t brought them back. Send them to “events” and they have a good time – but that’s it. Yet my son shivered through a monsoon and slogged through the mud for 8 hours on last Divine Mercy Sunday, to stay for Mass. (he’s 16)

    So what do we do? Less “goofy” stuff, less trying to “dumb” things down, and assume they all think like 4th graders? Because I tell ya, I get the best results with these kids myself when I assume they are smart, and hungry, and actually *want* the Sacraments! So – should we be more …. what? How do we be “un-boring” yet not “goofy”???

    I’m thinking that’s the mystery of the ages…. ….. and don’t tell me to ask the youth group director… he’s a nice guy… but…. would I type all this out if I thought his board games were generating any enthusiasm? 🙂 LOL

    Anyway….. Thanks! God bless!

  28. Dearest Cardinal Sean-

    Please advise where we can find out more about TOT. This is exactly what the future of our Church needs and what our young people are begging for.

    Thank you for being personally involved because it’s only by adults becoming involved and reaching out to our youth that they will become involved (and not by plying pious platitudes down their throats!).

    And God bless you for going onto their turf…that’s the clincher…I’m reminded of that Tom Cruise movie “Top Gun” where one of the other Jet Jockeys tell him, “Gutsiest move I’ve ever seen, Mav!”

    The Lord give you peace!

  29. Your Emminence,

    Thank you once again for your wonderful blog. Since you referred to the Tridentine Mass and polyphonic music in today’s blog, I thought I would raise the issue of liturgical music. I am concerned that not enough attention has been paid to ensuring the sacredness and beauty of music at masses as an integral part of the divine liturgy. Instead, wide discretion and even indifference has been exhibited that sometimes, in my opinion, results in liturgical music being treated as if it is little more than a gimmick or a sideshow. I have sat in masses where the music was such that, worse than a sideshow, it even seemed to distract from and clash against the rest of the liturgy. In particular, much of the music one hears today in masses often seems to strive more to be sentimental than sacred. Different people have different musical tastes, to be sure – but shouldn’t our liturgical music be above fickle “tastes”? As an amateur musician, I am time and again amazed at discovering the beauty and sacred quality of Catholic music written over the ages. I am thinking especially of chant and the Vatican Graduale but also of Palestrina, Haydn, Gounod, Mozart, etc. I believe such music, especially chant was divinely inspired. I know that the music I speak of is mostly comprised of latin and is not always easy to produce with many parishes limited means, but could not such obstacles be overcome or some sort of a compromise reached? I have seen some parishes introduce chant in their liturgy where it has been used simply and effectively. The heart of the mass will always be the eucharist, but I would suggest that to be part of such a holy and beautiful gift as the mass, the utmost care should be given to the rest of the liturgy so that it can serve as a fitting accompaniment to the holy eucharist. To this end, should there not be some sort of standards established to ensure preservation of the sacred nature of liturgical music?

    I would appreciate your thoughts on the subject and also any information you have regarding any current efforts underway either in the Archdiocese or the Church as a whole to review the current state of liturgical music?

    God bless,


  30. Hi, I’m from Italy. Sorry for my English. I love Jesus and I believe in Him.
    What do you think about the Church? Do you think I can say Mary, the mother of Jesus, is the Church? And what about EVA, the first woman? I think She is the Church, where Adam, the first man, is Jesus. Is it possible?


    The LORD God said: “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him.”

    So the LORD God formed out of the ground various wild animals and various birds of the air, and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them; whatever the man called each of them would be its name.

    The man gave names to all the cattle, all the birds of the air, and all the wild animals; but none proved to be the suitable partner for the man.

    I see Baptism in it. The Church helps Jesus to baptize. The Church is a suitable partner for Jesus in baptism. From Eva I go to Mary. Mary is virgin and so The Church is virgin. Mary is an image of the Church. Don’t you think so?

    Well, Jesus is the First and the End. Alfa and Omega.
    At the end there is the Holy Spirit and at the begin there is Mary pregnant because of the Holy Spirit. At the end there is the Holy Spirit from revived Jesus. That is the pregnant Church because of the Holy Spirit. Therefore I think the Church has to give birth to Jesus. I think Jesus has to return through the Church. What do you think about it ?

    Thank You!

  31. Your Eminence, it would have been a pleasure to have been in the audience for your presentation at TOT, but being in Wichita, Kansas, precludes that! As a 23-year-old, I’m always heartened when the church hierarchy takes the opportunity to communicate with my age group. Please know that your blog has an impact on Catholics beyond the confines of the Boston Archdiocese, and I can only hope that others–including my own wonderful bishop–will follow your example of communication.

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