Happy New Year and a blessed Christmas season to all

Good evening everyone, Happy New Year and a blessed Christmas season to you all. I am glad to be back in the Archdiocese of Boston during this season and am looking forward to celebrating the Feast of the Epiphany this coming Sunday.

Early last week, I was able to see a lot of my family. My sister Mary Ellen had just returned from China where she was visiting my nephew who is teaching over there for a year. While she was there, they took great interest in visiting as many Catholic churches as they could. In Guangzhou, the city where my nephew is, they went to a beautiful old church that had been built by the French over 100 years ago. But the church was in very bad condition. There was just one Mass there, early in the morning, and people were practicing Christmas carols in Chinese. They said that the people were very friendly to them.

In Hong Kong, they actually went to Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiuns Midnight Mass. They said the papers were full of attacks against Cardinal Zen because of positions that he has taken. But they said his Mass was so crowded that they had gotten there early and even by then, it was standing room only. Many people were outside, and there were speakers outside so that the people could hear.They also visited the churches on Macao and said there were beautiful old Portuguese churches there. They were able to experience some of the presence of the Catholic Church in China, but at the same time to understand the great challenges that the Church faces there and the pressure that the Church is under.

After I returned to Boston, I celebrated New Years with three Franciscan friars Fathers Don Lippard, Moises and Emilio. Theyre three friars whom I ordained and worked with at the Centro Catolico in Washington D.C., so it was very nice to have them here for the new year.

Fathers Emilio, Don and Moises

Father Lippard is our vice provincial and just returning from Papua New Guinea where he was teaching philosophy for a semester in the seminary there. He came with Father Moises who is originally from El Salvador but currently works in Washington D.C. Accompanying them was Father Emilio who was 10 years a missionary in Papua New Guinea and has just received permission to go and work in Cuba. Were all very pleased by that.

The friars accompanied us to St. Mary Parish in Waltham where we had dinner with the priests in the parish, participated in the holy hour and then celebrated Midnight Mass with a reception afterward. It was very well attended and the crowd was quite a representative group of people from all over the archdiocese. There were many Hispanics from the parish, and a neighboring parishs Ugandan choir showed up and offered to sing at the Mass.

The Holy Hour before the Mass

The New Years Mass always has a pro-life theme, and during the holy hour, Marianne Luthin gave a very beautiful reflection. She spoke about a woman who was pregnant and doctors told her that her child had many defects and would not live. The doctors kept urging her to have an abortion, but she wanted to bring the child to term. She did, and the child was baptized and then died. The woman had the satisfaction of giving birth to this child, and it was through the Archdiocesan Pro-life Office that the woman found help in doing that. She was not a Catholic but had a sense of reverence for life. Hers is a beautiful witness.

Ever since Ive been ordained, Ive celebrated Midnight Mass on New Years. I think its a good way to begin the new year, asking for Gods blessing. When I was in the Virgin Islands, it was the largest Mass of the year. People couldnt fit in the churches because the West Indian conviction was that you must end the year in church and begin the year in church. They were all there!

St. Mary’s Pastor Father Michael Nolan proclaims the Gospel at the Mass
There was a great diversity of people present

As we begin this new year, I, along with the rest of the Church, hope that the coming year will be a time of spiritual growth and peace. We hope that the conflict in Iraq will be brought to a peaceful resolution and that our troops will be able to come home. We pray that there will be an increase in vocations and a renewed appreciation for the sacrament of marriage in our culture. We also pray that young people will have a sense of vocation to holiness, to married life, to the single state of life to the religious life and to priesthood and that our people will live and witness to their Catholic faith in such a way that our faith community will be able to fulfill its mission.

During the coming year, we will be moving towards the bicentennial in 2008 and continue to concretize the plans for celebrations and programs that will mark the 200th anniversary of the archdiocese.

– – –

This past week I also had the pleasure of celebrating Mass with the Haitian community in honor of their Independence Day. Each year since Ive come here, weve had a wonderful celebration at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on the Haitian Independence Day, the feast day of Our Lady, Mother of God. Its always a very beautiful celebration and the Haitian priests and lay leaders do a very good job of organizing it. The entire celebration is in Creole and French, and they have a magnificent choir.

Father Gabriel Michel and I at the Mass

The Mass always concludes with the Te Deum, and the choir sings it in Latin. In the European tradition, the Te Deum is a prayer of thanksgiving and praise. It was a joyful and beautiful celebration, and Im very grateful that we have a large and active Haitian Catholic community in the archdiocese. Father Gabriel Michel has done a wonderful job as our coordinator for the Haitian ministry.

Here is the Latin version of this beautiful prayer of the Te Deum:

Te Deum laudamus: te Dominum confitemur.
Te aeternum Patrem omnis terra veneratur.
Tibi omnes Angeli; tibi caeli et universae Potestates;
Tibi Cherubim et Seraphim incessabili voce proclamant:
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabaoth.
Pleni sunt caeli et terra maiestatis gloriae tuae.
Te gloriosus Apostolorum chorus,
Te Prophetarum laudabilis numerus,
Te Martyrum candidatus laudat exercitus.
Te per orbem terrarum sancta confitetur Ecclesia,
Patrem immensae maiestatis:
Venerandum tuum verum et unicum Filium;
Sanctum quoque Paraclitum Spiritum.
Tu Rex gloriae, Christe.
Tu Patris sempiternus es Filius.
Tu ad liberandum suscepturus hominem, non horruisti Virginis uterum.
Tu, devicto mortis aculeo, aperuisti credentibus regna caelorum.
Tu ad dexteram Dei sedes, in gloria Patris.
Iudex crederis esse venturus.
Te ergo quaesumus, tuis famulis subveni: quos pretioso sanguine redemisti.
Aeterna fac cum sanctis tuis in gloria numerari.
V. Salvum fac populum tuum, Domine, et benedic hereditati tuae.
R. Et rege eos, et extolle illos usque in aeternum.
V. Per singulos dies benedicimus te.
R. Et laudamus nomen tuum in saeculum, et in saeculum saeculi.
V. Dignare, Domine, die isto sine peccato nos custodire.
R. Miserere nostri, Domine, miserere nostri.
V. Fiat misericordia tua, Domine, super nos, quemadmodum speravimus in te.
R. In te, Domine, speravi: non confundar in aeternum.

For those of you who are a little rusty on your Latin, here is the English translation:

O God, we praise Thee, and acknowledge Thee to be the supreme Lord.
Everlasting Father, all the earth worships Thee.
All the Angels, the heavens and all angelic powers,
All the Cherubim and Seraphim, continuously cry to Thee:
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts!
Heaven and earth are full of the Majesty of Thy glory.
The glorious choir of the Apostles,
The wonderful company of Prophets,
The white-robed army of Martyrs, praise Thee.
Holy Church throughout the world acknowledges Thee:
The Father of infinite Majesty;
Thy adorable, true and only Son;
Also the Holy Spirit, the Comforter.
O Christ, Thou art the King of glory!
Thou art the everlasting Son of the Father.
When Thou tookest it upon Thyself to deliver man,
Thou didst not disdain the Virgins womb.
Having overcome the sting of death, Thou opened the Kingdom of Heaven to all
Thou sitest at the right hand of God in the glory of the Father.
We believe that Thou willst come to be our Judge.
We, therefore, beg Thee to help Thy servants whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy
Precious Blood.
Let them be numbered with Thy Saints in everlasting glory.
V. Save Thy people, O Lord, and bless Thy inheritance!
R. Govern them, and raise them up forever.
V. Every day we thank Thee.
R. And we praise Thy Name forever, yes, forever and ever.
V. O Lord, deign to keep us from sin this day.
R. Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us.
V. Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, for we have hoped in Thee.
R. O Lord, in Thee I have put my trust; let me never be put to shame.

The Haitians have a great tradition of dressing up to come to church. It adds a dignity, solemnity and festiveness to the occasion thats very beautiful. Although the situation in Haiti is always very dire, and the people have great concerns for their family and the stability of their country, there is a great affection and a patriotism among the Haitians.

They have the special custom of having a meal of pumpkin soup thats a sign of their independence. For them taking the soup is a sign of their freedom, having thrown of the yoke of European colonialism and of slavery and becoming, as they were, the first Black republic over 200 years ago.

I always thought that was quite a contrast with the Irish because we, too, have an expression about taking the soup. There were Irishmen who were starving and the British offered them soup if they would renounce the pope and their Catholic faith.

– – –

I was also pleased to visit with two communities of sisters the Trappistine Nuns and the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master. Also present at the Mass with the Trappistine nuns were some Philippino Franciscan sisters from Rhode Island. It was nice to see three communities of sisters with so many new vocations.

The Trappistine sisters
The Franciscan sisters from Rhode Island
In the Trappistine community here in Wrentham, Mass. there are about 50 sisters. Its a contemplative community, the largest one in the diocese, and the home of the first community of Cistercian Nuns in the United States. Mount St. Marys Abbey was founded in 1949 from St. Marys abbey, Glencairn, Ireland. Three daughter houses in the States have been founded from Mount Saint Marys.
Its a community that is still blessed with vocations; They have five novices and a couple of postulants. I attribute that to the fact that they make chocolate there! Lol.

The candy looks delightful
The sisters perform their work with a great spirit…
… which may be one reason young women are attracted to the order
The sisters also raise sheep and they have a llama who helps them herd the sheep and care for the sheep. The llama’s name is Pepito.

Pepito on the job, as it were

The Trappistine sisters live the spirituality of the Cistercian order. They are a wonderful presence in the archdiocese. They are women who are deeply spiritual and steeped in the tradition and the mystical theology of the Church. Its a great blessing for us, and their presence is a witness to the interior life and our obligation to worship God and to seek Him in our lives and in prayer.


The Trappistine sisters will be having a monastic weekend from Feb. 16-18 for women ages 20-40 who are discerning their vocation in the Church. It is a very important and exciting event. More information can be found on their Web site, http://www.msmabbey.org.

That evening, I visited the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master. Theyare sort of the cousins of the Daughters of St. Paul and both orders have the same founder, Blessed James Alberione. We were happy that the Sister Disciples young junior sisters were at the Mass and the dinner.

It was wonderful to be with the sisters

The sisters have a store on West Street and they also have a chapel there with eucharistic adoration. Its an oasis where the people and the priests of the archdiocese often go to pray and to be in the company of the sisters. Were blessed to have them here on West Street. Its right off of the Boston Common, and its something of an institution downtown for people to go there to get religious articles and also to have the opportunity to meet the sisters and pray in their chapel.

Celebrating the Mass in their chapel

The Sister Disciples in Boston also help as sacristans at the cathedral, so they are often very visible at archdiocesan celebrations. The sisters have an international community, and in Rome they are the sisters who are very much involved in the eucharistic adoration at the basilicas. The congregation is composed of around 1300 members present in 25 countries, spread around the five continents.

Their creche was wonderful reminder of the gift of the Incarnation

The orders mission is promoting liturgical art in contemplative prayer and seeing Christ in the priest. The local sisters are very, very supportive of our priests. They have also had sisters working at Regina Cleri, taking care of our retired clergy.

– – –

Each year we have a special Mass and dinner for the retired priests of the archdiocese at Regina Cleri. This year most of the auxiliary bishops were in attendance, and it was a nice opportunity to be with the priests.
That’s Bishop Dooher to the right…

… and Bishop Irwin on the left

There are 50 priests currently living there and it was thanks to the foresight of Cardinal Cushing who created that facility.
The staff did a great job making the evening special

The director of Regina Cleri is Msgr. Jim Tierney who does a wonderful job, and the staff there are all very attentive to our retired priests, in particular to those who are ailing. They also have a wonderful prayer life for the priests there, and I thanked them for that and congratulated them for that. They have eucharistic adoration, they have recollection days once a month and they pray the rosary and have Masses together. It is a great blessing for our priests.


We are very happy to see our retired priests at Regina Cleri who are so well provided for. Some of them are too sick to continue in ministry, but all of them are part of the contemplative branch of our Church, praying for the priests and people of the archdiocese. Many of the priests at Regina Cleri continue to give service in the parishes. Many of our parishes are staffed by one priest now, and the priests at Regina Cleri make themselves available to help with Masses and funerals. One of the priests is 96 and still drives out to his former parish every weekend to help with Masses! The retired priests are all very generous with their time, and they are a blessing for the archdiocese.

– – –

On Jan. 4 I attended an interfaith service for the new governor, Deval Patrick. It was very ecumenical with people from Christian, Jewish, Sikh and Muslim backgrounds, and there was much symbolism in the service. Patrick is our first black governor in the Commonwealth, and that is an important milestone. The service was in a church, the Old South Meeting House, where Benjamin Franklin was baptized and where the Boston Tea Party was planned. So much history of our state and our country took place there.

The service at the Old South Meeting House

Rev. Peter Gomes of Harvards Memorial Church, gave the reflection. He pointed out that the upper gallery in the church was originally for the slaves, so obviously showing that weve come a long way from the time when Black people were slaves sitting in the upper gallery of church to now with the first Black governor in the Commonwealth.

In this photo you can see the balcony

– – –

This coming Sunday, the Feast of the Epiphany will be celebrated. Traditionally the Epiphany is the 12th day of the Christmas season, and now its been moved to Sunday in our country to increase observance by American Catholics. In many countries its the day when gifts are given.

The theology of the Epiphany is that the magi represent Gods manifestation to the gentile world, an indication of Gods universal love. In the Middle Ages there was the tendency to begin to portray one of the kings as African, one as Asian and one as Caucasian to indicate the universality of Gods love: That the Lord came to be a part of the entire human family and call all of us to salvation. In the United States the Epiphany also begins National Migration Week.

I usually celebrate the Spanish Mass at the cathedral on the Epiphany. The Hispanic community celebrates the Epiphany very much as a Christmas service and we have so many people from Puerto Rico in our archdiocese. In Puerto Rico, the Epiphany is almost bigger than Christmas.

– – –

The photo of the week is a picture of a statue I received last year at an ordination of a Capuchin friar in Louiza Aldea, near San Juan. They gave me a piece of Puerto Rican folk art representing los Santos Reyes. In Puerto Rico they always talk about los Reyes the kings rather than the magi. Typically los reyes in Puerto Rico are portrayed as horsemen, not on camels. In the parades of Puerto Rico the three kings come on horseback and the children carry straw to feed the horses. This image carved out of wood is a typical Puerto Rican image of Los Santos Reyes.


In next weeks blog, I plan to speak about vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Next Wednesday, I will be attending a St. Andrews Dinner, with high school students who are open to considering a vocation to the priesthood. If you, or some young man you know, may be hearing God’s call, feel free to contact Father Dan in our Vocations Office at 617-746-5949 for more information on the St. Andrew’s Dinner or visit our Vocations Office Web site.

31 thoughts on “Happy New Year and a blessed Christmas season to all”

  1. Cardinal Sean,
    Recently I viewed the movie Our Fathers which portrayed the unfortunate and appalling scandal that surfaced in your diocese (and others) five years ago…almost to the day. I was wondering what your impressions of the movie were and if you have insight as to how well the producers did in conveying the truth. I admit that while watching the movie i was so upset at what happened I could hardly breath! I have been contemplating the Priesthood for years now and have received very little support for my vocation largely for the reputation Catholic clergy now have. i also have felt discouraged that my message would even be listened to if I were to speak wearing a Roman collar 🙁 But for the most part I want to help the Church florish again! I do love her so! But still I can’t believe that secrets like these were kept by so many and for so long 😮 I was hoping that you could direct me to reliable sources as to how to explain what happened to others. And I was also wondering if I could receive a signed picture of you for my collection of “admirable men”. Being in California you sending me one is my only possibility to include you in this.

    God bless everyone

    Jason Vien

    1148 covington Ct
    Walnut Creek Ca 94596

  2. I have read your Blog from the very beginning when I found out about it from “Whispers in the Loggia,” Rocco Palmo’s Blog.

    Your Blog gets better all the time. I prefer it to “The Boston Globe.” I want to thank you for it.

  3. It was great hearing about your retired priests and all you do for them. We need to continue to support them
    Have a great New Year!

  4. Dear Cardinal Sean,
    I love your blog!!!! It is amazing to be able to e-mail the Cardinal with questions about your faith.
    My questions is about a comment I heard at a book club. We are reading “Mere Christianity”, and often have great conversations about our faith. The members were speaking about original sin and that there were five people born without original sin. They listed Jesus, Mary, Adam and Eve. What I had not heard before was that they said John the Baptist was conceived with original sin but born without original sin. They sited the visit from Mary after the Annunciation, when John leaped in the womb of Elizabeth with Mary’s greeting. The claim was that Jesus baptised John at that moment. Had you heard this before?
    Thank you,
    Kathy Craig

  5. Happy New Year and many Blessings of the Christmas Season to you Cardinal Sean! I enjoy your blog very much. I am learning a lot about my faith and other traditions as well from your travels and stories. I am from the middle of the state of Illinois in a small community called Amboy. I started to read your blog to get information on the Bishops Conferences. I am a soon to be 54 year old woman who is admittedly in the dark about most things that go on in the world. But I am trying to learn. I will pray for your efforts with this website, please pray for my sinful soul. God Bless You, Bev Halsey

  6. Gracias Cardenal Sean, por la cercania impresa de tu persona en el blog. Tus pensamientos de las homilais, las oraciones, los gestos cotidianos, de funciones oficiales y otras domesticas, hacen de este espacio un lugar privilegiado para acceder espontaneamente a tu despacho de atencion y a tu corazon de pastor. Las brillantes fotos dan color y calor al tiraje del Diario del Cardenal concediendo a las mismas la locuacidad de las imagenes. Atte. en el Seor, paz y bien, Bishop Adalberto Martinez.

  7. Oh what a wonderful surprise to see Fr. Emilio on your blog! We were in classes at the JPII Institute together. Praise the Lord for holy priests who teach us how to love. And that llama makes me want to be a Trappestine! God bless you.

  8. Your Eminence,

    I am writing to you today to thank you for your blog and to ask you to pray for an intention that is very near to my heart. My mother is planning to marry a Christian man in his church. She is Catholic and has not received a dispensation. I am afraid that she is considering leaving the Catholic Church. I do not know her fiance well and am deeply troubled that he seems to be pulling her away from Christ’s Church.

    If you have the opportunity, please say a prayer for my mother and a prayer for me to know what God wants me to do in this difficult situation.

    God bless you.

  9. I have just clicked “photo” in the last comment by Fr. David A (thank you Fr. D.) to Cardinal Sean . I viewed all 22 best photos of the year 2006 in the Boston Globe and I choose Cardinal Sean’s photo as No. 1. You must be l0l…. over this photo. Enjoy God’s sense of humour, I did. Sr Ccile who has also emailed this photo to a friend.

  10. Cardinal Sean

    Thank you for your post on the Archdiocese web site on January 7, 2007 – Rebuilding faith. Having lived through Clergy sexual abuse and years of having to prove it to the church I know the pain and suffering well. Years of personal work on the trauma has brought with it great wisdom and understanding. On behalf of the church please accept my forgiveness. It is in forgiving that we are truly set free from the chains of abuse and how healing comes bring us back into the full light of Jesus.

    If I can be of assistance in contuning understanding in our faith community don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

  11. Dear Cardinal Sean–
    I enjoyed seeing your photo at Logan Airport in last Sunday’s Globe Magazine! How did you manage to get such a Halo?


  12. Greetings and Happy New Year Cardinal Sean. I was surprised and delighted to see the pictures of your visit to Mt. St. Mary’s Abbey, I have been going to retreat there since 1998, keeping the Liturgy of the Hours with the Sisters, some of the Sister’s pictured are known to me. It is the most peaceful experience to spend 3-4 days there or even 1 day. It really slows me down from the everyday hectic world – time for another visit and more candy. lol

  13. Thank you for sharing. I find it very refreshing, considering
    the attitude of some Bishops. I would like to refer you to
    a letter entitled, “I HAD A DREAM”, by Michael Brown dated
    11/13/06 on spiritdaily.com. In this letter you will get the true
    pulse of what people feal the Bishops are doing, and not
    doing. You are truly showing us the way to OUR LORD.
    God Bless You
    John T. Koszalka

  14. Cardinal Sean,

    A very interesting piece on the church in China. I have been to the Catholic Church in Guanzhou, and it is very beautiful, but a little worse for wear. I visitied last in 2003; however, the first time I visited was in 1988. If I am not getting mixed up, I recall that the church was being used as a garage at that time. So, progress. There is also a beautiful old Anglican church on the island, which is my tradition.

    Also, are you aware that there is a very nice zinfandel called ” Cardinal Zin”?


  15. A wonderful post.

    Interesting that the Haitians, unlike so many Anglo-American parishes, do not have an allergy to the use of Latin. Their desire to hear the Te Deum in Latin speaks well of their commitment to our Lord’s Church.

  16. Dear Cardinal Sean,
    May God’s choicest blessings be upon you and your Community. Thank you for sharing all your activities and the wonderful photos, everything is a source of great inspiration.
    Myriam Frias-Dox

  17. Happy Epiphany Cardinal!
    In the next days together with my friends I will be attending the spiritual exercise.
    We will keep you in our prayers.

  18. Dear Cardinal Sean,

    Thank you for your awesome blog, it’s wonderful to see your sharing of the faith and reaching out to others through this blog, thanks for sharing the beautiful photos of some of your religious orders, it’s wonderful to see so many continuing to answer our lords call and to embrace him fully in religious life, and please keep me in your prayers for my vocation and upcoming entrance into the Holy Spirit Adoartion Sisters! Thank you again for your beautiful example and service to Holy Mother Church, May God Bless you immensely, Please be assurred of my prayers for you, your religious orders and your diocese!

    God Bless You,
    St. Louis Missouri

  19. Dear Cadinal Sean, Just a short note to wish you a Happy & Fruitful New Year. As usual, I always make sure I read your blog every Friday. You are indeed a bright light in a sometimes very dark world today. Thank you, Shirley St.John

  20. Dear Cardinal Sean,
    it is with great delight that i heard about the St Andrew’s Dinner again. I am from Singapore, a country quite far off from Boston; but i do recall quite vividly the St Andrew’s Dinner i had with Cardinal Mahony a few years ago when i was discerning my vocation. it definitely helped in pointing me in the right direction. it is a pity that we don’t have such an event in our very small archdiocese over here, but i do think its a splendid way of reaching out to young people!

  21. Hi Cardinal Sean,
    Your blog makes it possible for Catholics like me to connect to the exciting and abundant variety of expressions of our Church. The people, places, history, current events, and ideas are all like petals of some multicolored rose with the faith like the stem holding it all together. Thank you for blogging!
    Vito Nicastro

  22. Greetings Cardinal Sean! Can you please tell us the prayer that you gave at the service for the inauguration of Gov. Patrick? I read in the newspaper that it was a prayer first given by Abraham Lincoln. I would like to know the name of it or some reference by which I might look it up. Thank you.

  23. Dear Cardinal Sean,
    I’ve been wanting to write or to post a comment on your blog ever since I learned of this blog from the internet (surfing) late October. Ever since then I never missed reading your Friday post. Your pictures are great, and your writings are so simple, easy to understand but yet thier is always a wisdom behind your message. Your blog, your story, your pictures, the comments of ordinary people and your response to them through this medium actually inspired me to see myself and think of the blessings that God has given me, and me wanting to share this gifts to others. From this I went to discern my vocation with your brother friars of the Western Province, last December. i was a wonderful opportunity to be with few Franciscan Capuchin Brothers on this retreat. I told them that it was your blog that pointed me to the Capuchin Fransiscans.
    Unfortunately, we dont have Capuchins in our Diocese, only the Friars Minor. I do not know if it is providential that your posting yesterday and your plan of talking about vocation next week made me to wrtie to you. By the way, your Eminence, its nice to see the religoius sisters from the Philippines. This is how Filipino (Philippono) spelled, I hope is alrigth with you. Well, your Eminence, I thank you for this opportunity and for the blessings you share to us through this blog. Please include me in your prayers and rest assured of my fervent prayers for you and your ministry. May God who is with us bless and keep you now and for ever.

  24. Hello and a Peaceful New Year to you Cardenal Sean!
    I’ ve been wanting to open this site for some time… and tonight I have! Its great…
    You should receive a ‘snail mail’ note from us about how delicious the Christmas gifts were, but just staple this one on to page 2! Your friendship and the memory of many great years at the Kenesaw and “etc” are always a part of our year-end assembly. You are a loyal friend. Pilar is in El Paso with Peter Hine, OCD and Betty Campbell RSM (They had Tabor House in D.C. for many years…)Oilar is finally taking a much deserved semi-sabbatical until spring.
    We will continue to pray with you as our ‘collective’ community continues to transition into the final years of their journey. May we all be persons of HOPE and – above all- living signs of love. the very best to you.
    Maureen Foltz and the US Carmelites of Charity, Vedruna

  25. Cardinal Sen: A very Happy New Year to you. Thank you so much for your weekly blog.

    I am a Palm Beach County, Florida resident in your old diocese, and I look forward to your words every week. However, I want to call your attention to the very loyal community you have on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, where Father Nagle is doing such a superb job. I visit the Island as often as I can, and have enjoyed the services of both Father Nagle and Father Ozug, who has transferred to an off-Island parish.

    Keep up the good work.


    Fred Shaw
    Boca Raton, FL

  26. Cardinal Sean
    thanks for interesting reading. I live and work as a priest in a very isolated area of the Archdiocese of Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. Sometimes when things are quiet and I am surfing the net, I find reading your info, even though it is thousands of kilometres away, quite interesting. It helps pass some of the time awat. (My closest priest in a north westerly direction is 170km and in a southerly direction over 200km with our Archbishop residing in the capital city of Hobart. This parish is scattered in very mountaineous country, winding roads and crazy weather all year round. Anyhow, enough of my ramblings – thanks again and Happy New Year – (Fr) John Girdauskas

  27. Wishing you a peaceful new year ! I enjoy reading your blog. I hope one day I will get to taste the chocolates made by the Trappistine community. Regarding the war in Iraq, now that Saddam has left this world, it is only right for President Bush to step down. I hope that God will speak to him personally about that.

  28. Hi Cardinal Sean, I am John McCullochs daughter. I am so pleased I get to read your personal exploits! My son Daniel will be attending highschool this upcoming school year at Cardinal Newman in West Palm, he has displayed an interest in God, Jesus and the Catholic way of worship, and I believe that your site will connect him with. I will tell Aunt Pat about this blog – I know she will be psyched to know about it. T T F N!

  29. It’s nice to know that Cardinals of the Church get some time for family and friends this time of year! Thanks too for letting us know about all the sisters–to see traditional religious life flourishing is so encouraging. Happy Epiphany!

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January 2007