Eucharistic Congress

I am pleased to be able to start my post this week with the announcement that Dr. Ralph de la Torre is the new executive director of our Catholic hospital system, Caritas Christi. We are very pleased to have him come on board. He is very well credentialed. He is himself a cardiovascular surgeon with training from Harvard and MIT.


His family has a long association with Catholic health care in Florida and he brings a great sense of dedication to this mission of the Church. Our Catholic hospitals have many challenges but the system is a very important ministry of our archdiocese. We are trying to professionalize the administration as much as possible.

We’re grateful to the wonderful work of the acting president, Dr. John Chessare, who is now the head of Caritas Norwood Hospital and also Jim Karam, John Kaneb and Neil Finnegan, who were very active on the search committee. We are very grateful for all their work.

Our Catholic hospital system is a very important part of the ministry of the archdiocese,

and we are very grateful to Dr. de la Torre for his willingness to serve in this capacity.

– – –

The Eucharistic Congress for young adults, which was held on Friday and Saturday, attracted many university students and others to the North End.


We’re grateful to the Vocation Office and the Office for the New Evangelization of Adolescents and Adults: to Fathers Dan Hennessey, Mike Harrington, Matt Williams and Richard Clancy and all those who worked to promote this congress.


Father Peter Cameron, editor of Magnificat spoke


Kari Marmol of the Community of Sant’Egidio


Father Matt Williams, head of our new Office of Evangelization of Youth and Young Adults



The conference included both service projects and prayer



We were delighted to have a full church at St. Stephen’s for the Mass and also a full church at St. Leonard’s for the closing procession and benediction.


On Saturday, I celebrated the Mass for the Congress


It was a very moving experience to see the devotion and the faith of our young Catholics. We were also very grateful for the hospitality that was given to us by the St. James society and by the friars at St. Leonard’s, and for the generosity of the merchants in the community who put on a wonderful Italian meal and fed hundreds of young adults who were participants in the Eucharistic Congress.


There were opportunities to socialize and enjoy the food donated by local merchants




– – –

The next day, which I said the Mass on Divine Mercy Sunday Mass at the Cathedral, organized with the help of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, Sister Faustina’s community.


Sister Faustina


The attendance, as always, was very good. This is a devotion that has inspired many Catholics, and has grown in its popularity in an incredibly fast way. I think it underscores the desire people have to experience God’s mercy — the need for God’s mercy — and the love for the Lord’s mercy and forgiveness.

– – –

On Sunday I also visited St. Patrick’s Manor in Framingham. I said Mass at the residence. There’s a very large contingent of sisters, both the Carmelite Sisters who run the St. Patrick’s, but also there are many sisters — I think over 30 sisters in all — who are residents at the residence and are members of other communities as well.




There’s a wonderful atmosphere the sisters maintain. It’s a wonderful ministry, and we are so blessed to have them working in the archdiocese.

– – –

This week I also went to Washington, D.C., to the meeting of the Board of Directors for Catholic University. It is encouraging to see the great strides the university is making under the leadership of Father David M. O’Connor, C.M. There’s great excitement at the university, as they are preparing for the visit of the Holy Father within two weeks.

– – –

After I returned to Boston I attended a conference at Boston College given by Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, entitled “The Church of Social Justice in the World.” I have known him since he was a priest, 30 years ago, in Tegucigalpa. The cardinal is a Salesian Father.





He was a young priest when I first met him, and shortly after that he became the Auxiliary Bishop of Tegucigalpa and from there was sent to a small diocese called Santa Rosa de Copan, but after a few years was returned to be auxiliary bishop again in Tegucigalpa — which was an unusual thing — but the archbishop was elderly and really dependant upon him. Then when Archbishop Santos retired, he became the archbishop and the first cardinal from Honduras.



He is a Renaissance man — a musician, a pilot, and a linguist. He speaks many languages perfectly and he is a great leader in Honduras. I don’t think there is another leader in the country that has the ethos that Cardinal Rodriguez does in Honduras. Besides being Cardinal of Tegucigalpa, Cardinal Rodriguez is also the president of Caritas Internationalis, a confederation of 162 Catholic aid, development and social justice agencies active in over 200 countries and territories.

– – –

This week I also met with permanent deacons. We have a Deacons’ Council which is something tantamount to the Presbyteral Council and the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council.
We are working on trying to organize that, to promote regional meetings of the deacons with the auxiliary bishops, and to have this board meeting several times a year here with myself, so they can bring their ideas, and discussions and conversations from the deacons out in the different regions.

– – –

Wednesday I went to St. John’s seminary for the induction ceremony for the Knights of Columbus. Some seminarians were inducted into the Knights of Columbus and some of the faculty as well.


Quite a number of the leadership of our state’s group was there for the ceremony and afterwards they presented me with checks from the National Knights of Columbus and the State Knights of Columbus. The checks were for $50,000 and for $10,000, to help support the Marriage Initiative in the state of Massachusetts, which is our program to educate people about marriage.


– – –

Thursday, I also had lunch with the mayor of Braintree and the mayor of Quincy. Since our headquarters is moving to Braintree — right on the Braintree/Quincy border, the two mayors were invited by the Chancellor to have lunch with us and to talk about the move. The mayors have been very supportive and very helpful.


Mayor of Quincy Tom Koch and Mayor of Braintree Joe Sullivan

– – –

This week I also had the pleasure of visiting the Coast Guard headquarters here in Boston. Father Bill Cuddy who is in charge of the Coast Guard Chaplaincy arranged it.

He is himself a Navy Chaplain, but the Navy supplies the chaplains for the Coast Guard. Father Bill Cuddy lives here at the Cathedral when he is home, and he had invited myself to meet the local admiral, and to learn more about the operations of the Coast Guard, so we went to the Headquarters here in Boston.


Rear Admiral Timothy Sullivan, First Coast Guard District Commander;Lt. Jason Haag, the Admiral’s aid; CDR Kevin Bedford, First Coast Guard District Chaplain; Master Chief Petty Officer John Downey, First Coast Guard District Command Master Chief; and Father Bill Cuddy


Talking with Admiral Sullivan

Having grown up on the Canadian border, I remember as a child watching the Coast Guards come with their ships to break the ice because the lake in those days would freeze over. They do outstanding work, particularly the search and rescue missions. They are also involved in dealing with the drug dealers and smugglers trying to smuggle other things in. Theirs is a “guarding” ethos, as they describe it, as opposed to the other military branches — which, we can say, have more of a “warrior” ethos. A great part of their mission is to protect, and to help people, to rescue people when they get into trouble on the high seas. Here where we have such an important fishing industry, they try to monitor the safety practices of the boaters and fisherman. They have boats and helicopters to do these rescue missions in time of storms or other challenges. It was interesting. They’ve even invited me come back and to go on their boats!

As a memento of my visit they gave me these coins which, I understand, officers give out in acknowledgment of a job well-done.





Until next week, blessings.

Cardinal Seán

30 thoughts on “Eucharistic Congress”

  1. I just wanted to say that the Eucharistic Congress was an amazing experience. I’m a young adult in the Fall River diocese and find it so hard to find events aimed at young adults. I appreciate the effort that the Archdiocese is making to keep the young adults involved in the Church. Fellowship and worshiping together is so important to keep the faith alive for the entire Church, but especially for us young adults whose lives can otherwise get so busy and off track. Thank you so much for everything you are trying to do for the young adults in the Church. You’re in my prayers.

  2. Saw in the Boston Globe today an article concerning “Talking About Touching.” It stated that most parishes see the program as effective, appropriate, and necessary. I pray that programs such as this will gain in popularity. Thank you for encouraging this program.
    Daryl Gonyon, Fall River

  3. Dear Cardinal Sean,
    This week’s blog was great! I enjoyed it a ton but my favorite part was the part about you visiting the Coast Gaurd headquarters in Boston. I enjoyed the pictures and the description of your day at the headquarters. It sounded very cool. I thought it was great that you got to see one of your friends you grew up with. I hope that you will keep writing about the interesting things you do every week.

  4. I am from Africa and I am amazed to see in your extremely busy schedule so much pastoral zeal. I am also happy to see you in your religious habit. That’s so authentic… Thank you, I pray everyday for the sheperds God has given to his flock everywhere in the world. Thanks for the blessing at the end of the post.

  5. Yes, I agree with Ann who posted just above me — you are very, very busy!!! Thank you for your sheperding!!!

  6. In Cardinal Sean’s Blog, he wrote about when he spoke with the Coast Guards on the Canadian border. I was informed of all the great things they do to help protectpeople, such as fighting against the drug dealers. This is just an example of how great, and informing this blog is.
    -Crc (A St. Paul Student)

  7. This week I enjoyed the section on the Eucharistic Congress for young adults. These young people’s eagerness made me want to get more involved with Catholic celebrations in and out of Church. The young adults must have felt very proud to give back to God and it showed through their actions in service projects. The pictures of them in prayer made them look fulfilled and closer to God. It was also very generous of all the local merchants to give a delicious Italian meal. That proves that they follow Jesus’ example of giving.

  8. I enjoyed reading this blog. Cardinal Sean has a lot of different events going on in his life. My favorite person to read about was Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga. I was intrigued by him because I am very interested in his conference at Boston College. When I read about all his talents I was very impressed. It was very nice to learn how he helped out the elderly archbishop. This is one way for him to pick up his cross and follow Jesus. I would like for you to keep Mrs. MaryAnn Cushing and her family in your prayers, please.
    ~ Kelly

  9. Dear Cardinal Sean,

    This weeks blog was really interesting! I would have loved to go and talk to the people at the Coast Guard. I think they are very brave to go out into the vast ocean and save people. They are our aquatic police men. It is reassuring to know that these men are there to keep us safe. We should keep them in our prayers. I would be so proud of myself if I could earn those coins like you did. I think that is an honor!

    Happy Spring!!

    ***Caroline Smart A student from Saint Paul School***

  10. It is very interesting to know that Cardinal Sean went to St. John’s seminary for the induction ceremony for the Knights of Columbus. It is musing that seminarians were inducted into the Knights of Columbus and some of and also that some of the faculty as well, (so cool). It is nice to know that a number of the leadership in the state’s group was there for the ceremony and afterwards how they presented Cardinal with checks from the National Knights of Columbus and the State Knights of Columbus. It was very generous of the values of the checks, which were for $50,000 and for $10,000, to help support the Marriage Initiative in the state of Massachusetts, which is that program that educates people about marriage.


  11. Hello, my name is Hugh, and I attend St. Paul’s school. I couldn’t believe that Cardinal Sean was able to visit the Coast Guard Headquarters! I think it was great that Father Cuddy allowed Cardinal Sean to get a tour, and ride on the boats. Cardinal Sean must have felt really appreciated when he received the coins that represent a job well done. Awaiting next week’s blog!
    P.S.- Go Sox!

  12. Dear Cardinal Sean,
    After reading your blog today, I was truly amazed! It is really great that you got to meet the Coast Guard Headquarters of Boston. It must of been nice to meet the people who protect us and we should keep them in our prayers. You should defineitly go back to go on one of thier boats!b Here at St. Paul’s school in Hingham MA, for each blog you put up, we are assinged to write a reflection on a section of what you worte and post it. Each week, I have the pleasure to read the inspiring work you do as Cardinal. Each week, I look foward to reading your wonderful “advetures”. Untill next week!

  13. Hi I am from St.Paul School in Hingham and I enjoy your blog very much. I cannot believe how much you travel, it is amazing. I was interested in how you wrote about where you lived and how you watched the Coast Guards while you were growing up. Also, your coins look very nice. I look forward to seeing more of your blog posts in the future.

  14. Cardinal Sean’s blog this week made me realize that the Cardinal doesn’t just care about the catholic officials he also cares about people on the outside of the catholic administration. I mention because of the doctor who was recently named the head executive of the catholic hospital system. This is why I think the Cardinals blogs are excellent.

    John , From the seventh grade at St. Paul’s

  15. I think that Cardinal Sean is incredibly busy and offers his time and work to great spiritual activities. Also, he seems to know people from all background from all over the world. I thought it would be interesting to have attended Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiago’s conference at BC called ” The Church of Social Justice in the World “. I thought it sounded interesting because Cardinal Sean met him thirty years ago in Tegucigalpa which is someplace I have never heard of. Also, the fact that Cardinal Oscar is called a Renaissance man sparked my interest because I’m not exactly sure what it meant by that term. I was also imressed that he speaks many languages perfectly because I personally do not find learning foreign languages that easy. I would not mind going to Honduras to learn more about Cardinal Oscar and his accompishments.

  16. You’re right, the Coast Gaurd is outstanding. They have an incredible myriad of jobs to do, and they do them all spectacularly. Most people don’t think about them this way, but the Coast Gaurd are an elite branch of the armed forces. They are the only ones who stay and protect us. (The national gaurd would usually qualify, but since the Iraq war they no longer do.) A gaurding etho is far more important than a warrior etho these days, especially if we are ever to have world peace.

  17. I thought it was great that Father Bill Cuddy was involved with the Coast Guard. He’s taking his faith an extra step to help out the people in the Coast Guard program by giving them moral and spiritual guidance, and I think that’s a wonderful thing to do. A lot of things prevent people from doing things like that. Some people are afraid to help a homeless person because they don’t know what will happen, or someone new and unexpected will become a part of their life. Other people don’t want to donate money or volunteer somewhere because they would rather do something else, or don’t know what they will get out of it. People should be able to reach out and help, but not be afraid of change because of it. At my school, St. Paul Hingham, we are also trying to encourage each other to reach out to people, just like Father Bill Cuddy.

  18. Dear Cardinal Sean,
    The blog about when you went to the conference at Boston College was good because when you mentioned how Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez was only a young priest when you met him, he is now a cardinal! Imagine how much work he had to do to become a cardinal! (Well’ you don’t have to imagine it because you became a cardinal yourself and know about all the hard work) 🙂 It must be so great to meet others who share in your quest to bring Christ’s love to the world!
    ~Emily ~
    a 7th grader at St.Paul School

  19. Hi, this is Susie from Saint Paul School Hingham.
    I thought that my schedule was busy but when I look at yours, mine seems like nothing! Also, I never knew that your headquarters was moving to Braintree. That’s very interesting. Why is it moving to Braintree? Thank you for taking the time to write this blog!


  20. Hello, my name is Christopher, and I am a Seventh Grade Student at Saint Paul School, in Hingham Massachusetts. It is very interesting that you visited the Coast Guard Station, I have never visited there, but you make it sound like a very nice place. I believe what the Coast Guard does is amazing. They have saved countless amounts of lives over the years, and I believe that they sould recieve more credit than they currently recieve. Also, their kindness is overwhelming of how they even invited you back to go with them on their boats. Also, they even gave you a special coin telling all people that you have done a excellent job helping many people grow in their faith.

  21. Cardinal Sean,

    This was a wonderful blog! It was really nice seeing the pictures of all the young adults participating in that church celebration. It was very interesting seeing all of those people being there and devoting there time to go to church. This blog was very nice, as are all the blogs you write for us Cardinal Sean. Thanky you so much! You are a very busy person and you still have time for many people. Thank you again, and thank you for being such a terrific cardinal!

  22. I very much enjoyed the blog this week! I liked the part on the Eucharistic Congress for young adults. It is wonderful that so many people attended. It is nice to know that there are still so many young devoted Catholics. Looking forward to reading next weeks blog. God Bless!

  23. As I read Cardinal Seans blog I realized that he does so much in just a week , visiting small parishes everywhere and celebrating Mass. Then, the next day he’s in Wahington D.C.!Cardinal Sean is changing the my life just my readinag the blog and inspiring me to spread the word of God everywhere.
    Caroline J. St.Paul School

  24. Dear Cardinal Sean,
    The blog this week is very interesting. It seems as if you are always on the move from place to place. It is so cool that you were invited to visit the Coast Guard Headquarters in Boston. I think that you should definitely go back to take a ride on their boats. it must have been interesting to watch the Coast Guards when you were a child living on the Canadian border. I just love the beautiful pictures this week. Thank you very much for your wonderful blog. GBY! (God Bless You)
    Caroline Kenneally

  25. I cannot believe what a busy man Cardinal Sean is! In one week he has met with a surgeon, and said three masses in a row! After he said the masses he went to visit the St. Patrick’s Day Manor in Framingham, and said a mass there. Cardinal Sean went to Washington D.C., then when he came back, he attended a meeting at Boston College. When does this man sleep??? Cardinal Sean is very devoted to his work, and I am glad he has a blog so we can see how dedicated he really is!!

    Clara K. 7th Grader
    St. Paul School, Hingham Massachusetts

  26. How can i receive the documents fruit of that eucharistic congress???
    in other hand, i really admire Cardinal Rodriguez Madariaga!! he’s a good example for all latin america, a man of God.. what an honor meet him!!!
    Jesus Alfonso Morales Matheus

  27. I echo the comment by Ann. You are so busy and so willing to give of your time to other people and groups. Don’t let yourself get burned out. You are the one always giving the roses. Take some time to smell them! Thank you for all do for the Church in Boston and the U.S.

  28. It is inspiring to hear about the Eucharistic Congress that was in Boston Last week. I’m in hopes of starting one in LA. I will continue to pray for you. Laudateur Jesus Christus.

  29. I can’t believe your schedule. You seem to be going all the time. We here in Boston appreciate all you do and feel blessed to have you as our Cardinal. We shall keep you in our prayers.

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April 2008