Red socks at Yankee Stadium

It was quite an eventful week, to say the least. The Holy Father’s Apostolic visit to the United States ended last Sunday, after a Mass at Yankee stadium in New York City.

When planning a papal visit, so many things can go wrong — and when you are Irish, you expect all of them to go wrong! It was so beautiful that everything — even the weather — cooperated. The Holy Father’s visit was very uplifting and a grace-filled moment for the Catholics of our country.

The Holy Father had announced that his message was going to be “Christ our Hope,” and it certainly has given all of us a lot of hope in the Lord and in the future of our Church.

As I already mentioned in last week’s blog, a very special moment for me and for the Archdiocese of Boston took place on Thursday when the Holy Father met with five survivors of clergy sexual abuse.

The following day, on the day of the Holy Father’s anniversary, the other American cardinals and I had a wonderful opportunity to have dinner with him in the residence of the nuncio to the Vatican mission to the United Nations, Archbishop Celestino Migliore. I want to share with you that at that event, the Holy Father told me how moved he was by that meeting with the victims the day before.

At that meeting with the victims, we handed the Holy Father a book with the first names of over one thousand victims. It was very well done, with all the names written in calligraphy and very artistically done. With the book, we tried to convey that those survivors attending where representing all victims, even those whose names were not written. The names in the book correspond with those who came to us in the archdiocese to report abuse in the last 50 years.


Holding the book of names at the Nunciature in Washington D.C.

The Pilot interviewed me about the papal visit this week. You can read the interview here.

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On Saturday morning, I came back to Boston for the Catholic Men’s Conference, which was held at Boston College’s Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill. I think it was a wonderful success. There were more than 2,200 men and more than 2,800 women at the Boston Catholic Women’s Conference the previous day.







Given the fact that it was school vacation week and there were 3,000 Boston Catholics traveling to New York City for the Papal Mass that weekend, we were very pleased with the numbers that did come. We are very grateful to the speakers who were so well received. Their messages were right on target, and everyone appreciated the conferences.






I am particularly grateful to Scot Landry who, at the time he was organizing these conferences, was also helping to organize the pilgrimage to Yankee Stadium for the Holy Father’s Mass. We are also very grateful to the parish captains and to Jennifer Schiller who worked so hard heading the Women’s Conference.



We are very hopeful that the conferences will only continue to grow, and they have been a great source of grace for the archdiocese. They have resulted in the formation of many parish men’s and women’s groups that are helping to give the spiritual formation and support that so many of our people are looking for.

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Being at the Men’s Conference, I was not able to be at the Saturday Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, but I am pleased to say that Father Arthur Coyle, Father Richard Erikson, Sister Marianne Batho and Brother Jim Peterson were there representing Boston.

Father Erikson sent a blog entry to the official Papal Visit Blog that included the following photo taken after the Mass at St. Patrick’s on Saturday


From Left, Father Arthur Coyle, Brother Jim Peterson,
Father Richard Erikson and Sister Marian Batho

Also, virtually all of our seminarians from St. John’s Seminary in Brighton and Blessed John XXIII National Seminary in Weston were able to make it to the youth and seminarian rally at St. Joseph Seminary in Yonkers. Both of these events were so beautiful.

We had an excellent representation at the papal events in New York as well as those held in Washington D.C. Father Arthur Kennedy was at the interfaith service in the nation’s capital. We were very happy he was part of that.

– – –

That evening I went back to New York in preparation for the Papal Mass the following morning. At the airport I was happily surprised by two groups of Catholic school students who were on their way to the Dominican Republic on a service mission during their April vacation.


Students from Trinity Academy in Newton


Students from Boston College High School in Dorchester

We vested in the Yankee’s locker room, and I had a picture of my red socks taken there.



A close up of my red sock


It was quite an experience. I took some photos with my cell phone to document the moment.



The Mass was very, very beautiful.






We had a fantastic representation from the archdiocese — 3,000 pilgrims. The Boston group all sat in the same section and made quite a racket when Boston was honored as a bicentennial archdiocese. I was very pleased to look up and see the sign for the Archdiocese of Boston.




So many of our priests were also able to get there, which is wonderful. With the Mass being on Sunday, I knew how difficult it would be for priests to get there. In the end we had more than 25 Boston priests concelebrating the Mass.


Some of the Boston priests attending the Mass



Two seminarians studying at St. John’s — from left,
Michael Pierz and Huy Nguyen — served at the Mass

I was also very happy to see Marguerite McNiece and her grandson receive Holy Communion from the Holy Father. Marguerite is German and was very enthused about receiving the Eucharist from “her German pope,” as she said.

– – –

The Pro-life Legal Defense Fund, under the chairmanship of attorney Phil Moran, honored me at their annual banquet April 11 with the Thomas Moore Award. Attorney Fran Hogan made the introduction. Marianne Luthin, from our Pro-Life office, and her husband Henry, who is also an attorney, were there.



I was so happy that a number of law students from Harvard, Boston College and other law schools joined at the festivities. I encouraged them to hurry up and get through law school and run for president of the United States!


– – –

On Wednesday evening, I was invited to the Sears Road Dinner Club hosted by David Fubini, director of the McKinsey & Company. David’s organization has given a great deal of advice on how to improve our internal organization and we are very grateful for all of the services that he has donated to the archdiocese. I was happy to be a part of the dinner he hosted for a number of community leaders, including Boston Mayor Thomas Menino.

– – –

For the Holy Father’s birthday, Bob Rottenberg, CEO of Long’s Jewelers, was good enough to make a pair of cufflinks with Pope Benedict’s coat of arms. I presented those to him on his birthday with the prayers and best wishes of the people of Boston.



Until my next post.

In Christ.

Cardinal Seán

– – –

40 thoughts on “Red socks at Yankee Stadium”

  1. Having found your blog from another Catholic blog ( it brings me great joy to see Boston’s Cardinal wearing red socks at Yankee Stadium. As a fan of the other NY baseball team, who wore orange Mets socks to the Mass, I appreciate your red sox on many levels. It was also a great joy to see you in the “line-up” of Cardinals in attendence, and I must say the Boston crowd was quite loud when they were mentioned. Keep up the great job on the blog.

  2. Dear Cardinal Sean,

    This blog was very interesting! I enjoyed seeing the pictures of the mass at the Red Sox stadium. I was amazed by how many people where there to have mass and meet the Pope. I was also amazed by how many Boston priests where there! It seemed like a very beautiful mass. This was a terrific blog! Thank you for all the blogs you take time to put up! We hope you will be in the Boston area again sometimes so you can maybe come for a visit! Thanks again!


  3. I thought it was interesting how Cardinal Sean went to the Yankee’s locker room with red socks! I thought it was amazing how over 20 priests from boston went all the way the way to New York City! Cardinal Sean, if you ever would like to visit St. Paul School in Hingham MA, are arms are open!

  4. Monsieur le Cardinal,
    Boston a la chance d’avoir un chef spirituel qui gère avec la plus grande transparence cet énorme diocèse. Qu’on vous demande de quitter votre monastère pour témoigner de Dieu et de l’Église est la preuve des grandes qualités qui vous habitent.
    Soyez béni pour tous vos efforts qui redonnent confiance aux baptisés et à tous les Américains. God Bless America.

  5. Cardinal Sean, You look positively splendid in your elesiastical black (red-trimmed) robes… and dig those matching red socks. Seriously though, I was all smiles when your handsome face appeared on the screen. We even subscribed for a cable that week especially to watch EWTN’s continuous covereage.
    God bless you, Your Emminence,
    Chris Snyder in Marlborough

  6. Dear Cardianl Sean,
    I am a seventh grade sudent at St. Paul School, in Hingham, Massachusetts, I really enjoy having the privilege of reading your website and the wonderful things you write on it every week. It is very interesting that Pope Benedict XVI came to America to celebrate mass at Yankee Stadium, in New York. Also, some members of my school had the chance to visit him! Maybe some day you will have the chance to visit my school. Hope to see you soon!

  7. Dear Cardinal Sean,
    My name is Kiana and I am a student at St. Paul School in Hingham Massachusetts. I have been reading your blog almost every week. I love reading about the things that you do and the people you see. My favorite thing in your blog this week would have to be your visit to New York Stadium to see the Pope. It must have been an experience of a lifetime. I can’t believe that Boston was honored as a bicentennial archdiocese. I wish I could have been there to see the Pope. With all the pictures and the things that you wrote you really made me feel like I was there in the stadium. I have heard that you are visiting schools on the South Shore. I think that is so amazing. It would be an honor if you would come to St. Paul 7th grade to visit us. I would be so happy if you came to visit us. Hope to see you soon.
    – Kiana

  8. This blog was my favorite so far! I enjoyed the part where you wrote about the pope’s visit to Yankee Stadium. I truly wish I could have gone to witness that historical time. But, some of the kids in my school had the opportunity to go and they said it was very beautiful. The turnout of people was incredible! Also, just a reminder St. Paul School gets out on June 11, and if you could fit it into your busy schedule to visit us we greatly appreciate it.

  9. Cardinal Sean,
    I realling enjoyed your blog about the pope visiting Yankee Stadium. A few people went from our parish and they loved it. The visit was definitley a historic event.
    Caroline -St. Paul School

  10. Dear Cardinal Sean,
    My name is Johnny and I attend St. Paul’s School in Hingham, Massachusetts. There were tons of great things in your blog this week but the most interesting part was of course the trip you took to Yankee Stadium to see the Pope’s mass. It must have been wonderful and totally worth the trip to New York. I was also wondering since school gets out June 11th, if you are ever out in the South Shore maybe you could come to grade 7, everyone would thouroughly enjoy it, I’m sure. Hope to see you soon!

  11. Hey, my name is Curtis and I attend St. Paul school. I was happy that you had time to spend with the Holy Father during his trip to the U.S. I was also happy that the trip and mass at Yankee Stadium was so successful. I would like to try and go on a mission to the Dominican Republic like the two groups of kids you met at the Airport. I was overwhelmed at the amount of Bostonians that attended the Mass for the Holy Father. I also thought that the cufflinks were a great birthday gift. It seemed like a trip that will not be forgotten by anyone.

  12. Hi I am Kelly, a 7th grade student at St. Paul school in Hingham. I enjoyed reading this blog because there were many new events going on in the church. My favorite event that I read was about Pope Benedict XVI and his mass at Yankee Stadium. There were so many people who attended this mass, even from Boston! This will be an event that will stay in history forever!
    Cardinal Sean, I would like to ask you to come to Hingham for a visit if you are in the neighborhood because our school year is almost done. My school would greatly appreciate if you came.
    ~ Kelly

  13. Hi, my name Caroline K. from St. Paul School in Hingham, Ma. It must have been amazing to attend Mass at Yankee Stadium. I think this may be your best blog ever! The pictures are beautiful and I would have loved to watch the pope. You must have felt God’s presence throughout the whole Mass. If you are ever on the South Shore, please visit St. Paul School before the end of the year. Thank you and GBY!

  14. Hi, I am Kate from St. Paul School in Hingham, MA. WOW! The pope visiting America is really a historic event! By reading your blog and looking at your pictures I feel like I was there! The Alter was set up beautifully and the Pope must have felt extremely welcome. My classmates and I would love to have you visit! June 11th is our last day of school, only 30 days left!( but who’s counting?)
    God Bless and Go Red Sox!

  15. Hi, I am Clara King from St. Paul School Hingham. Even though i could not attend the Papal Mass I am sure it was a amazing. You have one great picture of the stadium that really gives me a visual image. Going to this mass was a once in a life time experience, and I bet knowing that made it all the more special!!!!
    PS We get out June 11th and it would be a delight if you would stop by

  16. HI! This is Emily from St.Paul School in Hingham. Cardinal Sean, I wonder how great and amazing it must have been to meet the Pope! Also the Red Socks were a great touch, because you Showed support for our team!!!!!! We know your schedule is soooooooooooooooooo busy, but we were wondering, do you think that maybe you could come for a visit to our school? It would really mean a lot to us!!!

    ~Emily~ 🙂

  17. Dear Cardinal Sean,

    Hi Cardinal Sean, my name is Caroline and I go to St. Paul School in Hingham, Ma. I wish I could have been there at Yankee Stadium to see the pope. Some people in our school; even in our class went to this historic event! The pictures that you have taken are AMAZING! Our last day of school is June 11th… We here at St. Paul School would love for you to visit our school!!! That is if your not too busy. I look forward to your next post!


  18. Hi again,
    I thought this blog was very full of information! It was very nice to hear about the pope coming to America, and him being so close to me! It was very cool to hear about so many priests being in one spot at the same time. I thought it was also funny when Cardinal Sean showed us his “Red Socks”. I am a seventh grader at St. Paul School in Hingham and you are welcome any time! No need to rush, but we would really like you to come to our school, and we only have a couple weeks left in the school year. Thank you for taking your time to write this blog!


  19. Hi I am Christian Leahy from S.T. Paul school in Hingham. What I enjoyed most about your new blog is how you talked so much about the popoe coming to America. Another thing I really have not mentioned is how amazing you keep your schedule. It must be a lot! God Bless!

  20. Hello, my name is Hugh and I attend St.Paul’s school. I can’t even imagine how wonderful the mass at Yankee Stadium must have been. When I saw all of the wonderful pictures from the ceremony I was speech less. I bet Cardinal Sean had a wonderful time there. Cardinal Sean, I think I speak for my whole school when I say that we would love it if you could stop by and see us in Hingham, if your ever in the South Shore. Go Red Sox!

  21. Dear Cardinal Sean,
    My name is Megan and I attend St. Paul school in Hingham MA. Wow! Your blog has really blown my mind! It’s really great you attended the Pope’s mass. I would of loved to attend that mass! By looking at your pictures, I can tell it was beautiful! Imagine! Being given the Holy Comunion by the Pope!
    The next time you are near Hingham, Massachusetts, make sure you visit my school: St. Paul School in Hingham.
    Untill your next post!

  22. In my opinion, the pictures of the Pope’s Mass were beautiful. Everything from the way the alter was set up to the people who attended was great! It was nice to read about all the priests that attended, and that the Archdiocese of Boston was well represented. You could tell everyone was excited to be there, but they still took it seriously. I wish I could have gone, and enjoyed a beautiful part of history. Also, I noticed that you’re visiting many schools, and my school, St. Paul School, would love to be able to meet you! June 11th is our last day of school, so our school year is coming to end.


  23. I was at Yankee Stadium for the papal mass and I found that the security was incredibly lacking compared to what my family and I found out. According to the website, we would have to park several blocks away from the stadium and walk the rest of the way, when in fact we pulled up right in front of it. Also, we weren’t permitted to bring food in, but my aunt took in a banana with minimal problems, even though the guards said it was because it couldn’t be thrown very far like an apple or orange could. Despite this, the person sitting in front of me had a bag full of apples that she was eating up until the mass began. Just an interesting fact: I got tickets from my aunt, so we were sitting in the section for the archdiocese of Denver, and when the names of the cardinals for the archdiocese being celebrated were shown on the screens, the people behind me saw your name and said “Oh, Cardinal Sean, he’s from Montana, right?” I found that kind of funny. By the way, I was sitting in the bleachers, and in you photo of the stadium I could see exactly where.

  24. Dear Cardinal Sean,
    This is by far one of the best blogs that I have read of yours. It must have been a very moving experience for you to be up close and meet the Pope. Maybe it was good luck that you wore your red socks at Yankee Stadium! I am relieved that everything went as planned and nothing went out of line. My Mother actually attended the Boston Women’s Conference for the 3rd time and she said that it was a great experience. She really enjoyed it and said that she will be going many more times to come. Can’t wait for next weeks blog!

  25. Cardinal Sean, I so enjoy your website…Please continue your postings.I have it marked as one of my favorites. You have a fan in Oklahoma !

  26. This is Susie of Saint Paul School, Hingham.
    I really enjoyed that you wrote about the historic event of the Pope coming to the United States. A few kids from our school went to see the Pope’s arrival at Yankee stadium. Those pictures you took were great! Thank you for taking the time to write this blog.


  27. Hello, I am a 7th grade student at Saint Paul School, in Hingham, Massachusetts. It is very interesting that Pope Benadict XVI actually visited America. It is even more interesting that you had the chance to meet him in New York. My friend also went, and he said that it was amazing. It was very interesting also that you saw a poster with the sign of the Archdiocese of Boston on it. The Seventh Grade would love to have a visist form you, but you dont have much time left. Our school year ends on June 11.

  28. You expressed concern that so many things could go wrong. But now we have a German Pope so everything is well organized. I read that
    at the Mass at National Stadium in DC the 300
    priests were able to distribute the Communion
    in 30 minutes.

  29. Dear Cardinal Sean,
    I was moved to tears by the reports about your presentation of the book of names to the Holy Father. I have not been personally affected by the abuse scandal, but still I have been grieving and hurt from the beginning at the absence of any real acknowledgment from Rome about the depth of the suffering. Thank you so much for doing this – what a powerful way to symbolize and express our grief as a local church about what has happened here. This beautiful gesture is a very important step in the healing process.

  30. I am a priest from the diocese of Joliet, and I wanted to write you to congratulate you about your actions on having the Pope meet with the sex abuse survivors.
    I admit meeting with abuse victims was a wonderful act. However, we often forget about another victim of the sexual abuse crisis that effected the church and that is priests who have been falsely accused, or whose allegations not proved to be true. For instance, a classmate who is still living with his mother because the diocese refuses to reinstate him. His allegations have been dropped, but his bishop still does not allow him to function as a priest.

    I would have been more impressed if the Pope also met with priests after his mass at St.Patick’s Cathedral who have been falsely accused to give them the message of hope that they should continue on with thier ministry witout fear of any more unproven allegations.

    I wish more people would realize that there are more victims of the sexual abuse crisis out there than those who have been sexually abused.

  31. Wow! I am always amazed at the schedule you keep. Thank you for being the instrument in providing the abuse victims an opportunity to meet privately with the Holy Father. This may indeed be one of the most important fruits of the Holy Father’s visit, and your mediation made this possible.

    P.S. You didn’t bury one of those “red socks” in the new Yankee Stadium construction, did you?

  32. Thank you Cardinal Sean.

    Faith, love, trust.
    In that order.
    From faith comes love. Out of love comes trust.
    In the face of our humanness there is always the hope of God.

    James McEleney

  33. I’m really happy the Pope’s trip was so successful. By the way, you take pretty good photos with your phone, Your Eminence!

  34. Cardinal Sean,
    Your blogs are always delightful. The headlines on this one made me chuckle. The pictures were wonderful, too. I sent a little prayer to heaven for you thanking God for the gift of your sense of humor, with the picture of your red soxes in my thoughts. God reads thoughts and he got the picture. I’ll bet Jesus laughed while telling Mother Mary, “Thats our Cardinal from Boston.”
    We love you dearly,
    Rose Marie
    N. Dartmouth, MA

  35. You could just see how everyone was so happy to be with the Pope and celebrate Mass with him in Yankee stadium. I think all the Religious there especially seem to enjoy their time with the Holy Father.
    I’m so glad you showed those “Red Socks”.

  36. Great posting, Your Eminence. It was great to see a little bit of an “insider’s” view of the Papal visit.

  37. The Holy Father’s visit to our country was such a success and such a moment of grace and evangelization for our culture. I concelebrated at St. Patrick’s Cathedral and it was almost overwhelming. Thanks especially for making that most special meeting happen.

  38. I constantly read the ‘blog’ and I find it difficult to bring the photo’s up with the text. It would be helpful if in some way we could click on an icon to have the photos with the text.
    The blog is quite interesting and informative.
    Thank You.

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April 2008