Breaking ground in Dorchester

This has been a very busy and interesting week with many events and meetings!

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Last Friday, I celebrated the First Friday Mass for archdiocesan staff at Bishop Peterson Hall in Brighton. I also invited the consecrated virgins of the archdiocese to the Mass, and then we had a breakfast meeting with them afterward. We meet occasionally, and at this meeting they had the opportunity to share about the different activities and ministries they are involved in.


Beth Lee was visiting from the Diocese of Fall River and shared with us the paper she will present at an international meeting of consecrated virgins that will take place in Rome next week in Rome. She will join another 500 consecrated virgins from 52 countries, including 31 from the U.S.

Another consecrated virgin, Sr. Kathleen, has developed a website, that provides e-mail delivery of a brief Scripture message for each day. She told me that within a few weeks, there will be another website: that will provide a similar service, but will be short messages taken from the talks and writings of the Holy Father.

I was impressed by the activities and the witness of these wonderful women.

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Later that day, I met with the leaders of Women in God’s Spirit (WINGS). The organization has sparked many parish women’s groups. Many of the women have also been involved in the annual Boston Catholic Women’s Conference. I thanked them for all of their help in promoting women’s ministry.

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Also on Friday, Archbishop Timothy Broglio, recently named archbishop for the Military Services, stopped by to pay a visit. Our vicar general, Father Richard Erikson — who is himself a military chaplain also attended.


Archbishop Broglio also planned to go later in the day to Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford. The Archdiocese for the Military Services is one of the largest archdioceses because it includes many thousands of military personnel and their families.

Previously, Archbishop Broglio served as the apostolic nuncio in Santo Domingo and at the same time as apostolic delegate to Puerto Rico. He is a priest of the Diocese of Cleveland and has been in the diplomatic service of the Holy See for many years.

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Then, I met with the superior general of the Daughters of St. Paul, Sister Maria Antonieta Bruscato. She is from southern Brazil, so we spoke Portuguese at the luncheon.



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On Friday evening, I participated in a holy hour, evening prayer and dialogue with the seminarians at St. John’s. I do this several times during the year, and on this occasion we spoke about the impact of the Holy Father’s visit, what he said and the seminarians’ participation in the papal events. The Boston seminarians went to New York for the youth rally on Saturday and Mass on Sunday.



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On Saturday, the Knights of Columbus had their state convention in Burlington. I went to address the knights and then visited the wives who had their own meeting at the hotel.


Many of the Knights were wearing cowboy hats and sheriff badges, and they had a Dolly Parton-like singer. It was very nice.


William Donovan is the newly elected State Deputy. Here is with mother Eileen and wife Annmarie


The Lynch Family of Walpole received the Knights’ Family of the Year Award

I told them how grateful the priests and others in the archdiocese are for all of the wonderful work the knights do to promote vocations, family life and defend the gospel of life. I mentioned how pleased I was that the Holy Father spoke quite a bit about Father Michael McGivney, founder of the knights, through the course of his talks.


Past State Deputy Dick Guerriero and wife Patricia
receive plaque for years of service on State Board.
So from left to right we have Dick, State Deputy, Vincent Rumasuglia,
Patricia Guerriero and Renie Rumasuglia

– – –

Then, I celebrated a very beautiful Centennial Mass at St. Brigid Parish in South Boston.



They have a lovely choir. At the end of Mass, they had the children perform a piece on the tin whistle, which is a very Irish instrument.



Later, at a dinner at the University of Massachusetts Boston, the pastor, Father Robert Casey sang an Irish song. After he finished singing, John “Wacko” Hurley, the famous South Boston politician, said to me, “Cardinal, tell Father to learn a new song.” Apparently Father Casey always sings the same song. I had never heard him sing before, and he has a magnificent voice, although his repertoire may be limited.


UMass Boston is quite near the parish, and they have a lovely view of the city and the harbor from there. At that dinner, the parish honored the Sisters of Nazareth who have been at St. Brigid School for generations. One of the sisters who was honored has been a religious for 75 years.


– – –

On Sunday, I celebrated a Mass at Sacred Hearts Church in Malden to mark the centennial of the parish’s school.


The interior of the church is stunning, particularly the windows





It is named the Cheverus Centennial School because it was founded at the time of the archdiocese’s centennial and named after our first bishop. As I said at the Mass, I am sure that the school’s founders had no idea that 100 years later we would be reaping the benefits of their vision and sacrifices.



Cheverus Centennial School Principal Susan Degnan

I was so impressed by the number of alumni who joined us for the celebration; there was standing-room only. The mayor of Malden, Richard Howard, attended the Mass. He is a graduate of the school.


Speaking with Mayor Howard before the Mass.
Many of Sisters of Providence were there and were honored for their years of service.

I had not been at that parish since 1985 when I was there for confirmations, but the pastor, Father Daniel Hickey is the same pastor who was there when I went there over 20 years ago.


Father Dan Hickey

While I was bishop of the Virgin Islands, I used to do confirmations here in Boston. It is common for bishops to invite missionary bishops to help with confirmations since they often have only a few parishes in the diocese they are serving. In the Virgin Islands I had only eight parishes!


The choir was wonderful



Some of the school’s second graders performed a song at the end of the Mass


This gentleman wore his Cheverus uniform tie from 1967!

I very much enjoyed doing those confirmations and the chance to visit the bookstores while I was here. I did that for years, so I had been to many of the parishes here before I became archbishop. In particular, I was often invited to the parishes with large Hispanic and Haitian communities because the parishioners wanted someone who spoke their native language.

– – –

That evening, I attended a Mass at Boston University that commemorated the archdiocese bicentennial celebration and the month of Our Lady. Marsh Chapel was full of students who attended the celebration that ended with a May crowning. The statue of Mary and the crown made of flowers were very beautiful, and the students showed a great affection of the Mother of our Church.







– – –

On Monday, I visited the South Shore Chamber of Commerce for an event honoring Ken Quigley, head of Curry College in Milton. He has been a volunteer in the archdiocese and has been a great help with some of our hospital projects.


Speaking with Jack Spurr and Ken Quigley

There were 500 people at the luncheon, and I was happy to be greeted by the owners of Lombardo’s who told me that they had been at the Cursillo Mass the previous week. They are cursillistas as are many of the others who attended the luncheon.

– – –

Later, I was present at the groundbreaking for the Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy in Dorchester, which is the second project of the 2010 Initiative, which has shown great promise in Dorchester already. The enrollment for the fall has already increased by more than 200 students.



The ceremony was held at the Columbia campus, site of former St. Margaret’s School and renovations have already begun. The school is absolutely gorgeous with hardwood floors that have been redone, new windows and new marker boards.








Many people who have helped make this project a success were there, including Jack Connors, John Fish, Sister Kathleen FitzSimons and Paulo Debarrios. Also there were Mayor Thomas Menino, head of the city council Maureen Feeney, Mary Grassa O’Neil and Tiziana Dearing.


John Fish presented a multi-media show and spoke about the 2010 Initiative. Jack Connors spoke a little bit about the fundraising aspects of it. He talked about what he calls “Jack’s math,” which is how he calculates when the money needed to complete the project will be raised by. The committee has already raised $25 million toward the $68 million goal. Jack predicted that the amount will reach $45 million by Labor Day.





I was amused that afterward, Sister Kathleen Fitzsimons asked the children about “Jack’s math,” quizzing them on the amount raised, Labor Day goal and final amount. They remembered everything exactly. All the children are smart and looked great in their little hardhats. They also had tiny shovels and did the groundbreaking out front after I said the prayers of blessing.


Sprinkling the earth with Holy Water


The children really put themselves into the shoveling

– – –

On Wednesday the New England Pro-life directors dropped by, and I spent an hour with them. We talked about the different plans they have. We listed to Chris Godfrey, a wonderful guy who founded Life Athletes in 1986. He played professional football as a New York Giant for nine years. He spoke with us about his program for chastity education.

– – –

Thursday, I had a Mass at CatholicTV, and afterward I had the chance to see their new set for the children’s program WOW. The set is just fantastic. They have developed a children’s quiz show on catechetical-type questions. The podiums and everything they have done are so state-of-the-art. The kids really love it, and there’s an energy and joy about the program. If you have not had the chance to see the show yet, I urge you to.


I am so grateful to Father Robert Reed who is very creative in coming up with these ideas. The staff at CatholicTV that constructed that set is very, very talented.

As we finish the Easter Season, I encourage you to watch a video of WOW dedicated to the resurrection. Just click on the arrow below.[flv: 449 252]

As I said at the beginning, this was a very busy week.

Until my next post.

In Christ

Cardinal Seán.


29 thoughts on “Breaking ground in Dorchester”

  1. Daer Father Sean,
    You sure ahve a very busy schedule! You are everywhere! I enjoyed watching the WOW Show episode. It is a great way for children to express their faith in a fun way.

  2. Dear Cardinal Sean,

    I was very interested in the post about the students working on their school’s project. That’s amazing that those kids have such dedication to their school to do that. I hope they reach their goal of 68 million dollars! Thank you for putting in the time to post your blog weekly.

    Until the next post!!!
    A student from Saint Paul School

  3. Dear Cardinal Sean,
    I would like to respond to Leif, the man who thought you should be spending more time on more substantial matters than throwing holy water with tots.

    From a human perspective, it could appear that Cardinal Sean is schmoozing, doing nothing more than engaging in coffee klatches and other frivolous things while babies in utero are being murdered.

    From a more divine perspective, these “pleasant soirees” are another way of shepherding people and leading them to God. It’s building a foundation of committed Catholics, strong in their faith and morals, so that she or he will assuredly not be the next person walking by Leif into Planned Parenthood.

    Leif, may God pour His richest blessings upon you and may our Holy Mother protect you and sustain you in the difficult but necessary work that you do.

  4. Hello, I am a 7th grade student from Saint Paul School in Hingham, Massachusetts. It was interesting how the children actually dug the ground with shovels. Who would have guessed! I t was also very interesting htat you sprinkled the earth with holy water. You are very busy and I do not understand how you can do so much in just one week. I will write again next week. ☺☻☺☻

  5. Cardinal Sean –

    Every visit to your blog is a pleasure. Thank you for your (seemingly) tireless work. I used to think that Bishop Kevin Rhoades of the Harrisburg Diocese was the busiest prelate in the U.S. – but after this posting, I’m not so sure.

    May God bless you always. Peace. ~~~mary

  6. It looks like Cardinal Sean had another busy week! I thought the groundbreaking ceremony wad very interesting. I guarantee the school will turn out beautifully and that it will educate many children. I couldn’t believe that they have raised that much money! I am grateful for the people who generously donated.
    Until next week!
    (7th grade student at St.Paul’s school)

  7. Dear Cardinal Sean,
    Hi! My name is Megan and I attend St. Pual School in Hingham MA. WOW! Literally! You visit so many schools, and each school you go to, you get a prefromance and a warm welcome! I thought the WOW program was really neat. I love game shows and it’s really great to have a Catholic game show that lets you have fun and learn about your faith all at one time! It must of been fun to actually go “behind the scenes” of a Catholic game show! (sure to be succesful!)
    Untill your next blog!

  8. Dear Cardinal,
    My name is Gabriella and I am a 7th grade student at St. Paul School. You were right when you said you had a busy week! It’s amazing that you were able to accomplish all of these tasks! I took interest in the WOW program and enjoyed watching the clip on it. I think it is a great opportunity to teach children about God. God Bless.

  9. Dear Cardinal Sean,
    How do you find the time to do everything? You must have a very busy scheceule! If you are ever in Hingham, drop by St.Paul School!

  10. Dear Cardinal Sean,
    My name is Johnny and I attend St. Paul’s School in Hingham, Massachusetts. This week’s blog was one of the best I’ve read. I enjoyed every part a lot but the part I enjoyed the most was the part about the groundbreaking you attended for the Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy in Dorchester. It sounded very interesting. It was surprising to me to hear that the enrollment for the fall has already increased by 200 people. I’m sure it will be great for the town of Dorchester. The blog this week was great and I hope you keep updating us on what you do every week. Thanks again!

  11. Dear Cardinal Sean,
    I enjoyed your blog very much this week. I eccpecially liked the part about the groundbreaking ceremony for the new school in Dorchester it was inspiring that already they have raised 25 million and have predicted on raising a even larger sum by Labor Day.
    You are a very busy man and comfort the lives of many.
    God Bless.
    Caroline~St Paul School

  12. Dear Cardinal Sean,
    Your blog was wonderful! I was greatly mesmerized by the Sacred Heart Church. It truly was stunning! Once again you are a very busy man, I don’t know how you do it!!!
    ~Clara K.~
    St. Paul Student
    Hingham, Massachusetts

  13. Your Eminence,

    I often visit your blog and I am so happy when I saw the photo that we ate together on Friday evening. Through your activities and your love, you are a great Shepherd that I should follow your good example on my ideal way.
    Thank you very much for all!

  14. I loved the part of the blog on WOW! I thought it was a very exciting show. The clip was really enjoyable and entertaining. It seemed like something that younger kids would really enjoy watching, while learning. I think it’s a great way for kids to learn about their faith, and have fun at the same time. Also, I loved the eyeball glasses on the Alexander and Ryan! I can’t until next week’s blog.

  15. Hi, this Is Susie from Saint Paul School, Hingham.
    This week I was really interested By the WOW program on CatholicTV. I never knew about it until I read your blog this week. I think it is a very good idea because it is a great way for kids to get excited about their faith. Thank you for taking the time to post this blog!


  16. Hello, this is Ben form St. Paul School in Hingham. I was looking at Sister Kristin’s website, and I think it could be a very helpful guide to Catholic life. The best part is that it not only has verses, it also has a few sentences that clarify them. I’m looking forward to when her next site opens!

  17. Dear Cardinal, My family and I are inspired by your wonderful Catholic example in this world. I live in Ca. and love you blog. Leif, please don’t criticize the Cardinal. Maybe it is through his prayers, Masses and sacrifices that you are able to carry out your pro-life work. I have 11 children and my pro-life work is my family and daily duty. The Cardinal has his daily duties too. The many peoples he comes in contact with sense his love for Christ and they are inspired by him and his example to love God more and live more fully their faith. He loves all of God’s children, especially the most needy. Please pray for the Cardinal and all our Bishops and priests and religious, for renewed fervor and devotion to their daily duty of holiness. God bless you Cardinal!!! All our love and prayers here in Ca.!

  18. thank you for being able to look at your blog I’ve feel I’ve been inspired god bless you

  19. Hello Cardinal Sean, I am Caroline K. from St. Paul School in Hingham, Ma. You certainly had a very busy week! I loved the pictures of the Mass at Sacred Heart Church in Malden. The church is just gorgeous! I was also very interested in the WOW program. It is so cool! Thank you very much for your blog. GBY!

  20. Hello Cardinal Sean, I browsed through the website that Sr. Kathleen had made, and I enjoyed the Scripture verses very much! I am thinking of printing out my favorite ones, and making a Scripture bulletin board!
    Thank You for writing this!
    ~Christine C.~ (A student from St. Paul School)

  21. Dear Cardinal Sean,
    I enjoyed reading your blog. You never stop. There are so many different activities that you do over the course of the week. My favorite part of the blog is about the WOW show. I think it is really cool. It is so inspiring that children can go on the show and talk deeply about their faith. I believe that it is a way that children can teach other children while having fun. I can not wait until your blog next week!

  22. Hello, Cardinal Sean, I am a seventh grade student at Saint Paul School, Hingham, Massachusetts. It looks like you have been very busy this week celebrating mass at various places. How do you manage such a busy schedule? Did you know that my school only has one month left of school! Hopefully we will see you soon! Can’t wait! 🙂


  23. Your Eminence,

    What a busy week! You are truly inspiring for an 18 year old man. I have always throught that the Archdiocese of Boston would be a hard place to handle after the scandals, and thus you have and continue to be in my prayers.

    It seemed like the Holy Father’s visit with the seminarians was very sucessful. His messge of prayer was beautiful.

    I was wondering, why have the bishops of the U.S. for the most part moved Acension Thursday to Sunday? It seems to me as a way to “lower the standard” and Jesus never lowered the standard but simply helped others to meet the standard. Forty days from Easter is a Thursday not a Sunday. Is there any hope for a sucessful return to Thursday?

    God bless you, and God bless our Holy Father!!!

  24. Your Eminence:

    Always enjoy your blogs. Just an interesting side note, I recognized Archbishop Broglio from a National Geographic program on the Vatican. It was filmed some years ago, and featured him in the days leading up to his ordinatiion as bishop.

    Pax et Bonum

  25. Aloha, Cardinal Sean …
    I’ve enjoyed reading your blog ever since I first discovered it when you chronicled your journey to Rome for the consistory that elevated you to the College of Cardinals. How you find the time for it I cannot tell.

    My parish, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, in Aiea (near Pearl Harbor) is a Capuchin parish, staffed by priests of the Vice-Province of Mary, Star of the Sea that covers Guam, Hawaii and I think, the Marshall Islands. I can’t begin to tell how good these Capuchins have been for us. They’ve brought us together as a community, renewed us in spirit and sacrificed so much in time, availability and always seem to be full of the joy of the Gospel. Our current pastor is Fr. Michel Dalton. I guess I just want to thank you as a member of the Franciscan Capuchins, since you seem to exhibit the same joy and humlity that I observe in our Capuchins.

    I think they could have used you as a speaker at the recent Convocation of Priests. When you post your homilies on those high feasts of the Church I always share them with our Pastor as “A Word from a Capuchin.” He is always very appreciative.

  26. Dear Cardinal Sean,

    I stood outside the Allston Planned Parenthood this morning, with a very small group of pro-lifers.
    At one point, two young ladies walked out of the clinic and came right up to me. They told me defiantly that they knew very well that an abortion entailed the killing of a baby, but that this was none of my concern, and that if a woman wants to kill a baby I shouldn’t interfere.
    They were not being sarcastic.

    I asked her if it we should also allow women to have their young children killed, and not interfer in such an event as well.
    I didn’t get a clear response to that, but just more of “It’s not your business. You shouldn’t be here, It’s a woman’s right.”

    So, Cardinal Sean, we need you to step away from the coffee klatsches and pleasant soirees. Innocent lives are being butchered, Monday through Saturday, down at your local Planned Parenthood. Every abortion they do snuffs out an innocent beating heart, and that is a scientific fact in addition to being a moral outrage.

    I believe the Lord requires we do something substantial in the face of such barbarism; something more “preaching to the converted” (see numerous photos above), or throwing holy water at a little tots ground breaking ceremony.

    Murder of the most brutal sort is present– and legal– in our communities.
    Please stand up!

  27. Dear Cardinal Sean,

    It was great to read your blog, again. I was very happy to see the new WOW program for kids. The contestants were great. What an awesome way to reach out to those that mean so much to us, help to reinforce their faith and give them pride in themselves and their religion. I hope this will become a regular addition to Catholic TV.

    What a WOWnderful idea! BRAVO to Father Reed. I look forward to your next blog.

    Thank you for sharing your pictures from the Papal Visit. They were great. Thanks for showing us your lucky RED SOX.

    God Bless.


  28. A real Shepherd looking after the people of God wherever they are. Please always post your priestly blessing at the end of the blog, it carries lots of the High Priest’s grace. Thank you for your generous life.


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May 2008