Celebrating Mass with the Catholic deaf community

Hello, once again.

The result of Tuesday’s special election was very surprising. It has captured the attention of the world because no one ever suspected that someone who was not a Democrat would be able to be elected to the seat the late Sen. Ted Kennedy held for nearly 50 years. Several commentators have noted that the election has significance beyond Massachusetts, specifically that it points to deeply felt anxiety about the economy, unemployment and the health care debate.


I think it is refreshing that the people of Massachusetts have voted independent of their party affiliation. In the Church we have always encouraged the people to look at issues rather than just vote party-line or vote for sectarian reasons.

We hope that Senator-elect Scott Brown will be successful in his work in Washington. He has pledged himself to represent the people of the Commonwealth well. He has my prayers and the prayers of the people of Massachusetts.

At the same time we are grateful to all the candidates who participate in the democratic process because it requires a great sacrifice from individuals and their families, yet without people willing to run for office we would not be able to have a democracy.

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Last Friday, we had the first of a series of vicariate dinners with priests at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Chelmsford. Just as I do frequently with the young priests – bringing the priests together for prayer, dinner, and conversation – we thought that during the Year for Priests it would be good to extend this opportunity to all priests.


We have such a large presbyterate, so to have the opportunity to interact in a more intimate, social way is a wonderful opportunity to get to know our priests better and build our priestly fraternity.

Through these dinners we hope to be able to listen to their ideas and to acknowledge the wonderful work that they do and encourage them in their priestly ministry.

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On Saturday, I celebrated the funeral Mass of Father Joe McGlone, the retired pastor of Corpus Christi Parish in Newton. He had been pastor there for 32 years. There was a wonderful turnout of priests and parishioners. May he rest in peace.Pilot_11449

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Although I was unable to attend, I want to make mention of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas conference. Father Kevin O’Leary, who is their chaplain, attended it in my stead. We are very pleased they are beginning to start groups on Catholic campuses for young women.


From left to right:  Maureen Trainor, State Secretary (Bradford), Connie Pagan, 1st Vice State Regent (Framingham), Helene Shepard, CDA National Director, Linda Coletti, State Regent (Medford), Judi Shooter, 2nd Vice State Regent (Danvers) and Mary Ann Gruszecki, State Treasurer (Adams).

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I celebrated Mass with the deaf community at Sacred Heart Parish in Newton on Sunday, with Sacred Heart’s pastor Father John J. Connelly and Father Hugh Macsherry, a Franciscan, who concelebrated with me. We had a full church.

awaiting processional

Have Mercy





Father Shawn Carey and Father Jeremy St. Martin, who both work in our deaf apostolate here in the archdiocese, were in Texas at a meeting organized by the National Catholic Office for the Deaf and so they could not participate at the Mass.

Lacerra Family

Lualdi Boys

Meet and Greet 2

Meeting and Greeting

It was a wonderful experience to be a part of their liturgy, their worshipping community. Of course, for someone with hearing, one of the strangest things is not having the singing. One of the most moving things was the Prayer of the Faithful where several people in the community prayed for different intentions.

mingling at the hall

There was a young boy who prayed for the victims of Haiti, particularly those who were in the school for the deaf there who had had some contact with the school where he goes.

presentation from the children

I was so impressed at the proficiency of the interpreters, particularly Trudy Schafer, who teaches at Northeastern University and who is an extraordinary asset to the community there.

Then, at the reception, they gave me a crucifix.



Marge Tucker, a member of the deaf Catholic community,
presented me with the crucifix.



Until they pointed it out to me, I didn’t even notice that Christ is speaking in sign language from the cross, saying “I love you.”


– – –

That evening, I had confirmation at St. Charles Parish in Woburn. There were about 75 young men and women and a standing-room-only crowd in the church. It was a beautiful choir and a very fine program. Father Tim Shea and Father Arthur MacKay are doing a wonderful job there.

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On Monday, I had the first of a series of vicariate meetings in Lowell. We’re having these pastoral planning meetings in order to look at pastoral priorities for the archdiocese and to get the input of the priests. It was very well attended, despite the fact that it was a very snowy day. Lowell looked like a winter wonderland. The trees and everything were covered with snow. Many diocesan priests and Oblates of Mary Immaculate who staff several parishes in the area were there.

– – –

On Wednesday, the first contingent of volunteer medical personnel from St. Elizabeth’s Hospital went to Haiti. One of the things we are doing in the Archdiocese to help the recovery efforts is providing support through our Catholic hospitals. The hospitals have asked for volunteer doctors and nurses and about 75 have volunteered.


So, they went down – the first group of them. John Fish, a good friend of the archdiocese, was kind enough to lend us a plane to transport them to Milot, which is in the north coast of Haiti. The Sacre Coeur hospital where the team was headed is sponsored by the Order of Malta. They are trying to use that facility as a trauma center. The military has begun to transport injured people by helicopter to the hospital where they have a heliport.

The Caritas team is led by Mark Pearlmutter, MD, Chief of Emergency Medicine for Caritas Christi

There is also a Haitian priest who went down with them who is also a trained emergency worker. They had Mass before they left.

NECN was there at Hanscom Field when they left and has the following news video on them:

Please keep them and all the earthquake victims they will assist in your prayers.

Peace be with you,

Cardinal Seán

14 thoughts on “Celebrating Mass with the Catholic deaf community”

  1. Dear Cardinal Sean,

    I think it is excellent that you agree that the voters of Massachusetts have voted independently to the success of candidate Scott Brown, considering that this state is normally democratically oriented. I also think it is outstanding that the Archdiocese of Boston can come together to pray upon the best for Scott in the upcoming year in light of the Christianity connection we Catholics have with Scott, a protestant.

    Thank you.

  2. Your Eminence,

    Will you be posting the homily you delivered on the Friday of the March for Life at your old parish in Columbia Heights? As an OMV seminarian, I was in attendance and was hoping to be able to share your message with others.

    Grace and Peace,

  3. Dear Cardinal Seán,

    I agree that this years election was a very historical and educational one. I knew Scott Brown will do a great good as Senator with the guidence of God.

    I am very sorry for the loss of Father Joe McGlone. It can be hard to lose someone who you know or have worked with. He is in my prayers.

    I am glad to hear that doctors and nurses are volunteering to help the Haitian people. Espessically since there was a second earthquake ther. It is very devestating and it is sad to hear that many people who were there have not been found.

    Thank you for this weeks blog. I am looking forward to next weeks.

    Deanna Bono
    Saint Paul School
    Grade 8

  4. Dear Cardinal Sean,

    I am very sorry to hear about Father Joe McGlone. The blog that you celebrated with the deaf community at Sacred Heart Parish was very nice. I am happy to see that volunteer medical personnel from St. Elizabeth’s Hospital went to Haiti. Thank you for your wonderful blog!

    St Paul School
    Grade 8

  5. Dear Cardinal Sean,
    I want to say that I am very sorry for the death of Father Joe McGLone. Also, I am very happy to see that you have celebrated mass with the deaf community of Sacred Heart Parish in Newton. Finally, I would like to comment on how wonderful I think it is that volunteers from St. Elizabeth’s Hospital went to Haiti to help our brothers and sisters. Please keep praying for them as i will. God bless.

    Saint Paul School, Hingham

  6. Dear Cardinal Sean,

    This week’s blog was awesome! I think that is so great how the crucifix had Jesus saying “I Love You” in sign language! It is also great that 75 people volunteered to work in the hospitals in Haiti.

    I am so sorry to hear about the loss of Father Joe McGlone. I will be sure to pray for him and the victims of Haiti.

    Saint Paul School
    Grade 8

  7. Dear Cardinal Sean,
    I loved your blog this week! It was very interesting. I am sorry for the loss of Father Joe McGlone. May he rest in peace.
    The crucifix was very pretty, and I loved how Jesus was saying ‘I love you!’ I cannot wait until next week’s blog!

    Saint Paul School

  8. Dear Cardinal Sean,

    I am very sorry for the loss of Father Joe McGlone. I’m glad his funeral was that amazing. I will definetly keep the earthquake victims and their families in my prayers. This was a horrible thing that never should’ve happened. Thank you for a wonderful blog as always! Please visit our school soon.

    Mikayla McGrath

  9. Dear Cardinal Sean,

    I am sure that Scott Brown, our new Senator of Massachusetts, will do his best to work for the common good of the state. I will be sure to pray for Senator Brown and I wish him all of the best!

    I was very sorry to hear about the recent passing of Joe McGlone, after his 32 years of service to Corpus Christi Parish in Newton. It is wonderful that so many parishioners and priests came out for the funeral Mass.

    I was devastated to hear about the recent earthquake in Haiti. The devastation inflicted upon this nation is heart wrenching. I will pray for the victims of the earthquake and the volunteers, who are doing their best top heal with the few supplies they have.

    Thank you for this weeks blog and God Bless.

    Grade 8
    Saint Paul School in Hingham

  10. Dear Cardinal Sean,
    It was suprising that the Senate seat went to a Republican, since it has been a Democratic seat for so long but I’m sure that Scott Brown will do a great job.

    The crucifix you recieved is beautiful! I love the sign language, how clever!

    The nurses and doctors who volunteered to go Haiti are very brave and thoughtful. It is a very noble thing to do and I will keep them and the people of Haiti in my prayers.

    Grade 8
    Saint Paul School

  11. It was nice to see the pictures of Sacred Heart in Newton – where I grew up. Your Eminence might be surprised to learn that both Cardinal Spellman (1932-1939) and Cardinal Cushing (1939-1944) were pastors of Sacred Heart while they were Auxiliary Bishops in Boston. Later Auxiliary Bishop Eric MacKenzie (?-1969) was pastor. In 1936 Eugenio Cardinal Pacelli, later Pope Pius XII, visited Sacred Heart and stayed overnight in the rectory with Bishop Spellman eschewing the Cardinal’s Residence in Brighton and a stay with Cardinal O’Connell. So, the first person to become a Pope to visit Boston stayed at Sacred Heart.

    Perhaps you noticed the picture of Cardinal Pacelli, the commemorative plaque and ceremonial candle marking the event of his visit?


  12. Dear Cardinal Seán,

    I also found the election results surprising, especially because Senator Kennedy, a democrat, was senator for so long. I’m sure that Scott Brown will do his best as our new senator!

    I am very sincerely sorry for the loss of Father Joe McGlone. But it’s wonderful that there was such a great turnout for his funeral; I’m sure he is with God now.

    It’s so great to see so many people volunteering to help with the tragic circumstances in Haiti. That kind of religious service should be a model for us all – what an amazing example to be able to provide!

    Thank you for another great blog! God bless!

    Saint Paul School
    Grade 8

  13. Thank you for these weekly bulletins.. They are easy and enjoyable to read as well as being informative and inspiring.

    john McCarthy

  14. Your Eminence- I have faithfully followed your blog for almost a year now and I was delighted to see you at the Mass for Life this past Thursday. I was blessed to be one of the 400+ seminarians who processed for Mass. Though I wasn’t able to meet you or even see the celebration of Mass, you and your Brother Cardinals, Princes of the Church in our country, are a great inspiration to Catholics here, especially youth and young adults. Thanks for your service to Holy Mother Church. Pax tecum!
    -Michael Kubancsek
    Archdiocese of Indianapolis

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January 2010