Hello and welcome!
This week was our meeting of the Board of Directors of The Catholic University of America. Being in Washington gave me the chance to celebrate Mass for St. Joseph’s Day with the Missionaries of Charity, who have a formation program there for about 40 sisters.
I also visited the new Chapel at Maloney Hall.
This is the home of CUA’s business school, which was just recently refurbished and, in the process, they created this very beautiful Chapel.
I also had the opportunity to give a talk at the University. The formators of the seminaries and religious orders asked me to speak about causes for hope in the Church today. We had a very large group of about 200 to 300 seminarians and young religious at O’Connell Hall.
I told them I realize how hard it must be to be a seminarian or young religious today in America, particularly in Washington, where they have been through so much.
I shared with them that, in this terrible time of crisis, it is only holiness that is going to help the Church move forward. If we are faithful to our formation and faithful in taking care of people, and if our words and actions are paired with the values of the gospel and what we profess in our faith, only then will we be able to bring healing to our Church and all those who have been wronged by it.
I was amazed at how many people came. If I had had 50 people there, I would have thought it was a great turnout. Instead, there was a huge crowd. You can see how these topics are certainly on people’s minds, and seminarians and young religious are looking for answers, like everyone else.
Wednesday, I was back in Boston, and I attended the wake of Deirdre Kennedy whose twin brother is Father Bill Kennedy, a priest of the archdiocese currently serving as a Navy chaplain in Washington.
I was very glad I was able to be there and express my condolences to the family.
Thursday morning, we had a meeting of the Archdiocesan Finance Council. This is a group of laypeople from a variety of professions and disciplines who help advise the archdiocese on financial matters. They are very dedicated men and women who have been a huge help to the archdiocese over the years, and we are very grateful for their service.
Then in the afternoon, we had one of our regular meetings of the recently ordained priests of the archdiocese. In my remarks to them, I shared some of the thoughts I had expressed to the seminarians and religious in Washington. We also discussed priestly spirituality during the Lenten season, and a number of the young priests shared some insights into their pastoral practices.
As always, it was a wonderful opportunity for us to be together, pray, share a meal and discuss priestly life and ministry.
Until next week,