Hello and welcome!
It was such a great joy to celebrate the Easter Triduum in our newly renovated cathedral. At all the liturgies, there were great crowds anxious to see the new look of the cathedral.
Our celebrations began Holy Thursday with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. On Holy Thursday, we have a bilingual liturgy because we want all the communities to gather to express the unity of the Church.
An important part of the Mass is the Washing of the Feet, or “the Mandatum” as it is called, to reenact what Jesus did at the Last Supper — giving us the commandment to love one another as he has loved us.
At the end of the Mass, the Blessed Sacrament is brought to the altar of repose in the chapel, where we have the Eucharistic vigil, which lasts until midnight and concludes with Compline.
The students from Boston University, who were accompanied by Father David Barnes, provided the music for the vigil.
We had hundreds of people coming to visit the repository of the Blessed Sacrament throughout the night. The chapel was standing room only, and there were even people standing outside for the closing of the vigil. It is always very inspiring to see all the young college students gathered with us, many of whom had participated in the Seven Churches Visitation, to follow the old tradition of visiting seven repositories in different churches on Holy Thursday.
Friday, there were three Stations of the Cross processions that visited the Cathedral. The first was the Way of the Cross for Life led by Colbe Mazzarella.
Then, we had the reenactment of the Stations by the Hispanic community at the Cathedral, which begins on the front steps and continues on through the neighborhood.
Later on in the afternoon, the group from Communion and Liberation concluded their Stations of the Cross at the Cathedral, and I gave them a brief reflection.
After that, we began the English service of Good Friday at 3 p.m.
We had 60 or 70 members of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre there to accompany the cross.
This year, I preached on the seven last words of Christ, which I do occasionally. It is a beautiful tradition, which I think is good for us to keep.
In the evening we had the service with the Spanish community.
We had very good crowds at all of the events. Good Friday is, of course, such a wonderful time for people to return to church because it is a way for them to reconnect.
These pictures show the three windows that are in the sacristy of the lower church of the cathedral, which, as you can imagine, most people never get to see. They depict the Christ on the Cross, Jesus before Pilate and Mary Magdalene at the tomb. There were very appropriate to the Triddum, so I wanted to share them with you this week.
As I like to do each Holy Saturday, I went to visit and have lunch with the Memores Domini at their residence in the North End. These are consecrated laypeople who come out of the Communion and Liberation movement founded by Father Luigi Giussani.
The consecrated laypeople are called Memores, and they also have a community of priests, the Priestly Fraternity of St. Charles Borromeo. We are blessed to have these different branches of the movement in our archdiocese.
Saturday night was, of course, the Easter Vigil.
The vigil is traditionally the time when new Catholics are received into the Church so, we had our first baptisms in our new baptismal font at the Cathedral.
In all we had 16 people received into the Church, about half of whom were baptized. We are so grateful to Sister Ruth, Sister Petra and Father Pablo for their work in the cathedral’s RCIA program, preparing people for the Easter sacraments.
We are also very grateful to our music director Richard Clark, who has done such wonderful work with the choir that provided music for our Holy Week liturgies.
The following day we had our Easter day Masses, which, again, all had quite good crowds. I was especially impressed to see that it was standing room only for the 11:30 Mass, which would have been about 1,500 people.
Monday, I attended the wake of Bishop Peter Uglietto’s uncle, Anthony Uglietto.
Bishop Uglietto and I led the prayer service, and many members of the extended family were there with us.
Tuesday, I visited MCI Concord to celebrate Mass and confirmations for the inmates.
With Deacon Tom Anthony, Superintendent Michael Rodrigues and Director of Treatment Lynn Lareau
Deacon Thomas Anthony is the chaplain there, and is doing just a wonderful job. He has something like 25 programs for the inmates, including the wonderful choir that sang for us at the Mass, and a good group of volunteers helping him.
MCI Concord has a very lovely chapel, which I understand the archdiocese built many years ago. It has beautiful Stations of the Cross, statues and icons.
As part of our visit, we also went to the Northeastern Correctional Center, which is the pre-release program there. We were very pleased to hear that the governor is working hard to reduce the prison population and to do more for rehabilitation and the successful reentry into the community of prisoners leaving the system.
Tuesday evening, I went to an event at Catholic Charities Teen Center at St. Peter’s, in which Bill Cummings, who is a very successful businessman and philanthropist, spoke to the young people from the Teen Center.
It was a wonderful event, and just another example of the great work that the Teen Center does to enrich the lives of the youth they serve.
Wednesday, I went to Cardinal Spellman High School in Brockton to celebrate a Mass to mark their 60th anniversary. The president of the school is Daniel Hodes, and Paul Kelly (who is the brother of Father Bill Kelly) is principal there, and they are both doing a fabulous job.
It was nice to see so many of the young people with their “God Squad” T-shirts
Cardinal Spellman has a wonderful choir and a very active campus ministry program.
Thursday, I attended the Catholic Charities Labouré Center Spring Reception held at The Exchange in the Seaport District.
During the evening they honored the Kerr family, who have been involved in the Labouré Center for many decades, doing everything from volunteering to serving on the board.
With Michael Shaughnessy, the son of the late Jack and Mary Shaughnessy, who were significant benefactors for the Labouré Center. Michael and his brothers continue that support
With Debbie Rambo and Sister Maryadele Robinson, former director of the Center
And finally, Thursday night, I went to St. Mary’s in Waltham to visit with the FOCUS missionaries in the Archdiocese of Boston. It was an opportunity for them to share with me what is happening in the different universities.
We are very blessed to have a number of FOCUS missionaries working in several of the institutions of higher learning in the archdiocese. They have been a great blessing for us and I very much enjoy these opportunities to get together with them.
Until next week,