Hello and welcome!
Billy studied law here in Boston at Boston College and would often come to our annual Red Mass.
He has always been a tennis champ like his mother. Among the O’Malley’s there are a lot of great tennis players and his mother who is my cousin, Kelly O’Malley Mulligan, is among them. She taught her children from a tender age and they both grew up to be tennis champs.
The wedding was at St. Jude’s Melkite Church in Miami. Over the years I have had a number of weddings at that church. At one time, before it became an Eastern Rite church, it was a Latin Rite church called St. Kieran’s. The Cubans always liked to go there because they would say the name of the church was “Se Quieren,” which, in Spanish, means “They love each other!”
Saturday, I went to St. Cecilia’s Church in Ashland to celebrate a wake service for the father of Father Jason Giombetti, Joseph Giombetti, who was a very active parishioner at St. Cecilia’s.
I was very happy I was able to be there with Father Jason, his mother Katherine and members of their family.
That evening, I hosted a dinner at the cathedral for the priests working with the Cape Verdean community in the archdiocese. With us were Father John Curry; two Capuchin priests who are here from Cape Verde, Father Claudino and Father Samuel; as well as Father Sean of the Franciscans of the Primitive Observance and Brother Jim Peterson.
We are very grateful to the Capuchin provincial of Cape Verde for sending these two young priests to help work with the Cape Verdean population at St. Patrick’s in Roxbury and St. Peter’s in Dorchester. It was nice to be able to have an opportunity to get to know them and to be able to express our appreciation for their ministry here.
We have perhaps the largest Cape Verdean population in United States and we are always in need of priests to help minister to them. So, we are so grateful to the Capuchin province in Cape Verde that has generously supplied priests over the years, beginning with the famous Father Pio who was brought here by Cardinal Humberto Medeiros 50 years ago or more.
The day’s speaker was Dr. Emmett G. Price III, Professor of Worship, Church and Culture, Dean of the Chapel, and Founding Executive Director of the Institute for the Study of the Black Christian Experience at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He gave a moving and inspirational talk.
One of the most inspiring parts of the event was that, towards the end, we had the Anointing of the Sick for Father Gerry Osterman, who was going to the hospital the next day for an operation. So, it was beautiful to be surrounded by the whole community as I anointed him.
Of course, as we do every year, we concluded the breakfast with the singing of the famous civil rights anthem, “We Shall Overcome.” It was a wonderful ending to a wonderful morning.
Monday afternoon, I was visited at the cathedral by Dr. Tom and Nancy Heyne, a couple I had married several years ago. They brought with them their young child, Damien, who, as you can see, is already on his way to become a Franciscan Friar! He is certainly one of our younger recruits!
Tom and Nancy are both doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital and they both have done missionary work over the years. In fact, they are preparing to leave for a mission trip to Bolivia next week.
Tuesday, we had one of our St. Andrew Dinners for young men considering a vocation to the priesthood at Resurrection Parish in Hingham.
It was a beautiful gathering. We began with a half-an-hour of Eucharistic adoration led by Father Sinisa Ubiparipovic, followed by a meal and witness talks by some of our seminarians. Of course, I also addressed the young men.
We are so pleased with the wonderful turnout. We are very grateful to Father Eric Cadin of our Vocations Office and his team for organizing these dinners, and also to Father Tom Nestor and Father Sinisa of Resurrection Parish for so graciously hosting us.
Wednesday, it traveled down to Washington for the March for Life.
Thursday evening, we had the Opening Mass of the Vigil for Life at the National Shrine of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.
He is a man who has been involved in pro-life ministry since the time he was a priest, and he explained to us how he chose his episcopal motto, “Vitæ Victoria Erit” (“Life Will Be Victorious”) when he was named a bishop.
Ordinarily, a bishop’s motto is taken from the Scriptures. For example, my own is taken from John’s Gospel: “Do whatever he tells you,” the Blessed Mother’s last words in the Gospel. However, sometimes it can be taken from other ecclesiastical documents, and Bishop Naumann chose those words from Pope St. John Paul II’s encyclical “Evangelium Vitae.”
He spoke about this being the 25th anniversary of Evangelium Vitae, and his desire to see a response throughout the country in the outreach to women in difficult pregnancies. He challenged us to take stock of what the needs are so that we, as a faith community, can respond.
He also spoke about his recent ad limina visit to the Holy Father with his region. He told us that in the dialogue with the Holy Father, the Holy Father expressed his great support for the March for Life. I think it was very encouraging for people to hear that the Holy Father was supporting them in witnessing to life.
As I mentioned, the Mass is really just the beginning of the Eucharistic vigil that takes place in the shrine overnight. I was so pleased that seminarians from our three seminaries in Boston were able to participate in that.
As has been our tradition in recent years, we gathered with all of those from Boston attending the March for Life for a Mass at the Sacred Heart Shrine on 16th Street, the Capuchin parish where I had ministered for many years as a young priest.
At the Mass, I shared with young people the same homily that I have asked be read or played in audio form in our parishes in the Archdiocese of Boston this weekend, and I would like to also share with you here:
This year was, as you surely know, the first time that a president has addressed the March in person. Since the time of President Reagan, presidents have sent messages to the March for Life. In the early years, he would call from the White House, and more recently, it has been by video feed. Certainly, Vice President Pence has come twice personally to address the March and made reference to the number of times that he and his wife had attended on their own, before he was in the White House. But this is the first time the sitting president has personally come, and we know he will certainly bring a lot of recognition to the March, which is always underreported in the national press.
I was very gratified by the fact that when Nellie Gray, the founder of the March for Life, died her obituary read, “Nellie Gray ran the largest annual march in Washington over the last 40 years.” Based on the coverage of the March that we see every year, you never would’ve known that, but Nellie managed to get a one-liner in when she died!
But the president’s visit to the March will certainly force our national media to take a look at what’s happening and to see the faces of so many young people from all over America who were there to raise their voices for life.
Following the March, I returned to be with my community at St. Francis Friary, which is where I stay whenever I’m in Washington. We were very happy to have Mother Olga and the Daughters of Mary of Nazareth, who are in Washington for the March, join us for our Holy Hour we hold each evening before dinner.
Until next week,