Hello and welcome,
I want to begin by sharing an important statement with you that we issued yesterday:
The Catholic community has the right to expect the priests of the Archdiocese and those entrusted with handing on the faith to be clear and unequivocal on the Church’s teaching concerning respect and protection for life from the first moment of conception to natural death. This teaching is of the highest priority for the Church.
With regard to statements of the clergy and religious and laity who minister or serve in the Archdiocese of Boston, following the guidance of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, as representatives of the Archdiocese they may not endorse or oppose candidates for election or political parties. This directive also applies to parishes and organizations directly connected to the Archdiocese.
The teaching role of the Catholic Church brings religious and moral principles to the life of our society, our Commonwealth, and our nation. Our advocacy addresses protection of human life at all stages and in all circumstances, including issues of social and economic equality, the pervasive influence of systemic racism and welcoming immigrants and refugees.
Catholics are urged to play an active role in our public life and to fulfill the basic obligation of a democracy, to vote. We are called to bring the light of faith and reason to our civic responsibilities as we strive to build a civilization of love.
Sunday, I celebrated the Spanish Mass at the Cathedral.
The numbers of people at Mass continue to increase, and I would say that we are getting close to our Spanish Mass attendance before the pandemic. It is very encouraging to see how many people feel confident about returning to church, and we are so grateful to our teams of volunteers who work so hard to make that possible.
Monday, we had another meeting of bishops to plan the follow-up to the V Encuentro. The V Encuentro meeting was held in Texas in 2018 and was very much focused on involving Hispanic youth and young adults in the life of the Church.
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, there is a plan to hold a Virtual National Encuentro in October, and all the dioceses that participated in the Texas gathering are being invited to have double the number of participants join us for that virtual encounter.
In our own area, there was a virtual pilgrimage held on the Feast of the Assumption for all the dioceses in the region. This was held in place of the pilgrimage to La Salette Shrine in Attleboro that they would normally have had. I understand there were about 5,000 participants, and it is wonderful to see there was such a great response.Photos from our 2018 Regional Encuentro
Tuesday, we had a Zoom meeting of several of the members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.We continue to make plans for the plenary session of the Commission, which will take place in September. For the plenary, some of the commission members who are in Europe will gather together in Rome, while the rest of us will join the meeting virtually.
We also continue to work on updating the website of the office. This is very important because the website is an instrument that we use to promote best practices and communication on safeguarding issues. It is also vital for providing people throughout the world with translations of different policies and procedures that can be helpful in creating safe environments and responding to challenges of abuse in the Church and in society.
Also that afternoon, we were very happy to be visited at the Cathedral by our incoming class of seminarians for St. John’s Seminary.
It was very good to have them visit, and we look forward to the reopening of our seminaries next week.
Finally, this week, we shared the following message with the parishes of the archdiocese urging support for Catholic Relief Services’ efforts to provide aid in Beirut, Lebanon, following the tragic explosion there. I hope all of you will do what you can to assist our brothers and sisters who are suffering so greatly.On August 4th a devastating chemical explosion in Beirut, Lebanon killed at least 170 people, wounded 6,000, and displaced hundreds of thousands, with families continuing to live in damaged homes, without doors and windows, or reliable electricity, and many are going hungry. Major hospitals are damaged or overwhelmed with COVID-19, leaving injured and sick patients to rely on mobile clinics. Meanwhile, the risk of community spread of COVID-19 continues to increase. Additionally, the initial shock of the blast together with uncertainty about the future are causing high levels of stress and anxiety. The affected individuals and families need immediate support to clean and repair their homes, to provide for food and other basic needs, to access urgent medical care and psychological support. Catholic Relief Services is working closely with Caritas Lebanon, other Caritas agencies in Beirut, and other faith-based partners and in coordinating desperately needed relief efforts. Any support you can provide Catholic Relief Services would be a great help for their work to help the people of Lebanon recover from this tragic occurrence. Donations can be made by at the following website: https://support.crs.org/donate/beirut-explosion
Until next week,