Encouraging reports at our Presbyteral Council

Hello and welcome!

Last Friday, I celebrated the Mass of the Holy Spirit to begin the academic year at our Redemptoris Mater Seminary.Rector_s greetingHomily

We also took advantage of the occasion to have the institution of lectors and acolytes.  Javier Padilla was instituted as a lector, and Francis Trewin and Diego Alejandro Peña were instituted as acolytes.Javier BibleAlejandro receives chaliceFrancis and AlejandroGroup photo 3


Saturday, I went to Immaculate Conception in Newburyport to celebrate the funeral Mass of Father Jim Broderick. The funeral was very well attended. In fact, I believe there were more people who wanted to come than the church could accommodate.700x450_Pilot_21335

Father Broderick had a very interesting life. When he graduated high school in 1943, he enlisted in the army straight away. He served in the Army Air Corps and flew many missions over Germany and France, including during the D-Day invasion.

When he came back from the war, he got his college degree with the help of the GI Bill, established a successful career in banking and was even engaged to be married when he realized he had a vocation to the priesthood. Cardinal Cushing ordained him in 1960 and he went on to have 60 years of ministry, which included service in a number of parishes, as well as with the St. James Society in Peru.

Even as a senior priest, he remained very active and assisted in Newburyport for about 13 years before moving to Regina Cleri. He was clearly beloved by the people of the parish, as was evidenced by the extraordinary turnout of parishioners for his funeral.


Sunday, I celebrated both English and Spanish Mass at the cathedral, and I would like to share the recordings of those Masses with you here:


Monday was of course Labor Day, so I joined the Capuchin community in Jamaica Plain for a small cookout. It was a blessing that the unofficial last weekend of the summer was spectacular weather for outdoor events.IMG_2332

It was also an occasion to bid farewell to Father Patrick Glavin, who has been here for several years and will now be stationed at the retirement facility for the New York province of Capuchins in Yonkers. Father Patrick is originally from Dorchester, and all three of the children in his family became religious — Father Patrick and his brother, Father Leonard, both became Capuchins and his sister, Ellen, who was with us for the cookout, became a sister of Notre Dame de Namur.


Wednesday night, even as young members of the Order of Malta were distributing food to the homeless in the area around the cathedral, other members of the order were with us for a Zoom conference organized by Craig and Nancy Gibson on the U.S. Bishops’ pastoral letter on racism, “Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love.” As I have previously mentioned, I sent a copy of the pastoral letter to all the priests of the archdiocese, and racial justice will also be the theme for our upcoming Social Justice Convocation.IMG-7343

The keynote talk of the evening was given by Danielle Brown, associate director of the USCCB’s Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism, who did a spectacular job.


Finally, on Wednesday, we had our first Presbyteral Council meeting of the fall.IMG_2337

During the meeting, we had a report by Superintendent of Schools Tom Carroll on the reopening of our Catholic schools for in-person classroom instruction, as well as their preparations for distance learning for those children whose parents choose to keep them at home.Students in kindergarten through second grade begin their first day of school at Immaculate Conception School in Revere Sept. 8, 2020.
Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy

Students in kindergarten through second grade begin their first day of school at Immaculate Conception School in Revere Sept. 8, 2020.
Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy Students in kindergarten through second grade begin their first day of school at Immaculate Conception School in Revere Sept. 8, 2020.
Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy It was very encouraging to hear that, after fears over the summer about a possible drop in enrollment, enrollment is actually climbing now that the schools are opening and people are expressing confidence in our Catholic schools. We are very grateful to Tom Carroll, our Catholic Schools Office and all the principals and pastors who have worked so hard to prepare our schools to welcome back students this fall.Students in kindergarten through second grade begin their first day of school at Immaculate Conception School in Revere Sept. 8, 2020.
Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy

We also heard a report on the situation at Regina Cleri. I am pleased to say that they have gone more than four months without a single case of COVID-19, which is just an extraordinary achievement. They have resumed celebrating daily Mass, with the priests from a particular floor being invited down each day to concelebrate. The men are still having their meals in their rooms, but soon they will be able to dine outside.IMG-6284

Following the department of public health’s regulations, visits can only be held by appointment and held outside, but the men are very happy to have visitors.

So, little by little, the men are having more ability to interact and be out of their rooms, but it’s still a situation requires a great deal of caution. We are very, very grateful to our Director of Regina Cleri, Stephen Gust, and his staff for the wonderful job they continue to do to ensure the health and well-being of our senior priests.

Until next week,

Cardinal Seán

September 2020
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