Celebrating our priests

Hello and welcome,

We were so pleased that this Wednesday, the 1600th anniversary of the death St. Jerome, the Holy Father chose to publish his new apostolic letter Scripturae Sacrae affectus (“Devotion to Sacred Scripture”). St. Jerome used to say that “Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ,” and his whole life was dedicated to studying the Scriptures and translating them. He did such a great service to the Church.

The Holy Father’s letter is a call for us to spend more time praying and reflecting on the word of God. I was very pleased to see that the Holy Father was marking the special anniversary of St. Jerome with this letter.

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Saturday, I was very happy to join our permanent deacons for their annual convocation.

2020 Virtual Diaconate Convocation

Of course, it was originally planned as an in-person event but, like most things these days, it ended up being held virtually.

During the convocation they showed this very funny photo of a mask calling the deacons to be “Boston Heralds.”

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The keynote speaker of the convocation was Deacon Greg Kandra of Brooklyn, who gave a very good talk.

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Just recently I received this book on the diaconate published by Deacon Tim O’Donnell, one of our permanent deacons.

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I thought it was very appropriate that I received it during this time when I’ve had three diaconate ordinations — last week was the ordination of Jesuit deacons at St. Ignatius, this weekend is our permanent deacon ordination, and later this month we will ordain our transitional deacons for the archdiocese. So, it truly has been a time to really rejoice and celebrate this vocation of the Church.

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Sunday, I went to St. Theresa Parish in North Reading to celebrate a Mass to mark the parish’s 75th anniversary.

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Because this is the Year of the Eucharist, following the Mass they had a Eucharistic procession with the rosary and benediction with about 500 people in the parking lot.

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It was a wonderful event and I was so happy to be able to be a part of it. It was wonderful to be able to have my first Eucharistic procession of this special Year of the Eucharist. I think it was a great moment for the parish and those I saw were very pleased with the event and all the wonderful things that are happening in the parish.

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Tuesday, we were very happy to be visited at the cathedral by Bishop William Murphy who, of course, was an Auxiliary Bishop of Boston before he was named Bishop of Rockville Centre. He was in town visiting friends and relatives and stopped by to say hello.

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He hadn’t yet had a chance to see the renovations to the cathedral so, Msgr. Kevin O’Leary and I gave him a tour. He said he was very impressed and delighted at what he saw.

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Tuesday night, we had our annual Celebration of the Priesthood which, of course, is our principal fundraiser to support our active and retired priests in good standing. This year for the first time, the Celebration was held entirely online. You can watch it here.

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I think it was one of the most successful Celebrations of the Priesthood we have had, not simply because of the amount of money raised, but also because of the number of participants and the wonderful stories we heard about the good work of our priests, particularly those who served with the COVID Team.

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Of course, the inspiring keynote address by General Joseph Dunford and the stories of our men serving as military chaplains were also highlights of the evening.

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Though much was different about this year’s celebration, I was so happy that we were able to conclude the evening as we always have — with all the priests singing the Salve Regina. I’m not entirely sure how they pulled that off, but they did a fantastic job allowing us to all sing together!

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Until next week,

Cardinal Seán

October 2020
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