Day: December 17, 2021

Meetings in Rome

Hello and welcome!

This past week I have been in Rome for meetings.IMG_4092

On Friday and Saturday, we had the plenary sessions of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. They were held at the Antonianum, the Franciscan pontifical university in Rome. unnamed

The prefect, Cardinal João Braz, and Archbishop José Rodríguez Carballo, the congregation’s secretary, were with us, along with a number of superior generals of religious communities, including my own Capuchin Father General Roberto Genuin.IMG_4011


On Saturday, the members of the congregation went to the Vatican for an audience with the Holy Father, who addressed us about religious life.

POPE-RELIGIOUS-POWER-ABUSECNA_61ba45e1319a6_241344It was held in the Sala Clementina, where there was a beautiful creche in a panel, which looks like a 3-D picture.IMG_4008unnamed (1)


Saturday afternoon, I went to my titular church in Rome, Santa Maria della Vittoria, to celebrate the parish vigil Mass for Gaudete Sunday. The church has been closed for renovations for the last several months, and it came out very beautifully.IMG_4028IMG_4029IMG_4031

A number of the Carmelites who run the church were there with me, and I certainly congratulated them for the fantastic job they did of refurbishing the church.IMG_4032


Sunday morning, I attended the Angelus address with the Holy Father. It was the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and there was a huge crowd with in St. Peter’s Square.IMG_4041


Sunday afternoon, we began our three-day seminar sponsored by the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors on the dignity of persons bringing forth allegations of abuse in the life of the Church, looking at how the rights of survivors are handled in different areas of the world.   IMG_2042IMG_2043

The seminar was well attended and produced very helpful conversations about how to better assist survivors. We are so grateful to commission member Dr. Myriam Wijlens, her colleagues on the commission, and our secretary, Father Andrew Small, for all their efforts in bringing this seminar together.


That evening, I had dinner with Deacon Joe Ferme, Msgr. Paul McInerny and Msgr. John Abruzzese, who are the three Boston clergy currently in Rome. It was a great pleasure to be able to gather with them once again.


Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, we had our meetings of the Council of Cardinals advising the Holy Father on the reform of the Roman Curia. It was our first in-person gathering in two years. In our meetings, we discussed the situation of the pandemic in our countries and preparations for the Synod on Synodality.


Wednesday night, I attended the presentation of a new book by friends of mine from Portugal, João and Maria Lobão. It was held in Portugal’s Embassy to the Holy See and the Order of Malta.IMG_4074

The Portuguese Ambassador to the Holy See, António José Emauz de Almeida Lima, with my friend Maria Lobão

The embassy is in a magnificent old palazzo. They had several plaques on the wall with lists of all the Ambassadors of Portugal to the Holy See over the last thousand years!IMG_4084

They also have an impressive map room. IMG_4082IMG_4081

I was particularly struck by this wall, which shows the voyages of the Portuguese explorers.IMG_4080


It being Advent, creches are to be seen everywhere in Rome. Of course, the most prominent one is the creche in St. Peter’s Square, and João and Maria came with me to see it. IMG_4058unnamed (2)unnamed (3)

This year’s creche was brought from Peru, and the Holy Family and Three Kings are dressed in the clothing of indigenous people from the Andes.VATICAN-NATIVITY-PERUVATICAN-NATIVITY-PERUVATICAN-NATIVITY-PERU

It was quite impressive!

Until next week,

Cardinal Seán

December 2021
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