Hello and welcome!
Last Friday, I attended a gathering of bishops in Miami hosted by the new national director for the Pontifical Mission Societies, Msgr. Kieran Harrington, to discuss how to better promote mission awareness in our country. A number of bishops were present in person, while others joined virtually.
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and, on the weekend of April 2-3, we encouraged all our parishes to reflect on this theme during Mass. So, I was happy to be able to go to Hull to celebrate a Mass with St. Mary of the Assumption Parish on Sunday. Concelebrating with me was the pastor, Father Scott Euvrard, and the parochial vicar, Father Will Sexton.
It was an opportunity to pray for victims of child abuse and encourage all of our parishes to be vigilant in promoting all the best practices of safeguarding and creating a safe environment for our children and young people. I was accompanied by Kristen Gotter and Vivian Soper of our Office of Pastoral Support and Child Protection, who were available to speak with parishioners and answer their questions.
Sunday evening, I went to our Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Brookline for a dinner that they hosted for members of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre. It was an opportunity to thank the members of the Order for all their support of the archdiocese and the seminary.
It was a lovely evening, and we look forward to seeing the members of the Order again soon when they join us, as they always do, for our celebration of the Veneration of the Cross at the cathedral on Good Friday.
Monday, I went to Dorchester to lead a wake service for Kay White, the mother of Father Joe White. Father Joe’s mother was 90 years old and lived a wonderful faith-filled life. She was a proud mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, and we were happy that many of her relatives were able to be there, along with Father Joe and many priests of the archdiocese.
Tuesday, I went to CatholicTV to record my contribution to our Virtual Lenten Retreat series that has been airing this week. In addition to my talk, which aired earlier this evening, the series has featured reflections by Father Brian O’Hanlon, Father Michael Rora, Sister Julie Benedicta Turner and Sister Karla Goncalves. I hope you’ve been able to join us for these talks throughout the week, but if not, I invite you to view them here:
Wednesday, we had a gathering at the Pastoral Center to honor Tom Arena, who is celebrating his 30th anniversary as an employee of the archdiocese. We had a gathering of people from the IT Department, where Tom works, and I was able to speak with him and thank him for his many years of service. We are blessed to have a number of loyal employees who have given many years of their lives in the service of the archdiocese, and we are happy to count Tom among them.
Each year, we look forward to hearing the testimonies of some of our current and former Catholic school students. This year, we heard from three fine young people: Natalia Villefranche, an elementary school student at St. Theresa’s in Somerville; Jorge Ortiz, a senior at Malden Catholic; and Joadly Duplan, a 2017 graduate of St. Joseph Prep who is about to graduate college and embark on a career as a medical researcher. They all did a wonderful job, and their stories were very inspiring.
We were so pleased that over 800 people were able to gather for this special event that provides crucial support for our Catholic school students. Each year, the Building Minds Scholarship Fund (which was formerly called the Inner-city Scholarship Fund) enables hundreds of students in need to avail themselves of a life-changing Catholic school education.
During the evening, it was announced that they had raised over $4 million to support this important fund, which is just an astounding achievement.
Peter Lynch has been the architect of this effort and has worked to make it the resounding success that it is. We are very, very grateful to him, diner chair Christopher Remondi, CSF executive director Mike Reardon and his staff, and all those benefactors who came together to support Catholic education and make these scholarships available to students in our archdiocese.
Sister Janet is retiring this year after over 40 years as president of Emmanuel College, where she has done an outstanding job. She has also served with me on the board of the Catholic University of America. She is a great community leader and exponent of Catholic education in our community. So, we were delighted that the foundation chose to honor her with this well-deserved award.
Until next week,