Hello and welcome! Christ is Risen!
Holy Thursday evening, before we began our celebrations of the Easter Triduum, we hosted a meal at the cathedral for a number of priests from Regina Cleri and others who were able to join us, as a Holy Thursday dinner and celebration of the priesthood.
It was a wonderful meal, and someone very kindly sent us a beautiful Italian rum cake, which we all enjoyed very much.
That night at 7 p.m., we began the Triduum with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, which was celebrated bilingually in English and Spanish.
During the Mass, we prayed in a special way for the people of Ukraine who are suffering so much at this time. Father Yaroslav Nalysnyk, the pastor of Christ the King Ukrainian Catholic Parish in Jamaica Plain, concelebrated with us, and two of his parishioners took part in the washing of the feet.
The adoration in the chapel continued to midnight, and at 11:30, we prayed compline with about 200 university students who gathered with us. I gave them a reflection on the Agony in the Garden, and we concluded with the Salve Regina.
On Good Friday, we are always very happy to welcome the groups that conclude their Stations of the Cross processions at the cathedral.
Between those two groups, we had our own Living Stations of the Cross procession, led by the members of the Hispanic community at the cathedral.
Then, at 3 p.m., we had our celebration of the Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion.
As has been my Holy Saturday tradition for several years, I joined the Memores Domini for lunch at their house in Cambridge. Dr. Lorenzo Berra was the architect of the meal, which was just splendid. The Memores Domini are consecrated laypeople who come out of the Communion and Liberation movement, and we are very blessed to have their presence in our archdiocese.
Then, on Saturday night, we had our celebration of Easter Vigil. It’s always a beautiful liturgy, and Father Will Tarraza did a wonderful job chanting the Exultet, which is always a challenge!
As many of you know, the Easter Vigil is a special time when new Catholics are welcomed into the Church. This year, we had the joy of celebrating the baptism of the three new Catholics, and four others received sacraments of initiation.
On Easter Sunday morning, I celebrated the 11 a.m. Mass at the cathedral. It was extraordinary to see the number of people.
It was standing room only, which means there were over 2,000 people with us. That’s the largest crowd we’ve had in a long time, and, in fact, many told me that it was their first time coming back to church in over a year.
Here in Massachusetts, Monday was the Patriots’ Day holiday. In addition to being the day of the Boston Marathon, it is also the day when the Massachusetts State Council Knights of Columbus holds their annual Lantern Award Dinner. In fact, this annual celebration of the Mass. Knights dates back almost as far as the Marathon — it was the 120th annual Patriots’ Day Dinner.
The tradition of the Lantern Award is a bit more recent, dating back 64 years. There have certainly been some notable honorees over the years, including John F. Kennedy, Cardinal Cushing, Cardinal Spellman, Father Ted Hesburgh and Henry Cabot Lodge.
In his remarks, he spoke about his recent visit with the Holy Father, after which he traveled to Poland. He said there are about 2,000 Ukrainian Knights of Columbus and, of course, there are many Knights in Poland, and they are all doing a lot to assist refugees and provide relief for those affected by the war in Ukraine. At that point, he said, the Knights of Columbus had already raised $12 million for their relief efforts, which is just remarkable and just another example of the inspiring work of the Knights of Columbus.
Until next week,