Hello and welcome,
I want to begin this week by sharing with you the statement I issued earlier this week regarding the tragic events in Uvalde, Texas:
Today’s tragedy in Uvalde, Texas leaves us all stunned by the unthinkable loss of so many innocent young lives and the teacher who devoted her life to educating and nurturing the children.
Our nation has too often become a place of unspeakable crimes of gun violence that have taken far too many lives, though none more heartbreaking than innocent children. We must take action to stop this senseless carnage.
We pray for the grieving families and the Uvalde community, whose lives are forever changed. In this moment, we embrace them with prayers for peace and healing as we commend to the Lord those lost, consoled by the promise of eternal life.
Last Thursday evening, I attended the Catholic Charities Spring Celebration. We were very happy that they were once again able to celebrate this vital fundraising event in person at the JFK Library and Museum in Dorchester.
A number of representatives of the different groups were on hand to receive the award on their behalf.
Also, during the evening, they honored Debbie Rambo, who stepped down in 2019 as President and CEO of Catholic Charities. Debbie has given decades of her life to Catholic Charities and is a passionate promoter of social justice and the works of mercy they carry out. So, I was very pleased that they chose to recognize her for the wonderful service that she has given.
This new housing development is being sponsored by our Planning Office for Urban Affairs in conjunction with Caribbean Integration Community Development. It will provide 40 mixed-income housing units, some of which will be rental and some available for affordable homeownership.
During his remarks, the director of the Planning Office, Bill Grogan, cited a number of very telling statistics about the state of housing in the Commonwealth and why developments such as this are so necessary.
He noted that Massachusetts is one of the most expensive states in which to live and that a minimum wage worker would have to work over 100 hours each week to afford an average, two-bedroom apartment. He also talked about the tremendous increase in house costs saying that the median rent for an apartment in Boston has gone up by 25 percent in the last year and that the median home price in Mattapan is $600,000, a 50 percent increase since 2016.
That evening, I had Vespers and dinner with our seven transitional deacons who were to be ordained to the priesthood Saturday morning. It’s a time to be with them and give them their new assignments.
That afternoon I was visited by Bishop Adilson Busin, an auxiliary bishop of Diocese of Porto Alegre, Brazil. He was in town to celebrate confirmations at St. Tarcisius Parish in Framingham, so he stopped by the cathedral to greet me.
He also happens to be the cousin of Sister Elisete Sigmor, who worked in the archdiocese for many years. It was wonderful to have an opportunity to meet him.
The Sisters of Perpetual Adoration are at St. Paul’s Shrine. It used to be an Episcopal church, but it was bought by the diocese and renamed The Conversion of St. Paul. (That was many years ago, before the ecumenical movement!)
Many vocations were born in that parish, including my own and that of my fellow Capuchin, Father Phil Bernier, who was also with us for the Mass.
Also, one of our parishioners was the catechist Jean Donovan who was one of the four Cleveland churchwomen who were murdered in El Salvador. So, they have a little shrine in the church to St. Oscar Romero and four women.
Following the Mass in Ohio, my intention was to fly back to Boston for a number of events on Monday. However, the weather didn’t cooperate, and my flight was canceled. Though I tried to reschedule for Monday morning, that flight was repeatedly delayed so that, in the end, I was only able to make it back to Boston on Monday evening.
Unfortunately, that meant I was unable to be at the funeral Mass for Father Tom Corcoran, which was held at St. Catherine of Siena in Norwood. Father Tom was a native of St. Catherine’s and passed away on May 17, one day after his 24th anniversary of ordination.
On Tuesday, I left for Pittsburgh to attend the General Chapter of my Capuchin province. It was the first time in three years that the friars were able to gather. In all, there were about 100 of us there.
Until next week,