Hello and welcome!
Since the spring, Father Andrea Filippucci has been on loan to the Diocese of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. And now, Father Victor Vitug will be joining him to work at St. Joseph’s Parish on St. Croix. So, they both came to meet with me last Friday.
Father Andrea has had some challenges but is very happy and excited to be there and is learning a lot about life in the West Indies. Bishop Jerome and the people of the Virgin Islands are very grateful for the help because they have a shortage of priests, and this is a wonderful opportunity for us to make a contribution to that small mission diocese.
These men will now function for several months in the parishes before they are ordained priests. It will be an excellent opportunity for them to preach and be involved in the sacramental ministry in the parishes.
Saturday evening, I went to Emmanuel College to celebrate the alumni Mass during their alumni weekend, which was June 3-4.
Each year, they invite alumni classes that are celebrating particular anniversaries to join them for this weekend, but since they were unable to hold the celebration for the last two years, they also invited classes that would have celebrated anniversaries in 2020 and 2021, as well.
The occasion was particularly special because it was a moment to celebrate the tenure of Sister Janet Eisner, who is retiring after serving as president for over 40 years. We were very happy to be joined by the new Superior General of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, Sister Mary Johnson, a graduate of Emmanuel College herself.
With Sister Mary Johnson and Sister Janet following the blessing of the statue
Sunday was, of course, Pentecost Sunday. Pentecost is the third most important feast of the liturgical calendar, and it was a joy to have the Spanish Mass at the cathedral.
Then, I went to celebrate confirmations at St. Mary’s Parish in Brookline. Pentecost is such an appropriate day to celebrate confirmations, and we had a good group of young people there to receive the sacrament.
Then, I went to Washington D.C. to attend meetings of the board of The Catholic University of America on Monday and Tuesday.
Among the speakers was Supreme Court Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett. She gave a beautiful tribute to President Garvey, who had been her professor when she was a law student at Notre Dame University.
He has begun many new initiatives and overseen the university’s growth, both in facilities and the number of students, being very attentive to bringing underrepresented groups into the student body. He reorganized the board and was involved in many building projects, not to mention raising more money than all his predecessors put together. All the while, he and Jeanne have remained very close to the students. Much like Sister Janet at Emmanuel College, as president, John Garvey was not just an administrator but was very present to the students. I know he is very much appreciated by them.
By Wednesday, I was back in the archdiocese to attend the board meeting of the Missionary Society of St. James the Apostle.
Father Costello reported on some of the society’s activities, and we heard the good news that there are three new prospective candidates for the missions.
Thursday, we had our final meeting of the Presbyteral Council before the summer. We heard updates on issues such as the status of various parish mergers and the clergy retirement programs, as well as reports from the vicariates.
Of course, we also discussed the upcoming Eucharistic Congress, Jesus is Here, which will be held Saturday, June 18, from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Tsongas Center in Lowell.
This will be a wonderful event to help us grow in our faith and explore the centrality of the Eucharist in our lives as Catholics. If you haven’t done so yet, I urge all of you to make plans to join us!
Until next week,