Cardinal Seán's Blog

Cardinal Seán O’Malley shares his reflections and experiences

Buona sera!

Buona sera! cardinal-sean-2.jpg

Thank you for visiting my blog and thank you for all of the encouraging and positive feedback that you have given about my blog. I hope you are enjoying it.

I have enjoyed working on the blog, even though it takes a bit of time. I also think its amusing in a way because I feel like Im on some reality television show on MTVlol.

My hope is that Id be able to share this Rome experience with you, to share with you a sense of what I do when I come to Rome to represent the Archdiocese, and also to share with you the celebration and Masses for Padre Pio and Santa Maria della Vittoria, Bostons Titular Church because so many are not here with us in Rome, its better to offer people an opportunity to experience this vicariously through BCTV and thru a blog and to reach particularly our young Catholics, who wouldnt have the opportunity to experience it any other way.

I just mentioned BCTV – Boston Catholic TelevisionI am pleased that they are coming to Rome next weekend to cover the Mass and ceremony at Santa Maria della Vittoria. I encourage you to tune-in to see BCTVs coverage when they return to Boston, as well as all their daily programs.

In addition to the events, I also wanted to give people of the Archdiocese an opportunity to experience some of Romes beauty through my blogs pictures and descriptions while I was here, especially for those who havent had the chance to come to the Eternal City.

One of the most important reasons why I wanted to have the blog was to utilize the latest technology, and an increasingly utilized communication vehicle, to communicate directly with people of all ages of the Archdiocese, especially to younger people as I mentioned aboveI know among younger generations, especially college and high school youngsters, that blogs are a particularly popular mode for communicating.

When we were at the Padre Pio Shrine, it was remarkable and pleasing to see so many young people who had traveled from all over the world to be with other Catholics at San Giovanni Rotondo.

Its interesting because at a time in Europe when Mass attendance is down, more and more people are visiting the Shrines like Lourdes, Fatima and San Giovanni Rotondo. These Shrines take on a special role for people as they come for spirituality, looking for the opportunity to go to confession, to pray. I think its reaffirming for peoples faith to see so many other fellow Catholics praying together.

I think its encouraging that young people today have an openness to religion. In many of the parishes there are wonderful groups and programs for young people. Especially the parishes that have youth programs like the one in St. Marys in Dedham, where Fr. Matt Williams has a huge group there with the LifeTeen program. They have quite a tradition. Fr. Matt is doing a fantastic job there.

In my meeting with the Presidents of the Catholic Colleges and Universities, all of them say that the young people today at the university have a great interest in their faith and they want to learn more. There is more interest in Eucharistic devotion, in the rosary, in the traditional acts of piety of the Church. In the meetings that I have had at the different campus ministries, Im always encouraged by the numbers and the enthusiasm Boston University has a very big ministryMIT has a lot of students and a very active campus ministry as well.

This is one reason Ive been very anxious to invite more and more young people to come with us in January to Washington for the Pro-Life March. Over the years more and more young people have been participating in that. The night before the march theres a Mass at the National Shrine and an all-night vigil. The next morning at the big center there, they have a youth rally. This year they had to turn youngsters away.they took 20,000. Thats all they had room for. Its a wonderful experience. When I was in Fall River, we were getting almost 500 from the area. Now, weve started putting together a group of young people from the high schools and so forth from Boston to go down. So we are anxious to have the young people experience that because ever 4 years theres a World Youth Day, but its very hard for many to be able to go to Germany for examplethe next one is going to be in Australia.

Participating in the Washington event is very much like going to the World Youth Day. The Holy Father is not there, but these young people will have a chance to experience the faith of the Church and to see the witness of thousands of young people who share their ideals, their love for Christ and their desire to live a faithful life.

I mentioned Fr. Williams and his work with youth programs in Dedham in fact, from that group they took 100 to Germany for World Youth Dayjust from that group at St. Marys.

One of things that weve done is establish a committee with representatives from the Parish Council, the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council, those who work in Archdiocesan offices and others, to study the situation of adolescents and young adults, to look at their faith formation and to see how we might involve them more deeply and the life of the Church and at their parishes. I had my first meeting with this committee last week and it was very, very helpful. Theyve done a lot of work. We hope in the near future that well be able to take their recommendations to the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council and the Priest Presbyteral Council.

Today, Fr. Brian and I met with the Rector of Santa Maria della Vittoria to go over logistics and details in preparation for the Mass on Sunday. Its a very small church and its a public Mass, so we dont how to predict the number of people that will be there.

I also met with Cardinal Daro Castrilln Hoyos today. He is Prefect of the Congregation for Clergy. Some of his staff members were present as well. The Congregation for the Clergy handles issues that have to do with priests, with catechetical instruction and with Ecclesiastical property.

I was pleased to hear that the Holy Father met with Muslim representatives today. Open dialogue is one of the most important ways to resolve issues, especially issues relating to religion and to fundamental differences involving people. As you may know, just a few weeks ago on the fifth anniversary of the September 11th tragedy, the religious leaders of the Boston area gathered at the offices of Metropolitan Methodios, who is the head of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston. We had, what I believe, was a very productive meeting, as those gathered shared their perspectives, thoughts and ideas in a very frank and open discussion. I am looking forward to continuing our participation in that type of open dialogue among the various religious leaders of the Boston community.

I am going to say Mass at the Vatican residence before I head out to my next meeting, a dinner meeting with one of our own, Msgr. Bob Deeley. Ill share a bit more about Msgr. Deeley and his work here at the Vatican with you tomorrow. I also hope to have Msgr. Deeley contribute a post for my blog this week. I think you might find his perspective as a Boston native working at the Vatican, very interesting.


God Bless,

Cardinal Sen