Hello and welcome!
Last Saturday morning, we were very happy to celebrate the First Communions for our children from the Cathedral Parish. Msgr. O’Leary, of course, joined me for the celebration.
It is always a delight to see the youngsters proclaim the readings and petitions, and we are so grateful to the catechists who prepared these children during the pandemic.
It was a wonderful day, and I know the families were delighted to be able to celebrate their children’s First Communions in the cathedral.
Later that morning, I participated in an Environmental Justice workshop organized by our Social Justice Ministry, marking the 6th anniversary of the Holy Father’s Encyclical on the environment, “Laudato Si’, on Care for Our Common Home.”
I was very happy to be a part of this conference highlighting a very important topic for our times.
Saturday afternoon, I celebrated a special Mass sponsored by the Guild of St. Luke, the organization of Catholic physicians in the archdiocese, honoring those who served during the pandemic.
During the Mass, they gave special recognition to doctors, nurses and others who have worked on the “front lines” caring for the sick during this very challenging time.
The honorees were:
Physicians, PAs, NPs
Megan Antonellis PA, St. Mary-St. Catherine of Siena, Charlestown
Helen Boucher, St. John the Evangelist, Wellesley
John Brusch, New Roads, St. Joseph-St. Luke, Belmont
Julie Carragher NP, Sacred Heart-St. Thomas More, Weymouth
Paul Fallon, St. Florence, Wakefield
Yara Antonia Fernandez, St. Patrick, Brockton
Joseph Gesmundo, St. Agnes, Reading
Lilia Guerra St. Patrick, Lawrence
Amy Hamel, Dir Emergency Mgmnt, All Saints, Haverhill
Nancy Hernandez (Heyne), St. Paul, Cambridge
Thomas Heyne St. Paul, Cambridge
Kurt Hoffman, St. Catherine of Siena, Norwood
William Kormos, Lexington Catholic Community, Sacred Heart and St. Brigid
Greg Leya, St. Paul, Cambridge
Amy McGaraghan, Lexington Catholic Community, Sacred Heart and St. Brigid
Mariette Murphy, St. Paul, Cambridge
JoAnne Nowak, St. Robert Bellarmine, Andover
Karen O’Brien, St. Theresa, North Reading
William Porcaro, St. Agnes, Arlington
Edward Ryan, St. Paul, Wellesley
Paul Schwerdt, St. Joseph, Needham
Gregory Young, Good Shepherd, Wayland
Zach Ward, Watertown Catholic Collaborative
RNs and others
Kathy Burke, St. Gregory, Dorchester
Sarah Burleigh-Cochran, St. Bonaventure, Manomet
Maureen Collier, St. Francis DeSales, Charlestown
Patrice DeAngelo, St. Kateri Tekakwitha, Plymouth
Maura Dowling, Holy Mothers Collaborative, Hanover-Norwell
Joe-Ann Fergus, St. Katherine Drexel, Dorchester
Donna Field PT, St. Mary of the Sacred Heart, Lynn
Margaret Hegarty, Sacred Heart, East Cambridge
Bridget Jalitsch, St. Albert – St. Francis Xavier, South Weymouth
Mary Jo Kriz, Archdiocese Pregnancy Help
Lisa Morin-Plante, St. Mary of the Sacred Heart, Lynn
Rachele Monbouquette, Archdiocese Pregnancy Help
Kevin Nguyen, Pharmacist, Holy Trinity, Quincy
Debra Parisi, St. Mary, Georgetown-Rowley
Theresa Presley, St. Ann by the Sea, Marshfield
Jen Riley, St. Thomas Aquinas, Bridgewater
Mary Roach, St. Richard, Danvers
Sharon Studer, Archdiocese Pregnancy Help
MC Sullivan, Chief Health Care Ethicist, Archdiocese of Boston
Socorro Talamera, Divine Mercy, Quincy
Anne Travierso, St. Michael, Lowell
Andy Truong, Pharmacist, Holy Trinity, Quincy
Kimberly Wenger, Holy Family, Duxbury
Sunday, I went to St. Mary’s in Holliston for a Mass to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the parish.
As is the case with many parishes from that time, the founding members of the parish were mainly Irish immigrants who came to this country because of the famine and persecution of Catholics in Ireland. They were led to Holliston because there was work available to help build the railway line between Boston and Worcester that went through the town. Once the railway was complete, many of them settled there and later found work in the local shoe factories and other industries.
When the parish was founded, they actually began by celebrating Mass in the town hall. So, when the time came to construct the church building, they chose a spot just across the street.
It was a beautiful celebration to mark the 150th anniversary of the founding of their parish, and I was pleased to be able to be a part of it.
From there, I went to the Don Orione Fathers’ Madonna Queen Shrine in East Boston to celebrate Confirmations for the Brazilian community there. Traditionally, we hold one large Confirmation Mass for all the members of the Brazilian community in the archdiocese together. But this year, because of the pandemic, we are holding several smaller celebrations. At this Mass, we had about 40 young people who received their Confirmation.
The Don Orione Fathers have a wonderful ministry to the Brazilian and Spanish-speaking communities at the shrine, and we are so grateful for all they do.
It turned out that the Mass was celebrated on the feast day of their founder, Don Luigi Orione. So, we took this picture with the statue of Don Orione that they have in the shrine.
Monday, we held one of our regular meetings of the priests who have been ordained in the last five years. For more than a year, we have been holding these gatherings online, but we were very happy to finally be able to gather in person once again at the Pastoral Center.
We had a lovely lunch followed by a time of conversation, and we ended with Midday Prayer and a Holy Hour in the Pastoral Center chapel.
Also, that day, I took part in a virtual training session being hosted by the iTHIRST Initiative. This is a program started by the Trinitarian Fathers that trains parish volunteers to accompany those dealing with addiction and their families.
It is a wonderful program that has borne great fruits since we invited them to the archdiocese a few years ago, and I was very pleased to learn that they are now working with the Cursillo program, as well.
Tuesday, I met with John Dolan, the Head of School of St. Mary’s in Lynn, to discuss some of the improvements they are making at the school. Among them is a new grotto and Stations of the Cross in the garden there.
The new Stations of the Cross are based on the stations in St. Mary’s Church, which are probably the most impressive Stations of the Cross that we have in any of our churches. They were brought from Germany in the 1800s and are life-sized statues place in niches throughout the church. I have always been impressed with them when I have celebrated Mass at St. Mary’s.
Tuesday evening, I was pleased to participate in a virtual fundraiser for our St. John Paul II Catholic Academy in Dorchester and Mattapan.
We are so proud of the work they do at JPII Academy. With over a thousand students, it is the largest Catholic elementary school in New England, and they are doing an extraordinary job providing a wonderful Catholic education to our inner-city students. We are so grateful to the many benefactors of the school, including Bob and Mickey Atchinson and Jack and Eileen Connors, who have worked so hard to make the school a success.
Wednesday, we had a virtual gathering with the heads of the working groups of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. It was an opportunity to reflect on some of the themes raised in our plenary session, as well as continue to plan for our conference this fall with the bishops of Poland and Eastern Europe.
We are so grateful to the members of the commission. They are primarily laypeople who volunteer so much of their time to host trainings and organize events around safeguarding in different parts of the world.
Wednesday evening, I joined Cristo Rey Boston High School for their Academic Signing Day Reception at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Boston.
The school holds this event each spring, at which the graduating seniors announce what college they will be attending in the fall. Though the students weren’t able to be present with us this year because of COVID, they made their announcements through video.
It was also an opportunity to thank the generous benefactors who have allowed the school to continue its mission this year.
Quincy Miller, President and Vice Chairman of Eastern Bank and Cristo Rey President Rosemary Powers
Trustees Shannon Zollo and Michael Mooney of Nutter, McClennen and Fish
Former Board Chair Harry Ebbighausen
You see, under the Cristo Rey model, students attend classes four days a week and spend one day a week working at an internship at a local company. This not only helps to provide them with valuable experience in the business world, but it also helps them to defray the cost of their tuition. As one can imagine, during the pandemic, it has been incredibly challenging because the internship opportunities all disappeared. So, we are deeply grateful that a number of benefactors stepped forward to underwrite the entire tuition so that these young people were able to continue their studies.
Thursday, we had a meeting of the Presbyteral Council of the archdiocese.
During our meeting, we discussed the governor’s recent announcement that pandemic restrictions will be lifted as of May 29. We wanted to receive the input of the priests as we formulated our new policies for parishes, which we released yesterday.
Until next week,