Cardinal Seán's Blog

Cardinal Seán O’Malley shares his reflections and experiences

Day: July 23, 2021

Visits and celebrations

Hello and welcome!

Last Saturday, I was happy to attend the Rite of Profession of three new Capuchin friars at St. Augustine’s Church in Pittsburgh, the very place where I took my vows and was ordained.IMG_20210722_125104

These men have finished their novitiate and have taken their temporary vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, and living the rule of St. Francis and the Constitution of the Capuchin Friars.

Father Tom Betz gave a beautiful reflection on religious life.


With Father Rafael and Brother José

It was good to be back at St. Augustine’s since I had not been there for almost two years. Because of the pandemic, I haven’t been able to attend funerals or any of the other events that would usually gather the friars at our provincial house.IMG_20210722_125110

There are many retired friars living there now, and I was happy to see their new addition to the house to accommodate some of our elderly men.

They have also added an evangelization center to work with the young adults in the neighborhood. The area was once very working-class, but now there are a great number of young professionals, so the friars want to reach out to that new demographic.IMG_20210722_125115

Brother Ross and Brother Matthew are doing a lot of work with the young adult population there.

Sunday, I was back in Boston, and I met with the U.S. Vicar for Opus Dei, Msgr. Thom Bohlin, and Father Peter Armenio, who was formerly the vicar of Opus Dei for the Midwest and is now working in campus ministry in Chicago. They were in Boston for a workshop and came to greet me.

We are so grateful for the presence of Opus Dei in the archdiocese. They make a great contribution to the life of the Church, and their schools, centers and programs for adults and youth do so much to help people to enrich their spiritual life.

Tuesday, I was visited by Cardinal Chibly Langlois of Les Cayes, Haiti, who was accompanied by Father Stanley Rosseau, the vicar at Divine Mercy Parish in Quincy. The cardinal was in town for a couple of days to visit with the local Haitian community and came to greet me.CARDINALS-CONSISTORY

Among the things we discussed was the present situation in Haiti following the assassination of President Moïse. There is certainly a climate of uncertainty and violence that plagues the people of Haiti right now. And, of course, the members of our local Haitian community, which is such a large and important part of the archdiocese, are greatly alarmed and saddened at what is taking place in their home country.

On top of all this, there are the challenges of the pandemic. The cardinal was telling me that they have just begun administering vaccinations last week. So, they are far behind many other places in the world. The fact that the government is in such disarray at the moment is just compounding the difficulties.

Last week I also met with Father Roner Graterol and Father Alejandro Lopez-Cardinale. Father Roner is a member of the order the Sons of Mary Immaculate, which we hope will be coming to work in the archdiocese.IMG_20210722_125126

Father Roner was here to begin the process for the community to join us in the archdiocese.

In these last days of July, groups of the Neocatechumenal Way throughout the country are holding youth pilgrimages that will culminate in a meeting with the apostolic nuncio, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, in Gettysburg on July 25. So, on Sunday, I was happy to welcome a group of young pilgrims from Denver who included Boston as a stop on their trip.IMG_20210722_125100IMG_20210722_125055

One of our own groups from Boston departed about a week ago to make their way to the Shrine of Blessed Solanus Casey in Detroit. Along the way, they made a stop at the Poor Clare Monastery in Cleveland.RockyRiver

This is the community where I celebrated my first Mass, and the sisters there have always been a very important part of my life and the life of my family. So, I was delighted that they were able to visit there and that our young people were able to be exposed to the beautiful life of contemplative sisters.

Also, on Sunday, Boston City Councilor Ed Flynn stopped by the cathedral for a visit. It’s always great to see him.IMG_20210722_125049

Tuesday night, we had a congratulatory dinner for Father Marcelino D’Arthenay, the parochial vicar for the Hispanic community at the cathedral, who is celebrating his 45th anniversary of priestly ordination. We were joined by Father Michael Harrington and my sister, who is in town visiting.

It was a very happy occasion, and we wish Father Marcelino many blessings on his anniversary.

Until next week,

Cardinal Seán

July 2021