Hello and welcome!
Last Friday, the Feast of St. Therese, I went to Austin Prep in Reading to celebrate their annual Convocation Mass.
Austin Prep is an Augustinian school, so in addition to the school’s chaplain, Father Patrick Armano, we were joined at the Mass by Father Peter Gori, Father Jorge Reyes, and a number of Augustinian Friars from Merrimack College. The headmaster, Jim Hickey, is a member of the Order of Malta, so several of his fellow Knights and Dames were with us, as well.
The Mass was also the occasion to celebrate the arrival of four new sisters from the Daughters of Mary who will work on the theology faculty and in school ministry. They are members of a Ugandan community with about 800 sisters who work in different countries in Africa and in the United States.
We were very happy to welcome them to their new ministry in Boston.
Saturday morning, we had the joy of ordaining “seven men of good repute” as new permanent deacons for the Archdiocese of Boston at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. Unfortunately, attendance was limited due to the pandemic, so not everyone was free to invite as many people as they wanted. But still, there was quite a large crowd.
In this year’s class, there was one member of the Korean community and two members of the Hispanic community, so the Mass was tri-lingual.
I was happy to share my thoughts with them in my homily, which you can view here:
That afternoon, I went to St. Columbkille’s in Brighton, where they were celebrating the 100th anniversary of their school, the 150th anniversary of their parish in the 1600th anniversary of the birth of St. Columbkille. As I told the people, I thought 150 candles was a lot, but 1600 really does take the cake!
A number of priests who had served in the parish returned for the anniversary celebration.
In my homily, I noted the parish has an altar of Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre, the patroness of Cuba. I said I was thinking of and praying for the parish during my recent visit to Cuba because it’s the only church in the archdiocese that I’m aware of that has a shrine to Our Lady of Charity. As I have previously shared, the first public Mass that I celebrated was the Feast of Our Lady of Charity with the Cuban community of Washington, D.C. And last month, I celebrated Mass for the feast at the shrine of Caridad del Cobre in Santiago de Cuba.
The altar is just another indication of St. Columbkille’s history as an immigrant community, beginning with the Irish, then the Italians, the Cubans and now other Hispanic communities.
After the Mass, we visited the school, where there was a program where children sang some songs, and there were refreshments for the people.
Sunday, I went to St. Francis Church in Medford, which is part of the Mary, Queen of Peace Collaborative, for a Mass to celebrate the church’s centennial.
Father Paul Sullivan is the pastor there, and once again, several priests who were from the parish or had been stationed there returned for the celebration.
I’m always very impressed by the beautiful windows in the church that depict many of the events in the life of St. Francis.
That night, I went to Our Lady of Lourdes Church for the celebration of the Transitus of St. Francis with the Capuchin community in Jamaica Plain and, the next day, I had Mass for them at San Lorenzo Friary.
We were happy to be joined by the Cape Verdean Capuchins who are at St. Patrick’s Church in Boston.
Tuesday, I went to Resurrection Parish in Hingham for the funeral Mass of Barry Kiely, the twin brother of Father Brian Kiely, the rector of Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary.
I first met Barry, along with the rest of the Kiely family, a number of years ago when I was bishop in the Virgin Islands and would come to Boston to celebrate confirmations. They were a wonderful, close-knit family. So, I was happy to be there for his funeral Mass.
Father Brian gave a wonderful homily, in which he reflected that at the time he was born, there were no ultrasounds. His parents had no idea that they would have twins and had only one name picked out. So, his brother was listed as “Twin 2” on the birth certificate until they could come up with a name, and that nickname stuck with him for years!
Tuesday evening, I went to St. Benedict’s Parish in Somerville for a Mass with the Hispanic community. It was a lovely liturgy, with a large crowd, including Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone.
Ordinarily, for their parish festival, they would’ve had several different events. But, because of the city’s COVID restrictions, you are not allowed to hold any sort of gathering unless you can demonstrate that everyone is vaccinated, which is very difficult. So, they did everything in the context of the Mass.
The Third Order of St. Francis group renewed their promises, and we gave a blessing to the different parish groups.
Wednesday, I joined Maureen Heil, the Director of Programs and Development for our Pontifical Mission Societies, for a Virtual Mission Education Day with about 1,500 of our Catholic school students.
I gave about a half-hour talk, in which I spoke to the children about the importance of the missions and having a spirit of missionary discipleship.
They also took part in other activities during the day, including creating soccer balls made from strings, bags and pieces of cloth, as children in the missions do.
Wednesday evening, we had a board meeting of St. John’s Seminary. It was our first meeting of the academic year, and it was an occasion to welcome the three new members to the board, John Corcoran, Msgr. Al Kenney and Brian Healy.
Father Stephen Salocks reported on what is happening in the seminary, and Father Michael MacInnis talked about the seminary’s human formation. The school year has begun very well, and they are certainly happy to be freed from many of the restrictions that were in place last year.
It was a very hopeful meeting, and we are grateful for the presence of our new board members.
Until next week,