Cardinal Seán's Blog

Cardinal Seán O’Malley shares his reflections and experiences

Day: November 24, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello and welcome!

Thursday evening, I took part in a Zoom panel discussion on the life of Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete and presenting a new book of his works called “The Relevance of the Stars.” This is a posthumous work edited by Lisa Lickona and Gregory Wolfe. IMG_3917

I gave the first presentation, followed by remarks by Lisa and Greg. Then, there was a very nice video of Father Albacete speaking, followed by an opportunity to ask questions.


We are so grateful to Lisa, Greg and all of those who contributed to this project. They have done us a great service by bringing together Msgr. Albacete’s writings and publishing this new book.IMG_3916

Friday, I went to St. Joseph’s Church in the West End to celebrate the funeral of Father John Gallagher. IMG_3919

The homilist was Father Paul Dumais of the Diocese of Portland, who did a wonderful job. In his retirement, Father Gallagher had lived in Farmington, Maine, before coming to Regina Cleri. While he was in Maine, he became very involved with the parish there, and that’s why he invited Father Paul to give the homily at his funeral. Father Paul had studied at St. John’s Seminary. So, we all remembered him from those days, and it was good to see him back and in this role.

Friday afternoon, I went to Catholic Charities’ Yawkey Center for an announcement that the Yawkey Foundation had made a very generous $700,000 grant that will help Catholic Charities expand its services to communities in need. Initially, this grant will be used by Catholic Charities to establish its centers as sort of regional hubs for services in the gateway cities of Brockton and Lynn.

We are so grateful to the Yawkey Foundation for their great support of Catholic Charities over the years. This contribution will allow the work of Catholic Charities to be increased in areas where there such great need.NovemberGivingDays_1013-md

The event took place as volunteers were working to prepare Thanksgiving meals to be distributed by Catholic Charites and United Way.Turkey Prepack 2turkey prepack 3Turkey prepack 4

Saturday, I took part in the distribution of Thanksgiving meals both with Catholic Charities and at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.IMG_3928IMG_3931

I was happy to be together with the volunteers from different groups, including Mount Alvernia Academy and Boston College, to help distribute more than 5,000 meals to those in need.

Saturday afternoon, I delivered a keynote address by video to a conference in Portugal being sponsored by the National Conference of Associations of the Apostolate of the Laity on the Holy Father’s encyclical Fratelli Tutti.


I gave about an hour-long talk, in which I reflected on the themes of the encyclical, particularly racism and the defense of life.

Sunday, the Feast of Christ the King, I went to Blessed Andrew Phu Yen Parish at St. Clement Church in Somerville to celebrate a Mass to mark the feast and also the Feast of the Vietnamese Martyrs, which is November 24.IMG_9876IMG_9879

Father Phong Pham is the pastor there, and it was wonderful that his mother and sister were able to come to be with us. IMG_3690image007

It was good to have such a large number of youth from the parish join us for the Mass. IMG_9884

They had a procession with the relics of the Vietnamese martyrs and also the statue of Christ the King. The procession was accompanied by a very loud beating of drums. (Father Pham had warned me beforehand, and I’m very glad he did!)IMG_9826IMG_9816

Monday evening, I gave a conference to a group of about 100 young Capuchin friars from throughout the Americas via Zoom. They are holding these Zoom meetings monthly in preparation for a gathering that’s going to be held in Brazil in May 2022.IMG_3944IMG_3947

Father Mario Oswaldo from Brazil was our moderator.IMG_3940

Also that evening, I participated in a virtual meeting for benefactors supporting Lawrence Catholic Academy in their project to build a new school building.LCA

There was a video highlighting the work of Lawrence Catholic Academy, and the campaign chairs, Paul Lonergan and John Driscoll, also made remarks. Peter Lynch and Natalie Garcia are the committee co-chairs. We are very grateful to Father Paul O’Brien, his team and all those working to promote this project.

Finally, I want to wish everyone a blessed and joyful Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is one of our most beautiful American holidays when families gather and express our appreciation for our loved ones and those whose friendship and kindness bring joy and meaning to our lives. It is a time in which we, as a nation, give thanks to God for the blessings of life, family and freedom, as well as an opportunity to focus on all those gifts that we take for granted over the course of the year.

It’s also a time when Americans try to share what they have with those who are in need, as an expression of our gratitude to God and the awareness that everything we have, and everything we are, is a gift.

Happy Thanksgiving!

– Cardinal Seán

November 2021