Cardinal Seán's Blog

Cardinal Seán O’Malley shares his reflections and experiences

Day: December 10, 2021

The 90th anniversary of the Agrupacion Catolica Universitaria

Hello and welcome!

Last Thursday evening, we had our annual board meeting for our Redemptoris Mater Seminary with Giuseppe Gennarini, his wife Claudia and the other board members.IMG_8751

I’m pleased to say that all the reports were very encouraging.  It’s been 15 years since the seminary was established, and in that time, they have ordained 16  men. The seminary is currently forming 25 seminarians.

Friday, I flew to Miami to celebrate a Mass to mark the 90th anniversary of the Agrupación Católica Universitaria. We had the celebration at the Jesuit Church of the Gesú in Miami, where we were happy to have Archbishop Wenski concelebrate with us. They also received 14 young men into the organization at the Mass.imagejpeg_0

The ACU is a Marian congregation that was founded at the Jesuit Colegio de Belén in Havana to help bring young men closer to the Church. They have a great devotion to the Blessed Mother, follow an Ignatian spirituality and espouse three core principles: Spirituality, Professionalism, and Apostolate. ACU

Their participation in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius really brought home to me how the exercises can truly transform people. They have a very strong community, which has made for strong families, many vocations and strong marriages. All of them are very involved in ongoing formation in the teachings of the Church, particularly the social encyclicals, and involvement in the different ministries and works of mercy of the Church.

I became associated with the ACU when I was in the seminary in Washington 53 years ago. So, I’ve been associated with them for more than half of their 90-year history. Many of the people who had been with me in Washington were with us for the anniversary celebration, and it was very moving to see them after so many years.IMG_3736

When we started the Centro Católico in Washington, the Agrupados were key in most of the programs that we established. Many of them were doctors, dentists and other professionals. So, we were able to begin such programs as a free dental and medical clinic, classes in English, high school equivalency degree programs, bilingual secretarial training programs and a job placement office. The Agrupados and their wives were very involved in all these different ministries. So, I was very honored to be asked to preside at their 90th-anniversary celebration.

The young Jesuit who is in charge now, Father Christian Saenz, told me that he was an altar server when I celebrated the Mass for their 75th anniversary. So, I announced that I hoped that a number of the altar servers would be Jesuits by the time I come to celebrate their 100th anniversary!

The following day, I flew to Washington, D.C., to attend a board meeting of the Catholic University of America, which was held on Monday.

Monday morning, I celebrated the funeral of one of my former parishioners, Doña Melia Emperatriz Orozco, at Sacred Heart, the Capuchin parish in Washington. She lived to 99 years old and had seven children. I would say that about 100 of the people present at the Mass were her direct descendants.IMG_3999

She was a lovely woman who belonged to the Third Order of St. Francis that I had at the Capilla Latina. She was very involved in the Church and was a great woman of faith. As I told all of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren at the funeral Mass, Doña Melia did not leave them a huge amount of money. They didn’t have to get all excited about the reading of the will, but she left them the treasure of her faith and the example of a good life.

Monday afternoon was the meeting of the CUA board. We continued our discussions on the search for a new president of the university.IMG_4003

Following the board meeting, President Garvey asked me to meet with a delegation from Brazil, made up of members of the government, human rights groups, and others who were visiting Washington. They had visited the Oliveira Lima Library of CUA, which is the largest Portuguese language library in the United States, and were touring the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.IMG_3996

It was very nice to meet them, and they gave me a lovely packet containing examples of Brazilian art.IMG_3997

Then, we had a meeting of The Papal Foundation.PapalFoundation

The Papal Foundation is committed to raising funds for the works of mercy and evangelization of Pope Francis throughout the world.

Monday evening was the Labor Guild’s virtual Cushing-Gavin Awards celebration.

Each year, the Labor Guild honors a member of the labor community, a member of the management community, a labor attorney, as well as the recipient of the Guild’s Father Edward Boyle Award.

Joe-DeloreyLabor Award recipient, Attorney Joseph Delorey, of counsel to AFSCME Council 93

Keith-H-McCownKeith H. McCown, Keith H. McCown, a partner with the law firm of Morgan, Brown & Joy, LLP, received the Management Attorney Award

Joseph-R-Nolan-JrManagement Award recipient Joseph R. Nolan Jr., president and CEO of Eversource Energy

Marjorie-WittnerMarjorie Wittner, Chair of the Commonwealth Employment Relations Board, recipient of the Boyle Award

The Archdiocese of Boston has had a long commitment to supporting the labor movement, and I was happy to participate in this event. It was also an opportunity to acknowledge and thank David Kowalski, who so generously agreed to serve as Executive Director of the Labor Guild over the last few years. We are exceedingly grateful to him for his service and all that he has done to advance labor-management relations in the Boston area.

Thursday morning, we had one of our regular meetings of the Presbyteral Council of the archdiocese, where we discussed the COVID policy for the archdiocese and made some revisions to our mask policy, which we announced later that day.IMG_4005

Until next week,

Cardinal Seán

December 2021