Cardinal Seán's Blog

Cardinal Seán O’Malley shares his reflections and experiences

A week of joys and sorrows

Hello and welcome!

Last Friday morning, I participated in a virtual meeting of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors in which we discussed the process of expanding the number of collaborators with the office.

We are adding people to work in different regions of the world so that the responsibilities that the Holy Father has entrusted will be better carried out.  Particularly, we are bringing on more staff and experts who will be able to work with commission members as we interact with bishops’ conferences in Africa, Asia, Latin America, North America and Europe.

Later that day, I presided at the funeral Mass for the three Clancy children who were tragically killed in Duxbury.    I think everyone in the archdiocese has been very moved by the tragic events that took place with the Clancy family, and I was very honored to preside at their funeral.

The Mass was held at St. Mary’s in Scituate, where Patrick Clancy was raised and where his parents still live.  The principal celebrant was St. Mary’s pastor, Father Matt Conley, but, of course, we were also joined by Father Bob Deehan from Holy Family in Duxbury.  Father Matt gave a beautiful homily that I think was a great consolation to all present.

It was so sad to see the three small coffins of the children and the relatives and friends there to mourn them.  But I was very edified by the pastoral care Father Conley and Father Deehan have shown to the family.

Of course, I couldn’t help but recall the funeral when I heard the news on Thursday of the tragic family incident in Andover in which one of our sixth-grade students from St. John’s Prep was killed. ,

I invite all of you to join me in keeping both of these families in your prayers.

Sunday, I went to St. Mary Parish in Waltham for a Mass to bless their recent renovations.

They have done a lot of work to repair the church exterior, including repointing the whole building, restoring the tower, installing new doors, lanterns, copper gutters and snow guards and fixing the roof.

They also did a lot of work in the interior, such as restoring the windows in installing a new crucifix made by parishioners.

Church Lower hall was restored by parishioners, as well.


There was just a huge turnout for the Mass. There must have been about a thousand people.

We were happy to be joined by many members of the Hispanic and Ugandan communities who have their spiritual home at St. Mary’s.  Though the Mass was in English, some of the singing was provided by the Spanish and Ugandan choirs.  It was very moving.

I was also pleased to greet a group of the young adult pilgrims Father Nolan recently took on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and Rome.

It was a wonderful event, and we are so grateful for Father Michael Nolan’s leadership for the parish.

Monday, I attended the wake of Father Joe McDermott at Immaculate Conception Parish in Stoughton.  There, I was happy to lead a service for the family and friends who had gathered to bid Father Joe farewell.

His ministry meant so much to so many, and I was very happy to see the large number of people gathered there for the wake service.  I know many of his former parishioners attended the funeral Mass the next day, as well.

As regular readers know, about every six weeks, I gather with our recently ordained priests for a day of ongoing formation with a meal, Holy Hour and time of reflection.  Typically, these gatherings are held at the Pastoral Center.  However, this month, the priests were on a two-day retreat at the Betania II Retreat Center in Medway.  So, I joined them for Mass and lunch, and afterward, I gave them a talk.  Father Tom Nestor and Father John MacInnis addressed them during the course of the retreat, as well.

These are always wonderful occasions.  I think the young priests truly enjoy these gatherings and having the opportunity to share and be with each other.  We are very grateful to Father Bob Blaney for his hard work organizing these gatherings.

Until next week,

Cardinal Seán