Cardinal Seán's Blog

Cardinal Seán O’Malley shares his reflections and experiences

Celebrating the ordination of Capuchin Father Alex Diaz

Hello and welcome!

This past Saturday, I was very happy to celebrate the ordination of Father Alex Diaz, a friar who belongs to the Denver Province of Capuchins.

Father Alex’s family is from Mexico, though he has lived most of his life in the States, and the ordination Mass was celebrated bilingually because, of course, there were many Spanish-speaking people with us.

His ordination was celebrated at the Mission San Jose in San Antonio, Texas.  Mission San Jose is still run by the original Franciscans who started these missions contemporaneously with Father Junipero Serra’s missions in California.

There are several historic Spanish missions in San Antonio, the most famous being the Alamo.  In fact, the Alamo was originally the Mission San Antonio, and it was from the mission that the city took its name.  These missions date back about 300 years, and all of them are still functioning parishes — except, of course, for the Alamo, which is now a museum.

It was a joyous day, and I was pleased to be invited to celebrate Father Alex’s ordination.

While I was in Texas, I was very happy to see Father James Fischler, CICM.  He is a Missionhurst priest who worked with me at the Centro Católico when he was a seminarian 50 years ago.  He is now the Vicar for Clergy for the Archdiocese of San Antonio.

With Father Fischler and Archbishop of San Antonio Gustavo García-Siller

From there, I went to Washington, D.C., for the spring board meeting of the Catholic University of America with President Peter Kilpatrick, who is doing an excellent job.

There were very positive reports, and enrollment is up across the university, particularly in the graduate schools.  Of course, this is very encouraging news following the pandemic, which was very hard on all universities.

We also just ended our Light the Way capital campaign, which brought in over $500 million for the university.

We had a celebration banquet with Apostolic Nuncio Christophe Pierre, members of the board and benefactors to mark the end of the campaign.

I returned to Boston on Tuesday, and we had a board meeting of St. John’s Seminary on Wednesday.

We were pleased to hear that all the reports from the accrediting agency have gone very well and that the seminary is well-positioned to implement the propaedeutic year and the other new guidelines on priestly formation.

We also discussed the much-needed repairs that will hopefully start soon at the seminary. It was also very encouraging to hear that the development office had a record-breaking year in raising funds for the seminary.

Thursday, we had a hybrid meeting of the Presbyteral Council, which I attended from the cathedral.  This was our last meeting before the summer.

We heard several interesting reports, including one from Father Bob Connors on our survey of senior priests and another on cybersecurity by Deacon Peter Bujwid.  We also discussed our recent priest convocation and ideas for future convocations.

Finally, I would like to share with you that Deacon Kevin Martin Jr. has recently published the book All is Well – Life Lessons, a beautiful memoir of his father,  Kevin Martin Sr., who passed away in 2019 from complications of ALS.

Kevin Sr. quietly lived an extraordinarily impactful life grounded in his faith, devotion to family, dedication to the community of Gate of Heaven Parish, and the life of the Church in the archdiocese.   It is notable that “All is Well” has rapidly achieved high rankings in the categories of self-understanding and inspiration, and I recommend the book for your own reading and benefit.  All proceeds from the book will go to ALS research, care charities, and support organizations.  We are grateful to Deacon Kevin for his time and effort given to this book project, and to his wife Lisa for her support of the effort.

Until next week,

Cardinal Seán