Cardinal Seán's Blog

Cardinal Seán O’Malley shares his reflections and experiences

Catching up

Hello and welcome!

I hoped you enjoyed the guest blogs by Fathers Schirripa and Martinez as much as I did!   I think it’s always edifying to hear about the experience of our newly ordained priests.  But I’m happy to be back with you and catch up on my activities over the past few weeks.

Earlier this month, the Filipino bishops’ conference invited me to give them a retreat, which I did remotely.  I probably would have gone in person, but because I have to prepare for my upcoming trip to World Youth Day in Portugal, I thought it would be better to be at home during that time.

Theirs is a very large bishops’ conference, and I was honored to be invited to speak to them.  I am also greatly appreciative of all the help I received from our people here in Boston, who took care of all the technical details to make it all possible.

On July 8, I went to St. Monica Parish in Methuen to celebrate the final profession of two members of the Brotherhood of Hope.

It was a beautiful profession ceremony, and I was very impressed with the beauty of the profession formula itself, which is:

I, _________ , in the presence of the most holy Trinity and of you my brothers, renew my promises of baptism and vow to God the evangelical counsels of consecrated chastity, poverty and obedience in fraternal common life according to the Statutes of the Brotherhood of Hope for the rest of my life.

I embrace the charism of our Brotherhood and will strive to live the All-Sufficiency of Jesus Christ.  I accept the mission of our Brotherhood.  As a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, I place my life in the hands of my beloved Master and most dear Friend, and I ask all the graces necessary to be a good and faithful servant who will share his Master’s joy.  For apart from him I can do nothing.

Mary, Mother of Hope, intercede for me.  Amen!

The ceremony involves the symbolism of the ring and the sword as the word of God and then, of course, the beautiful vows that the brothers made.  It very much reflects the spirituality of the Brotherhood of Hope.

The Brotherhood of Hope comes out of the Charismatic tradition, and their principal ministry is to young people and in campus ministry.  Of course, in our local Church, where there are so many universities, we are blessed to have them working in campus ministry and helping out in so many ways.  We are very grateful for their presence in our archdiocese and, of course, all the work that Msgr. Oliver does for us is very much appreciated.

During this time, I have also had a number of visitors come to see me at the cathedral.

Last week, Father Sean Hurley, FPO stopped by.  Father Sean has worked for many years with the Cape Verdean community in the archdiocese and spent the last several months working with the Capuchin Friars in Cape Verde, ministering to the people there.  He has now returned and came to talk to me about his experience.

Then, I met with Msgr. Felix Ojimba, who lived with us at the cathedral for many years and did an extraordinary job.   We are very grateful that Msgr. Felix is once again helping out in our hospital ministry.

Msgr. Felix

He recently celebrated his 50th Jubilee as a priest.  So, I was very happy to have the opportunity to congratulate him and thank him.

Most recently, I was visited by my old friend Betty Ann Hickey and her son, James.  I performed the marriage of Betty and her husband, Deacon Dennis Hickey, in Fall River.  They are now in New Orleans, where she is the associate director of their Office of Worship.

James and Betty Ann Hickey

James, whom I also baptized, is going to the seminary for the Archdiocese of New Orleans.  So, they came to see me and visit the cathedral.

Last weekend, I went to Pittsburgh for the profession of five young Capuchin Friars.

They were professed on the Feast of St. Bonaventure, the traditional feast day to take vows in my province.  For over 100 years, we always made our vows on July 14 in my province, but then, the liturgists changed the Feast of St. Bonaventure to the 15th.  So, now I always joke that I was professed on Bastille Day!

The Feast of St. Bonaventure this year marked the 58th anniversary of my profession.  So, it was wonderful to celebrate that anniversary by accompanying these young Friars as they made their vows.

Monday, I attended the funeral of Stanley Parrish, the father of Father Bryan Parrish.  Father Bryan and his brother’s witnesses about their father were very moving, and it was clear Stanley was a very faith-filled man.

Father Bryan’s mother passed away just two months ago, so it’s been a very difficult year for the Parrish family.  But it was very encouraging to see there was a very large turnout of priests and loved ones there to accompany them at this time of loss.

Later that day, I attended the wake of Mary Scannell, the mother of Mike Scannell, who heads our Clergy Trust.  Once again, there were very large crowds there.  She had a large beautiful Catholic family, and I was happy to be there and join them in prayer.

On Tuesday, we had a meeting of the Catholic University of America Fellows via Zoom.

The Fellows are a subset of the Board of Trustees, which includes the residential cardinals along with several bishops and ex officio members.  One of our tasks is to look for new people to be Fellows and members of the board.  So, that was among the items we discussed.

The Fellows is a relatively new structure.  Previously, there was a single-tier board with about 30 bishops.   Having two tiers allows the Church to still have ownership through the bishops and cardinals, and yet allows us to have more lay involvement on the Board of Trustees.

Wednesday, Damien DeVasto and I went to visit Barbara Roche, who has been such a good friend of the archdiocese.  Her husband, Pat Roche, was the co-founder of Roche Bros., which is now run by their sons Rick and Ed.

They have been very important supporters of Catholic education and so many other works of the Church.  So, it was good to be able to visit with her and enjoy a lovely lunch together.

Until next week,

Cardinal Seán