Hello and welcome!
Friday, I met with Father Nicolae Pretorian, a Romanian Orthodox priest who has been working and teaching in Greece and is now going to be pursuing doctoral studies at Boston College. He referred to us by Metropolitan Methodios and came to greet me.
He is an expert in church-state relations, so it was very interesting to be with him and hear about the situation in Greece.
Saturday was, of course, the episcopal ordination Mass of Bishop Cristiano Barbosa.
We were so pleased that a number of bishops from the province were able to be with us, along with Archbishop Gonzalez, who had been a Boston bishop and came back to be there for the ordination.
We were also very honored by the presence of Father Philip Halikias, who represented Metropolitan Methodios.
The ordination was a great moment for the archdiocese. It is very significant that Pope Francis recognized the great pastoral need we have with such a large immigrant population from Brazil, Cape Verde and Portugal in the archdiocese. We are blessed to have had the ministry of a priest who has been working with immigrants here for so many years. Now, to have him as an auxiliary bishop is an even greater blessing. For that, we are very, very grateful.
In my comments, I talked about the significance of episcopal ordination for us. I noted that the most important aspect is not really the individual who has been selected but that the sacrament of ordination gives us the power to celebrate the Eucharist, forgive sins, preach the Gospels, make Christ’s pastoral love present in the world and have the connection with Christ and the Apostolic Church through apostolic succession. So, it was a very important event for us and is very central in our Catholic identity.
The importance of this event, I think, was evidenced by the great outpouring of enthusiasm and love that was exhibited in the cathedral.
Certainly, it’s one of the largest crowds we’ve ever had — not only was the sanctuary full, but the lower church as well, where there were screens set up. It was a great moment of joy and, hopefully, affirmation for the priests and people of the archdiocese to see the outpouring of faith and enthusiasm on the part of our people.
Then, afterwards, there was a reception for the new bishop next door at Cathedral High School.
Right after the ordination, I departed for Rome for a meeting of the Council of Cardinals advising the Holy Father.
On Monday morning, we listened to the insights of three women who are theologians and came to offer us their perspectives: Sister Linda Pocher, Giuliva Di Berardino and Rev. Dr. Jo Bailey Wells, who is an Anglican bishop. Then, in our afternoon session, we discussed the synodal way of the Church.
On Tuesday, we focused on the theme of evangelization, and we heard the reports of the Pro-Prefects of the Dicastery for Evangelization, Archbishop Fisichella and Cardinal Tagle.
On Wednesday, we met only in the afternoon because, in the morning, the Holy Father had his General Audience. He joined us for the afternoon session, where we continued to explore the topics we had discussed in the previous days.
This week was a very busy time in Rome, with several other important meetings taking place at the Vatican, including the plenary of the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. At that meeting, Abbot Jeremy Driscoll from Mount Angel was one of the presenters. Regular readers will remember that he preached the retreat for the bishops of Region One last summer. There was also an international conference on the formation of priests held by the Dicastery for the Clergy. So, there were a lot of priests, bishops and cardinals from around the world at the Vatican.
I also met several of our staff members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors with a child protection delegation from Mexico in St. Peter’s Square. So, I was happy to greet them.
Until next week,