Cardinal Seán's Blog

Cardinal Seán O’Malley shares his reflections and experiences

Attending the Redemptoris Mater Seminary Gala Dinner

Hello and welcome!

Last Friday, I visited New Horizons Assisted Living in Marlborough.

The site was originally a home for troubled girls run by the Good Shepherd Sisters.  However, several years ago, it was converted into a long-term care facility, and many of our religious orders are sending their retired sisters there, particularly the Sisters of St. Anne, who are there in large numbers.  They are very happy to have community amongst themselves, share their charisms and spirituality with each other, and be present to the other residents.

With all the sisters who represent the women religious who are living in the facility

I had Mass for them in their beautiful Chapel.  Then, afterward, we had a roundtable discussion with the sisters.

That evening, I had a dinner with groups assisting us in campus ministry.

Since there are about 75 colleges and universities within the archdiocese, campus ministry is very important to us.  We have been blessed with wonderful chaplains at the different campuses, as well as groups like the Brotherhood of Hope,  FOCUS, and St. Paul’s Outreach, which collaborate with our chaplains and have been successful in involving so many young people on our campuses in the life of the Church.

I try to gather with them about once a year, and it is an opportunity to hear their witness talks about their ministries on the various campuses.  We are truly blessed by their presence and the enthusiasm of these young people who are intent upon sharing the faith with their peers on college and university campuses.

Sunday morning, I went to St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Lawrence to celebrate the installation of their pastor, Father Israel Rodriguez.

It was a very impressive celebration that really showed the vibrancy of the parish.  There were probably about 1,500 people in the church, and afterwards, there was a luncheon that so many of the people participated in.

At the end of the Mass, they gave me a lovely gift of a basket of fruit that was just immense.

Father Israel has done an extraordinary job in whatever parish he has been assigned to, and that is certainly the case at St. Mary’s, which is one of the largest parishes in the archdiocese.  Even though he’s been in that assignment for a while, it was nice to have a formal recognition of his role there as pastor with the formal installation ceremony.

That evening, I was very happy to attend the Redemptoris Mater Seminary’s Gala Dinner at the Quincy Marriott.  As always, a very large and enthusiastic crowd came out to support the seminary.

I was pleased that Mother Olga and her community were able to join us.

The honoree of the evening was our newly minted auxiliary, Bishop Cristiano Barbosa.

They also showed a wonderful film about the life and vocation story of one of our seminarians who will be ordained to the priesthood this later month, Deacon Giovanni Argote.

It was a joyous evening, and, of course, I always enjoy the singing of the seminarians.

It was also a chance for me to publicly acknowledge the fine work of the rector, Father Tony Medeiros.

I was happy to be a part of this great expression of support for the seminary and its mission of forming priests.

On Monday, I recorded a video for the 175th anniversary celebration of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur.

I am scheduled to celebrate a special Mass for their anniversary.  However, I will be at the Synod on Synodality in October, when they hold their main celebration.  So, we made a video with Sister Maria Delaney, who is a wonderful historian.  She was full of fascinating information, and it was very interesting to learn more about their history.

The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur have been such an important presence in the archdiocese, not just because of Emmanuel College but because such a large percentage of schools were staffed by the sisters going back almost 200 years.  We are blessed by their presence in the archdiocese.


On Tuesday, we had our monthly meeting of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors via Zoom, and our new Secretary and Adjunct Secretary were with us.

We had reports on the continuing effort to conduct outreach in Africa and Latin America regarding safeguarding training and establishing safeguarding offices.  We are very encouraged by the work the commission is doing.

That afternoon, I went to dedicate a new Oratory and the Stations of The Cross Pathway at St. Sebastian’s School in Needham.

It was very good to see outgoing headmaster Bill Burke as well as Brendan Sullivan, the incoming headmaster.

Of course, we were also joined by Father John Arens, who has been part of that institution for so long.

There has always been a very strong commitment to the spiritual and religious formation of the young men at St. Sebastian’s and to instilling in them a strong Catholic identity and commitment to the values of the Gospel and the teaching of the Church.  For that, I’m very grateful to Bill Burke, the faculty, and Father Arens.

Wednesday, I celebrated the funeral Mass of Father Charles Salamone at St. Patrick’s in Watertown, the parish he had been helping out at after his retirement.  Bishop Reed is, of course, the pastor at St. Patrick’s, and he concelebrated the Mass with us.

Father Salamone was chaplain at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital for 25 years and had an extraordinary ministry there, caring for the sick and ministering to doctors, nurses, and the families of patients.

His dear friend, Father Al Butler, preached the homily and had many wonderful anecdotes and stories of how thoughtful Father Salamone was.

He also mentioned how good he was with all the different religious communities of women and was so attentive to their needs.  He reported how, once, Father Salamone was visiting the Trappistines, and they mentioned that they had lost their llama.  Father Salamone said, “Order another one, and I’ll pay for it.” As they were leaving, Father Al said, “Do you know what llama is?” and Father Salamone replied, “I have no idea.”

Two months later, Father Salamone got a bill for $1,700 for the new llama!

I said that I had seen that llama during my visits to the Trappistines, but never knew that he was the benefactor who provided it.

I also commented that we have a painting of the patroness of the Capuchin missions, the Mother of the Divine Shepherd, in the lower Church of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross that I brought back from Peru.  In this painting from Peru, Our Lady is surrounded not only by sheep but also by llamas because they say that a llama is better than a sheepdog in caring for the sheep.  The llamas scare away predators and make sure the sheep are safe, come in at night and have enough to eat.

I said that is the kind of shepherd that Father Salamone had been to people for so long.

Until next week,

Cardinal Seán