Cardinal Seán's Blog

Cardinal Seán O’Malley shares his reflections and experiences

Celebrating our Jubilarians

Hello and welcome!

Last Thursday, we were very happy to celebrate a Mass for our 25th Jubilarian priests at the Pastoral Center.

Sister Germana is always very good about including those in consecrated life from throughout the archdiocese in our different events.  So, we were very happy to have a religious brother who was celebrating 60 years of religious life join ranks with our priests who were celebrating significant anniversaries.

It’s always important for us to recognize and celebrate our priests on important ordination anniversaries and our religious on the anniversary of their profession.  So, we are very grateful to all those who helped organize this Mass and luncheon.

Last Friday, we began our Hispanic Pro-life Congress, which was held in Lawrence.  This is something we’ve been planning and looking forward to for a long time, and it came to fruition because of the hard work of Sylvia Fernandez Del Castillo and her team at our Pro-Life Office.

The opening session was held at St. Mary of the Assumption Parish.  The Mass was celebrated by Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso and concelebrated by a number of bishops and local clergy, including Bishop Hennessey and Bishop Ruggieri of Maine.

Afterward, Bishop Seitz led the people in a eucharistic procession through the streets.

On Saturday, the congress continued at the Holy Rosary Shrine.  The day included a series of talks, prayer, and eucharistic adoration and concluded with a Vigil Mass for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi.  It was a very full day that also featured vendors, music, talks for youth, and opportunities for confession.


Ester Munt-Brooks opened the series of talks with a discussion titled “The Fundamentals of Pro-Life,” and Bishop Barbosa addressed the topic of discussing sexuality with children, emphasizing a welcoming, loving, and truthful dialogue.

Luisa de Poo, director of Life, Marriage, and Family for the Diocese of Austin, spoke on “The Church’s Response of Love towards Needy Mothers,” highlighting the challenges of motherhood in today’s society and the Church’s role in supporting mothers.  Finally, Adolfo Castaneda, director of education for Human Life International, presented a session on “Theology of the Body,” focusing on the sacrament of marriage and the concepts of love and fecundity.

We are so grateful to Sylvia and her staff, Bishop Seitz and all the speakers, many of whom came from great distances to make the conference a great success.

Father Nicanor and his team are always coming up with innovative activities and community-building events for the Hispanic community at the Cathedral Parish.  And so, this Sunday, in addition to the liturgical celebrations for Corpus Christi, they held a wonderful Latin American food fair in the parking lot of the cathedral that brought in a lot of parishioners and people from the neighborhood.

On Tuesday, we had our annual meeting of the Board of Directors of The Catholic University of America.  This is the major meeting at which new members have to be confirmed in their posts.

I was unable to travel to Washington for the occasion, but thanks to Zoom, I was able to participate with the other cardinals and bishops in this important meeting.

Also, that day, we had a meeting of the Massachusetts Catholic Conference.  Typically, we gather at Pope St. John XXIII Seminary, but occasionally, we meet virtually because people are joining us from all over the state.

We gather as the dioceses of Massachusetts — Fall River, Worchester, Springfield and Boston — a couple of times a year to discuss issues that affect the Catholic community, particularly around the areas of social services, legislation, healthcare and education.  This was the first meeting for our new Superintendent of Schools, Eileen McLaughlin.

We heard reports from the various committees on immigration, physician-assisted suicide and many other issues that are important for the Catholic Church in Massachusetts.

Finally, yesterday, I went to Regina Cleri for a Mass and luncheon for our priests who are celebrating their 50th anniversary of ordination.

There were 11 men celebrating this year.  All were priests of the archdiocese except two.

One was Father Fidalgo, who is a Capuchin from Cape Verde.  I mentioned the fact that Cardinal Medeiros was the one who brought the Cape Verdean Capuchins to New England to work among the immigrants here.  They have made a wonderful contribution, beginning with the Famous Padre Pio, who founded the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception.

I think this is the first time we had one of the Cape Verdean Capuchins as a jubilarian, so it was very nice to have him there.

We were also joined by a Jesuit Father.  Of course, the Jesuits have been present in the archdiocese for 200 years in great numbers.  So, we were very happy that he was also there, representing our religious priests among the jubilarians.

I also mentioned in my homily that this year is the 60th anniversary of the establishment of Regina Cleri.  I said how grateful we are to Cardinal Cushing for founding this extraordinary institution that has become a home for over 300 of our priests throughout its history.  It now also serves as a venue for rehab and recuperation for our priests after surgery.

Following the Mass, I visited with some of the priests who are confined to their rooms, and we had a festive meal to celebrate the anniversaries.

We are very blessed by the exemplary work of Executive Director Stephen Gust and the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master.  Of course, we are also very grateful to the Clergy Trust team with its very active board under the leadership of Mark Vachon and with Michael Scannell as its Executive Director.  We are so grateful to all those who devote much time and energy to the health and welfare of our priests.

It is always a great joy to have an opportunity like this to celebrate 50 years of ministry and service to the Church of these men.  There is a wonderful spirit of priestly fraternity and welcome at Regina Cleri, which is a great blessing for our clergy.

Until next week,

Cardinal Seán