Cardinal Seán's Blog

Cardinal Seán O’Malley shares his reflections and experiences


Hello and welcome!

Last Saturday, I had the ordination of one of the friars of my province, Father Michael Herlihey.


This is one of four Capuchin ordinations I have this year. It was held at St. Augustine Church in Pittsburgh, where I was ordained 54 years ago and where we have many of our professions and ordinations. So, it was a great joy to be there with so many friars from our province.



It’s always a great joy to celebrate the ordination of one of our new priests, so I was very pleased to be there to ordain Father Michael.



Tuesday, we hosted an organ recital at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross by Dr. Bridgette Wargovich, Director of Sacred Music at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland, Maine.

Bridgette is the sister of Father Paul Wargovich, and we were so pleased that her sisters, her parents and Father Paul could join us for the concert.

She is exceptionally talented, and we were delighted to host her at the cathedral, where we have our historic Hook & Hastings organ, which is one of the finest in the country.

Sunday, I went to our Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Brookline for the institution of acolytes and lectors. It was so encouraging to have such a large group of seminarians making their way towards priestly ordination.



For me, this has been such a wonderful time of celebrating ordinations and ministries, which are such a sign of hope in the Church.

On Monday, I was visited by Mother Noeline Namusoke, the Mother General of the Daughters of Mary, Uganda, who was accompanied by Sister Maria Goretti Nassali, who is a teacher and the Director of Campus Ministry at Austin Prep.

Mother Noeline was visiting the local community of her sisters and came to greet me. Her visit also coincided with the big celebration of the Feast of the Ugandan Martyrs at St. Mary’s Parish in Waltham. So, I was happy to hear she was able to participate in that.

That afternoon, I met with Sylvia Fernandez del Castillo of our Pro-Life Office and Mike and Sharon Morley, a couple who are very involved with the St. Alfio Society in Lawrence.

It was a chance for me to thank Sylvia for her wonderful work on the Hispanic Pro-life Congress, which was such a success thanks to her hard work. The St. Alfio Society was a great help to Sylvia in organizing the eucharistic procession and other activities of the congress.

During our meeting, Sharon presented me with a portrait she had painted of me. Apparently, when I was at the Three Saints Festival several years ago, they took a photograph, and from that photograph, she painted the portrait. It was obviously created with great talent and affection, and I was so grateful to receive it.

On Tuesday morning, I went back to the Redemptoris Mater Seminary to celebrate the groundbreaking of their new expansion project.

A large rendering of the project served as the backdrop for the event

When it’s complete, the project will tie together the seminary’s two existing buildings and provide them with a beautiful Chapel, as well as new dining and meeting space. It really will be transformative.

It was very well attended, and there was great enthusiasm among the people. We were very happy to be joined by many parishioners, members of the Neocatechumenal Way, those involved with the project and, of course, the local pastor, Father Jonathan Gaspar.

During the event, we heard from the rector, Father Tony Medeiros, who spoke on the history and scope of the project.

I also offered remarks in which I thanked all those who have supported the project and also expressed what a great blessing the seminary has been for us as an archdiocese, particularly forming men who are prepared to minister to newly arrived immigrants, which is our fastest growing demographic.

This is the week that we are holding our annual Spring Plenary Assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and I participated in meetings of three committees of which I’m a member: the Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America, the Subcommittee on the Church in Africa, and the Committee on Migration.

The Latin American and African subcommittees distribute monies from the special collections to fund different pastoral projects in those regions.
Those funds are vital for the mission of the Church in those parts of the world. I was recently quite taken by an article by John Allen in which he says that, on a typical Sunday, there are more Catholics at Mass in Nigeria than in all of Western Europe. This just highlights how fast the Church is growing in the developing world and why it’s so crucial that we help to develop the infrastructure and formation of pastoral agents required to accommodate this spectacular growth.

The Migration Committee, of course, is very much focused on the situation of immigrants, particularly the refugees who are coming to our shores and the inadequacies of our laws to deal with them in a just and humane way. We are also very much involved in the resettlement efforts of people from Ukraine and other war-torn parts of the world.

These committees fulfill very important functions of the USCCB, and so I was very happy to be able to contribute to their work.

Until next week,

Cardinal Seán