''This year marks the 800th anniversary of the founding of the Poor Clares by St. Clare of Assisi. So, on Sunday (1/15), I visited with the community of Poor Clares in Jamaica Plain.'' Pilot photo/CardinalSeansBlog.org
Last Friday (1/13), I was visited by Father Kevin Deeley, who is returning after a number of years of service in the Navy. Our chaplains, when they return from the service, bring with them a wealth of experience that enriches our own diocesan life. I am sure Father Deeley will be no exception. He will be helping out in St. Raphael Parish in Medford as Father Kevin Toomey is on sabbatical. We welcome him back to the archdiocese!
Meeting with Mass Catholic Conference
Saturday (1/14) morning, I attended a board meeting of the Massachusetts Catholic Conference. We discussed a number of important issues, including the initiative to legalize physician assisted suicide in Massachusetts. All the bishops are committed to working on an educational program to help Catholics understand what the Church's teachings are on end of life issues and the sacredness of human life. Also, we have committed to work with other groups, such as Massachusetts Citizens for Life and various disabilities organizations, which are likewise opposed to physician assisted suicide. We are very happy that the Massachusetts Medical Society spoke out so strongly against endorsing physician assisted suicide. Another topic we discussed was a new Health Care Proxy, which we recently approved. A health care proxy allows a person to designate someone to make medical decisions on their behalf if they are unable. This is important because it gives people the option not to prolong their life through extraordinary means. There is often a misperception that the Church teaches that life must be prolonged by any means. Sometimes, when people are gravely ill and their time has come, natural death is the desired outcome -- far superior to using drugs to end their life.
St. Andrew's Dinner
Tuesday (1/17), we had over 100 men attend the St. Andrews Dinner that we hosted at St. John's Seminary -- one of the largest we have hosted to date. As I pointed out to the people, last Sunday's Gospel was the one which gave rise to the whole notion of the St. Andrews dinner. It was the one in which John the Baptist points out Jesus to his disciples, saying, "Behold the Lamb of God." One of those disciples was Andrew, who not only followed Jesus, but went and got his brother, Peter, saying "You have to come and meet the Messiah!" Peter went and, of course, he was also called.
The idea is that our vocations are mediated by people inviting us to consider if the Lord is calling us to a life of ministry. These dinners are to invite young men who are living the Catholic faith to see the seminary a little closer, listen to the vocation stories of the seminarians and perhaps consider, in their own life, what the Lord is asking them to do and how best to live the call to holiness and to serve the Catholic Church.
There were a number of young men from various parish schools, and a number of priests and parents accompanied them. The young men were able to be part of the Holy Hour and Vespers with the seminarians, and the young men ate with them. Afterward, there was a session in which the seminarians gave witness talks and told their vocation stories.
Archdiocesan Pastoral Council Meeting
Wednesday (1/18), we had one of our meetings of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council. The members of the council are always very articulate and engaged in conversations and topics that most affect our archdiocese. This is an important opportunity to hear from people in the parishes and in the different regions.
During this meeting, we had a very lively discussion around three issues: the Improved Financial Relationship Model, physician assisted suicide, and the Pastoral Letter on the Sunday Eucharist.
We also had some new members who were there for the first time, so we welcome them and thank them for their service to the Church. We also want to thank Sister Marian Batho for all she does coordinating the APC.