Last Thursday (3/8), we had the meeting with the Presbyteral Council. It is always edifying to hear the input of the priests of our archdiocese, and we had very good conversations on a number of issues. Also during our gathering we had a presentation by Father Bryan Hehir, our Cabinet Secretary for Social Services, regarding developments with the Department of Health and Human Services contraception mandate and also from our Cabinet Secretary for Faith Formation, Janet Benestad, on the issue of physician assisted suicide. We wanted our priests to be informed about these two very important and pressing issues so that they could, in turn, inform their people.
Visit to Redemptorist Mater Seminary
That evening (3/9), I visited Redemptorist Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary in Brookline. I was very happy to be able to join them for Vespers and dinner and to spend some time with the seminarians. After dinner, we spent the evening together watching a Russian film called "The Island." It tells the story of a man named Anatoly, who was a soldier during World War II who later becomes a Russian Orthodox monk and spends his life seeking God's forgiveness for his actions during the war. It is a very enjoyable and inspiring film, and very appropriate for Lent.
Church dedication in Tyngsborough
On Saturday (3/10) we went to Tyngsborough for the dedication of the new altar and church of St. Mary Magdalen. Father Ron St. Pierre is the pastor there and oversaw the building of the new church. The original parish church, just a couple of miles away over the town line in Dracut, was built over 50 years ago as a chapel for summer visitors, so this new building provides them with much more room. Those who know the parish, know they have a beautiful parish center with classrooms and meeting rooms in the first floor, which is ground level. But, as Father St. Pierre said, a parishioner very wisely suggested that when they constructed it they build the foundation in such a manner that a church could be placed on top.