In this photo, Cardinal O'Malley is seen during his trip to St. Thomas, the Virgin Islands. He was there for the ordination of the new bishop, Bishop Jerome Feudjio. Pilot photo/CardinalSeansBlog.org
Help us expand our reach! Please share this article
On Friday, I traveled to St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands to be present for the ordination of the new bishop, Bishop Jerome Feudjio. He is the fourth bishop of the Virgin Islands since I left in 1992.
Two of the bishops who followed me have died: Bishop Elliot Thomas and Bishop George Murry, S.J., Bishop Herbert Bevard retired recently because of ill health and has been replaced by a priest of the Diocese of St. Thomas, Father Jerome, whom I ordained many years ago.
It was wonderful to be back in the Virgin Islands. I have gone back very few times in the decades since I left, usually for a funeral or the installation of a bishop. This was a happy occasion.
The cathedral looks beautiful. It's where I was ordained a bishop. I was actually the first bishop ordained in that cathedral.
There is an Irish bishop buried there from the 1800s, who was bishop of Dominica. At that time, the Virgin Islands was part of the Diocese of Dominica.
Redemptorist Father Edward Harper, the first bishop of the Virgin Islands, was buried there as well.
He was the prelate of the Virgin Islands before it became a diocese. It was part of the Diocese of San Juan in Puerto Rico, where Bishop Harper had worked as a Redemptorist priest and was a provincial there. He is the one who ordained me in the cathedral. He himself had been ordained at the Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Boston. He was bishop in the Virgin Islands a very long time, about 25 years, and I followed him.
I was delighted to see many people I knew from my days as the bishop there. One of my classmates, who has helped out there in the past, Father Simeon Gallagher, was also there for the occasion, and I was happy to see Father Jose Herrera, who was also a priest I ordained many years ago. He has been a chaplain in the armed services and was back for the ordination of Father Jerome.
On Wednesday, back in Boston, I met with the superiors of the Ursuline Sisters via Zoom. It was a meeting to talk about their plans on how to maintain their identity and spirituality in the schools sponsored by their province. They have a school in Dedham, Ursuline Academy, and their president was also present.
I told them that my mother was a beneficiary of their community. She studied at Ursuline College many years ago, which is a college that they run in Cleveland. We're very grateful for the presence of Ursuline Academy, which originally was on Commonwealth Avenue and then moved to larger quarters in Dedham.
Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors
On Wednesday and Thursday, I had the plenary meeting of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. All of our members from all over the world attended. Of course, for some of them it was late at night, for others, it was early in the morning. Thanks to Zoom we were able to do that. A couple of our people were in Rome with the commission staff, including Professor Ernesto Caffo from Italy and Professor Myriam Wijlens from Holland. The rest of us were on the Zoom connection from all over the world.
We heard reports on the different activities that we have been involved in, particularly the recent seminar at Harvard and the meeting on safeguarding with the Brazilian bishops. It was a good meeting.
It was the first meeting that Juan Carlos Cruz attended as a new member from the United States by way of Chile. And it was the last plenary session that Msgr. Oliver was with us, so we were anxious to express our gratitude to him for the many years of service and his dedication to working for safeguarding in the Church.