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From Cardinal Seán's blog

Cardinal O'Malley with Dr. John Dolan, the head of school at St. Mary's in Lynn, and Dr. Stephen Minnis, the president of Benedictine College in Kansas, during their visit to the cathedral on Aug. 4. Pilot photo/CardinalSeansBlog.org

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Last week, we had a birthday gathering here at the cathedral for Father Joe Baggetta, who was celebrating his 75th birthday. We were so delighted that Bishop Hennessey was also able to join us.

We haven't seen too much of Father Joe over the last several months because of the pandemic. So, it was good to have him back at the cathedral, and we were happy to be able to share the celebration with him.

Visit at the cathedral

On Saturday, Arlene and Jim McNamee, Deacon Tom and Wendy Palanza, and Msgr. Steve Avila all stopped by the cathedral. Arlene ran the Catholic Social Services program in Fall River for many years, but they are now living in Florida. The McNamees came up to visit friends and family, so we were happy they could come by for a visit and lunch.

I gave them a tour of the renovations to the cathedral, which they had not yet seen. Deacon Palanza runs a design firm that specializes in church renovations. Some of their projects have included St. Elizabeth Church in Milton and Immaculate Conception Church in Lowell, as well as several churches in the Diocese of Fall River. So, we were particularly anxious for him to see what has been accomplished here at the cathedral.

I'm happy to say they were all delighted with the renovations.

Dinners with benefactors

This week, I attended three dinners with benefactors of our Redemptoris Mater Seminary from the parishes of St. Joseph in Lynn, Immaculate Conception in Revere, and Immaculate Conception in Marlborough, which were held Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

Each night, Father Israel Rodriguez not only prepared an extraordinary paella for the gathering but explained to us the Old Testament roots of the dish.

According to Father Israel's tale, when the Israelites were crossing through the Red Sea to escape from Pharaoh, Moses told the people to gather up the shellfish, lobsters, and shrimp. When they arrived at the other side, they made a paella. I don't think that quite squares with the biblical account, but it made for a good story!

As always, when we have an event with the Redemptoris Mater Seminary, the seminarians provided a wonderful musical performance.

This time they had a group with clarinets, saxophones, trumpets, and guitars. It seems the number of instruments is always increasing with every gathering!


On Wednesday, I was visited at the cathedral by Dr. John Dolan, the head of school at St. Mary's in Lynn, and Dr. Stephen Minnis, the president of Benedictine College in Kansas.

Dr. Dolan and Dr. Minnis are old friends, and Dr. Minnis was in town to give a talk on Catholic education at St. Mary's. While they were here, they had an opportunity to see the renovations to the cathedral as well as tour Cathedral High School.

We are delighted with the extraordinary Catholic education that is being imparted at St. Mary's, and we were very happy to be there during the visit of Gov. Baker earlier this year. It was a time when many schools in the state were providing remote instruction, and it was an opportunity to experience the joy and enthusiasm of the students at St. Mary's, who were receiving in-person instruction every day.

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