From Cardinal Seán’s blog

(On the evening of Thursday Oct. 8), I attended a St. Andrew’s Dinner at Central Catholic High School, in Lawrence.

St. Andrew’s Dinners, which we hold periodically, give young men considering a vocation an opportunity to ask me, seminarians, and other professed religious about vocations in an informal atmosphere.

The attendees came from all over the archdiocese, but most of those at this particular gathering were from Lawrence. It was a large group, about 70 young men.

I gave a brief talk, as did a number of seminarians and one of the vocation directors. Because a large number of the participants were Hispanics, we asked two of the seminarians to address them in Spanish. In addition, Brother Rene Roy, the school’s vice president, spoke about his vocation.

As I mentioned, we hold these gatherings periodically. So if you or someone you know thinks they might be called to the priesthood, I encourage you to visit the website of our Vocations Office to find the date and location of our next St. Andrew’s Dinner.

Rite of Candidacy for permanent deacons

On Sunday, morning, I presided at the Rite of Candidacy for permanent deacons at Immaculate Conception Parish in Malden.

Candidacy is one of the steps leading up to ordination. Historically, there has been what we would call minor orders, or sacramentals, that were steps on the road to ordination. The first one was always tonsure, in which the cleric’s hair was cut by the bishop.

When I was in the seminary we still had these minor orders. Of course, I attribute my permanent tonsure to this sacramental that I received as a young man!

Now, we have the Rite of Candidacy which is a public declaration by the men that they are going to continue in preparing themselves spiritually, academically, and humanly for ordination.

New statue of St. Paul

On Monday, I attended a vesper service at St. Paul’s Parish in Hingham, and dedicated a new statue of St. Paul that was commissioned during the Pauline year.

The sculptor who created it, Susan Luery, the man who modeled for the statue, Bruce Retlogle, and the benefactors who were responsible for the statue were all there along with a large turnout of parishioners.

Of course, my visit also gave me a chance to see many of the students from St. Paul’s School who are such faithful readers of the blog. Hello to you all!

In Sudbury, Ontario

I spent Wednesday in Sudbury, Ontario. I was invited by Bishop Jean-Louis Plouffe and a lay group, the Servants of Christ who organized a Mass and a dinner to celebrate the Year for Priests. Although my family came through Ontario when they came from Ireland, I had never been to that part of the province.

In Sudbury, one third of the people are French-speaking and they have a great deal of cultural pride. This was evident in the church we had Mass in: St. Ann Des-Pins. It wasn’t so much because of the architecture or anything like that, but because the church had burned down three times and has been rebuilt each time, even though there is another church, the English church, right next door. Standing between them, you can almost touch both churches.

I had the Mass and I gave an hour talk on the priesthood that night. It was well-received and they were very enthusiastic.