From Cardinal Seán's blog

This week (week of 10/3), I have been in Italy for a meeting to prepare for my upcoming apostolic visitation to Ireland.

We met with Cardinal Ouellet and representatives from the Curia, as well as the nuncio, and the four archbishops of Ireland -- Armagh Cardinal Seán Brady, Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Cashel Dermot Clifford and Archbishop of Tuam Michael Neary -- along with the four visitators -- myself; Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the retired bishop of Westminster in England; Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, SJ, Bishop of Ottawa; and Archbishop Thomas Collins, of Toronto.

We spent two days working on the program and discussing the visitation.

Cardinal Ouellet stressed the fact that this is a pastoral visitation, and we're not there to repeat the kinds of investigations that have been begun by the Irish government and others. Rather, we are there to look at the Church's response -- what the Church is doing to serve the needs of the victims of sexual abuse as well as implement policies to guarantee the safety of children and renew the Church spiritually as they strive to, in a spirit of penance, bring reparation and prepare for their Eucharistic congress, which will be next year in Ireland.

I would like to make an appeal for people to pray for the success of the visitation. Please pray that it will be a time of healing and renewal for the Church in Ireland and bring peace and a spirit of hope to Catholics there.

Santa Maria della Vittoria

As I like to do when I am in Rome, I celebrated Mass at my titular church there, Santa Maria della Vittoria.

While I was at Santa Maria, I was visited by the new Italian consul general in Boston, Giuseppe Pastorelli.

He is coming to Boston in a couple of weeks, so when he learned the Archbishop of Boston was having Mass in the church he came to pay his respects.

Earlier that day, we went to the North American College, and had lunch with Father Bill Devine, a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston who is on sabbatical in Rome. Our two seminarians there, Eric Bennett and Tom Macdonald, also joined us. Later in the week we had another chance to have dinner with all of our men in Rome.

Then Father Devine invited us to visit the Casa O'Toole, which is the new residence for the institute charged with ongoing formation of priests ordained for over ten years.

Franciscan events in Assisi

On Sunday, we travelled to Assisi for the Transitus, a nighttime commemoration of the death of St. Francis of Assisi.

Luigi Bressan, Metropolitan Archbishop of Trento presided at the Solemn Commemoration of the Transitus. Bishop Karl Golser, Bishop of Bolzano-Bressanone, also participated, as well as Bishop Domenico Sorrentino, Bishop of Assisi.

We were there for vespers and then we had dinner with the Conventual Friars.

Then there was the Transitus service at 9:30 at night, which included a candlelight procession and sermon by Father Mauro Johri, the minister general of the Capuchins, who is Swiss.

(...) This was my first time celebrating the Transitus and the feast of St. Francis in Assisi. It was very moving, almost like a retreat.