Cardinal O'Malley leads 'Virtual Lenten Retreat'

BRAINTREE -- Though Catholics in the Archdiocese of Boston began the fourth week of Lent with Masses and other parish activities suspended, they had the opportunity to join Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley for a 5-day "Virtual Lenten Retreat" broadcast through CatholicTV, online and through social media.

The program's five, half-hour installments aired each evening from March 23 to 27 and included reflections by Cardinal O'Malley on topics such as "Prayer," "Mercy and Forgiveness," and "The Seven Last Words" of Jesus.

There will also be an additional installment on the Eucharist at 7 p.m. on Holy Thursday, April 9, immediately followed by the televised Mass of the Last Supper at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.

"We will remember this Lent as one 'in quarantine.' Social distancing the new norm as daily social interactions are suddenly unavailable to us. Schools are closed. We can't go out to restaurants. Even public Mass has been suspended to curtail any further spread of this coronavirus. Many people feel alone. Many are scared. And people are thirsting for something good," the archdiocese said in its March 21 announcement of the retreat.

"This Virtual Lenten Retreat with Cardinal Seán is a means for our shepherd to feed us, to comfort us, and to give us the hope we need right now," the archdiocese added.

The retreat was aired on CatholicTV and livestreamed through the CatholicTV's and the archdiocese's Facebook pages. Installments can still be viewed at