From Cardinal Seán's blog

On Friday, I met with the provincial of the Jesuits' USA East Province, Father Joe O'Keefe, as part of his routine outreach to all the bishops in his province.

It was the first time I had spoken to him since he was elected provincial. He was, of course, formerly in the Education Department at Boston College and was very active in supporting our Catholic schools. He has now been appointed provincial of their new USA East Province that is composed of the former New England, New York, and Maryland provinces. The Jesuits are the largest religious order of men in the archdiocese, and they carry out many important ministries here. So, I was happy to have this opportunity to speak to him and receive an update on the Jesuits' activities.

Visit to St. Mary's School

Later that day, I was very happy to join Gov. Baker for a visit to St. Mary's School in Lynn. With us were Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Mass. Secretary of Education James Peyser, and our Superintendent of Schools Thomas Carroll, along with St. Mary's Board Chair Bill Mosakowski and Head of School Dr. John Dolan.

Our visit included a tour of some of the school's facilities, during which we stopped into an AP Biology class.

It was very impressive. The students were looking at their DNA through digital microscopes. I thought to myself: When I was in high school, I didn't know what DNA was, let alone have a chance to see it!

We also had a dialogue with the students about their experience of in-person learning during this time. The school has been open continuously since the beginning of the school year -- they have not lost a single school day due to the pandemic.

Our Catholic schools are doing a wonderful job, and this was acknowledged by the governor and others. We are so grateful to Tom Carroll and his staff at the Catholic Schools Office for the extraordinary job they have done helping to shepherd our schools through the pandemic -- helping to keep them open and making sure they have the technology and supplies necessary to carry out safe, in-person instruction during this challenging time.

To conclude my visit, I gave a virtual talk to the students on the value of Catholic education.

Virtual workshop

On Saturday morning, I was very happy to join in a virtual workshop, sponsored by the archdiocese's Social Justice Ministry to look at issues of racial justice.

The keynote speaker of the day was Danielle Brown, the associate director of the USCCB's Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism. Her address focused on the U.S. Bishops' Pastoral Letter on Racism "Open Wide Our Hearts."

Afterward, we heard from Father Scott Euvrard of the Cohasset/ Hull Collaborative; Patrick Krisak of our Office of Faith Formation and Missionary Discipleship; Lorraine Valentine and Joe-Ann Fergus of the St. Katharine Drexel Parish Social Justice Committee; and Lorna DesRoses of our Office of Faith Formation and Parish Support on what is being done on the local and parish level to address the issue of racism.

It was a very important and enriching gathering, and we are so grateful to Pat Dinneen and Deacon Tim Donahue for all their hard work in bringing this together.