From Cardinal Seán's blog

On Saturday morning, we held our 13th annual Archdiocesan Social Justice Convocation, which was held in a virtual format once again this year.

We began our gathering with a video Mass, which I celebrated at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross along with Father Phong Pham and a group of his parishioners from Blessed Andrew Phu-Yen Parish.

The keynote speaker for the convocation was papal biographer Austen Ivereigh, who joined us via video. He gave a lovely conference, after which he answered questions.

Following that, Father Bryan Hehir and our chief healthcare ethicist, MC Sullivan, offered some commentary on his presentation.

We are so grateful to Pat Dinneen, who has given countless hours and efforts to strengthen the archdiocese's Justice Ministry and related programs in our parishes. We also want to thank Deacon Tim Donohue, who hosted the program and Lillian Molina Perez, who provided the translations.

Fall assembly

Sunday evening, I departed for Baltimore to attend the annual fall assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Before the opening of the assembly, there are always meetings of the various boards and committees. One of those that I attended was a meeting of the board of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. One of the announcements that was made was that the shrine will be installing a statue of Blessed Michael McGivney.

Of course, during the pandemic, the shrine was operating with a very limited schedule. But we are very encouraged to see that they are opening up again and that the number of visitors to the shrine is increasing. While the limitations on Mass attendance were certainly very challenging, the liturgies that were televised and live-streamed reached many millions of people. Like our own experience in Boston with CatholicTV, it was an opportunity for a great expansion in our ability to reach people over the airwaves.

We are looking forward to visiting the shrine with our group from Boston when we attend the March for Life in January. I have been invited to celebrate the 9 a.m. Mass on the morning of the march. So, instead of gathering at Sacred Heart Shrine as we usually do, the Boston group will join us for Mass at the basilica. I'm happy to be able to take our youngsters there because they usually don't get to the basilica since it's so hard to get seats. But now that all the seating is reserved, it will be possible for them to come.

Causes of canonization

Our meetings of the bishops' conference began on Monday and, while there were many items we covered, I thought I would share a few highlights with you.

Two of the bishops sought the endorsement of the causes of canonization of three Servants of God. Bishop Deshotel of Lafayette, Louisiana, presented the causes of Auguste Robert Pelafigue and Charlene Richard, and Bishop Silva of Honolulu presented the cause of Joseph Dutton.

Joseph Dutton was actually from New England but worked in Hawaii with St. Damien of Molokai.

During the discussions, it was pointed out that the U.S. Black Catholic community is currently advocating for the causes of six candidates for sainthood: Venerable Pierre Toussaint, Servant of God Mother Mary Elizabeth Lange, Venerable Henriette Delille, Venerable Father Augustus Tolton, Julia Greeley, and Sister Thea Bowman.

We are praying that the causes of these candidates will be advanced soon.