From Cardinal Seán's blog

Like many of you, I was able to spend some time with my family over the holiday.

As is our tradition, we gathered for Mass at St. Richard's Church in Miami before Thanksgiving dinner.

A good group of the O'Malley clan was able to join us. After two years, it was wonderful to be able to be with them again at this special time of year when families come together to give thanks to God for the many blessings he has bestowed upon us.

While I was in Miami, I also had the opportunity to meet with Mayor Francis Suarez, who was just re-elected to a second term last month.

The Suarez family has been very close to me since my days at the Centro Catolico in Washington. In fact, I celebrated the marriage of his parents and his own marriage in 2007. It was very good to see him once again.

First Sunday of Advent

Of course, the Sunday after Thanksgiving was the first Sunday of Advent.

We chose the beginning of Advent as the moment for our own archdiocesan kickoff of the Synod on Synodality, which was marked by a Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on Saturday.

We were happy to be joined by a number of concelebrants, including Vicar General Bishop Peter Uglietto, Bishop Robert Reed, and Father Paul Soper, who are our archdiocesan point persons for local synod activities.

Also, with us for the Mass were a number of the members of our Archdiocesan Pastoral Council, accompanied by Sister Marian Batho.

In my homily, I talked about how this synodal process is a gift of the Holy Father to the Church. It's not just a meeting about meetings, or a parliament, or a gripe session. It is calling us to be a listening Church -- to pray, talk to each other, and discern the signs of the times and God's will for the Church and our mission in the 21st century.

In the days and weeks to come, we will certainly hear more about the synodal process as it unfolds in the archdiocese.

Msgr. Kieran Harrington

Monday, I met with Msgr. Kieran Harrington, the national director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States. He was appointed last year to take over for Father Andrew Small, who now works with us on the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. In his new role, Msgr. Harrington is visiting with bishops throughout the country to introduce himself and speak about the work of the Pontifical Mission Societies.

Here in Boston, we have a long tradition of supporting the missions, going back to the time when Cardinal Cushing was the archdiocesan director of the Propagation of the Faith. To this day, the Archdiocese of Boston is still one of the largest supporters of the work of the Pontifical Mission Societies.

I was very happy to hear that many dioceses across the country use the materials that we create here in the archdiocese to educate their people on the importance of the missions. We are very grateful to Maureen Heil and Father Gabe Troy for their wonderful work at our local office of the Pontifical Mission Societies.