From Cardinal Seán's blog

This past week, I have been in Rome for meetings.

On Friday and Saturday, we had the plenary sessions of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. They were held at the Antonianum, the Franciscan pontifical university in Rome.

The prefect, Cardinal Joao Braz, and Archbishop Jose Rodriguez Carballo, the congregation's secretary, were with us, along with a number of superior generals of religious communities, including my own Capuchin Father General Roberto Genuin.

Audience with the Holy Father

On Saturday, the members of the congregation went to the Vatican for an audience with the Holy Father, who addressed us about religious life.

It was held in the Sala Clementina, where there was a beautiful creche in a panel, which looks like a 3-D picture.

Gaudete Sunday

Saturday afternoon, I went to my titular church in Rome, Santa Maria della Vittoria, to celebrate the parish vigil Mass for Gaudete Sunday. The church has been closed for renovations for the last several months, and it came out very beautifully.

A number of the Carmelites, who run the church, were there with me, and I certainly congratulated them for the fantastic job they did of refurbishing the church.


Sunday morning, I attended the Angelus address with the Holy Father. It was the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and there was a huge crowd in St. Peter's Square.

Three-day seminar

Sunday afternoon, we began our three-day seminar, sponsored by the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors on the dignity of persons bringing forth allegations of abuse in the life of the Church, looking at how the rights of survivors are handled in different areas of the world.

The seminar was well attended and produced very helpful conversations about how to better assist survivors. We are so grateful to commission member Dr. Myriam Wijlens, her colleagues on the commission, and our secretary, Father Andrew Small, for all their efforts in bringing this seminar together.

Council of cardinals

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, we had our meetings of the Council of Cardinals advising the Holy Father on the reform of the Roman Curia. It was our first in-person gathering in two years. In our meetings, we discussed the situation of the pandemic in our countries and preparations for the Synod on Synodality.

Book presentation

On Wednesday night, I attended the presentation of a new book by friends of mine from Portugal, Joao and Maria Lobao. It was held in Portugal's Embassy to the Holy See and the Order of Malta.

The embassy is in a magnificent old palazzo. They had several plaques on the wall with lists of all the ambassadors of Portugal to the Holy See over the last thousand years!

They also have an impressive map room.

I was particularly struck by this wall, which shows the voyages of the Portuguese explorers.