From Cardinal Seán's blog

Last Thursday evening, I attended the Catholic Charities Spring Celebration. We were happy that they were once again able to celebrate this vital fundraising event in person at the JFK Library and Museum in Dorchester.

Each year during the Spring Celebration, Catholic Charities presents its Justice and Compassion Award, which they have renamed to honor John and Ginny Kaneb.

This year, instead of honoring an individual, they chose to honor the many volunteers from the area who have done so much to assist in the resettlement of Afghan refugees.

A number of representatives of the different groups were on hand to receive the award on their behalf.

Also, during the evening, they honored Debbie Rambo, who stepped down in 2019 as president and CEO of Catholic Charities. Debbie has given decades of her life to Catholic Charities and is a passionate promoter of social justice and the works of mercy they carry out. So, I was very pleased that they chose to recognize her for the wonderful service that she has given.

Morton Station Village

Friday morning, I attended the groundbreaking ceremony for Morton Station Village in Mattapan.

This new housing development is being sponsored by our Planning Office for Urban Affairs in conjunction with Caribbean Integration Community Development. It will provide 40 mixed-income housing units, some of which will be rental and some available for affordable homeownership.

We were happy to be joined by Gov. Charlie Baker for the ceremony.

During his remarks, the director of the Planning Office, Bill Grogan, cited a number of very telling statistics about the state of housing in the Commonwealth and why developments such as this are so necessary.

He noted that Massachusetts is one of the most expensive states to live in and that a minimum wage worker would have to work over 100 hours each week to afford an average two-bedroom apartment. He also talked about the tremendous increase in house costs, saying that the median rent for an apartment in Boston has gone up by 25 percent in the last year and that the median home price in Mattapan is $600,000, a 50 percent increase since 2016.

Trip to Ohio

Saturday evening, I left for Cleveland to celebrate the 100th anniversary Mass for my home parish of St. Luke in Lakewood, Ohio.

Sunday morning, I visited the local two Poor Clare communities -- the Colettine Poor Clares and the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration.

The Sisters of Perpetual Adoration are at St. Paul's Shrine. It used to be an Episcopal church, but it was bought by the diocese and renamed the Conversion of St. Paul. (That was many years ago, before the ecumenical movement!)

Then, we had the Mass at St. Luke's, the parish where I was baptized by my uncle, Father Jerry Reidy. It's a vibrant and active parish and was a wonderful place to grow up.

It was an occasion to recall some wonderful memories of the parish. Bishop Sheen used to come to visit every year, and I often served the Mass for him.

Many vocations were born in that parish, including my own and that of my fellow Capuchin, Father Phil Bernier, who was also with us for the Mass.

Also, one of our parishioners was the catechist Jean Donovan who was one of the four Cleveland churchwomen who were murdered in El Salvador. So, they have a little shrine in the church to St. Oscar Romero and the four women.