From Cardinal Seán's blog

Last Friday, I went to St. Barbara Church in Woburn to celebrate the funeral Mass of Father Tom Powers, who passed away last Friday -- the 27th anniversary of his ordination -- after battling cancer for several years. There were, of course, a large number of people there, as Father Powers was a sitting pastor and had been very active right up until the end of his life.

Bishop Mark O'Connell gave a beautiful homily, and we also heard a very moving reflection by Father Powers' sister at the end of Mass. One of the themes that came up in both the homily and reflection was that whenever anyone would ask Father Powers how he was doing, he would respond, "I'm good," or "I'm feeling better." Looking at that from a spiritual perspective, we can see that, although physically he was not getting better, spiritually, and in his own personal conversion and faith life, he was growing deeper and closer to the Lord. That surely prepared him for his journey home.

Professions of new Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena

On Saturday, our delegate for religious, Sister Germana Santos, joined me in Brockton for the professions of four new Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena, a Vietnamese foundation. A number of the sisters have been in residence at the convent of the Sisters of Jesus Crucified, so they chose to have their profession there.

Of course, there were many Vietnamese priests and religious with us, along with representatives of several of the religious orders in the archdiocese.

The Superior General of the sisters received their vows, and I gave them the blessing, and blessed and presented the rings that they wear as a sign of their consecration.

It was a very beautiful celebration, and Sister Germana and I both commented that it has been a long time since we've had the profession of four religious women at one ceremony in the Archdiocese of Boston.

The sisters gave me the gift of a beautiful image of a scene from Vietnam, which is done in silk embroidery. It is quite an impressive work of art!

Mother Olga Yaqob

We were delighted that, during the same week as the profession of the Vietnamese sisters, Mother Olga Yaqob of the Daughters of Mary of Nazareth was recognized by Providence College and awarded an honorary doctorate.

This is just another indication of the impact our religious women are making, and we are pleased to see that they are being celebrated and appreciated.

Father Wellington Oliveira

Sunday, I went to Immaculate Conception Parish in Revere to install Father Wellington Oliveira as their new pastor.

I was just overwhelmed by the number of parishioners who were there. There were, of course, some of the Italian and American parishioners with us, but it was an overwhelmingly Hispanic, standing room-only congregation. That was very impressive when you think that, only a few years ago, the number of Hispanics in that parish was very modest, to say the least.

We also took occasion of my visit to bless the new altar that Father Wellington had installed.

It was a magnificent celebration, and I was happy to share that important moment with the parish.