From Cardinal Seán's blog

This past weekend, I was very happy to attend the New York Encounter, a gathering sponsored each year by Communion and Liberation.

It's a wonderful opportunity to evangelize our university students and young people who are searching for faith in their lives.

There's always great creativity shown in the programming and in the exhibits they display.

This event draws thousands of people each year, and I was happy to see many people from Boston, including Father Michael Zimmerman.

I was asked to participate in the opening session, which was dedicated to Pope Benedict.

There was poetry and music performed by pianist Christopher Vath.

There was also a panel discussion that included Dr. Steven Brown from the Catholic University of America; Bishop Steven Raica of Birmingham, Alabama; Father Alex Zenthoefer from Indiana; and myself.

After the panel discussion, Dr. Brown introduced me to his son, who was serving a gelato for attendees. He was doing a great job, and it was wonderful to meet him!

Saturday evening, there was a dinner at which I met some people involved in the Cenaculo Community. It was an opportunity to learn more about the wonderful work they are doing to help people leave behind a life of addiction. [...]

Episcopal ordination

From New York, I went to Washington for the episcopal ordination of Auxiliary Bishops Juan Esposito and Evelio Menjivar.

Seeing these two men become bishops in Washington showed the great change that has taken place since my time working there at the beginning of Hispanic ministry in the archdiocese. As Archbishop O'Boyle said to my provincial at the time: "I have only one diocesan priest that speaks Spanish. Leave that brother here!"

Now, fast-forward, and they have two Hispanic priests of the diocese being made auxiliary bishops. Bishop Esposito is from Argentina, and Bishop Menjivar is the first Salvadoran bishop in the U.S. I know this was a great joy for many of the people of the Archdiocese of Washington since it is home to probably the largest Salvadoran community in the country.

A mark of the importance of this occasion was the presence of bishops from El Salvador, including Bishop Jose Elias Rauda Gutierrez, OFM, the bishop of San Vicente (who stayed with us at Capuchin College) and Cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chavez, who had been the auxiliary of Msgr. Oscar Romero. Cardinal Gregorio recently wrote a book on his reflections and gave me a copy as a gift.

The Mass took place at St. Matthew's Cathedral, where I celebrated my first public Mass for the Hispanic community and where I worked for 20 years. The church is not very large (as cathedrals go) but very beautiful. [...]

Ash Wednesday Mass

Wednesday, I returned to Boston and celebrated the evening Ash Wednesday Mass at St. Brigid Parish in South Boston.

It was very impressive to see so many young people. It was standing-room-only, and, with the exception of Ray and Kathy Flynn and myself, it felt like everyone else in the church was under 25 years old!

The presence of so many young Catholics is just another indication of the fine work that is being done at St. Brigid's and Gate of Heaven by Father Bob Casey with the assistance of Father Chris Boyle and Father Liam Bergin.