From Cardinal Seán's blog

Thursday, the Pontifical North American College held their annual Rector's Dinner at the seminary.

As always, it was a wonderful event, and it was good to see so many people turn out to support the important mission of the seminary.

This year, the honorees were Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly and Bishop Emeritus of Rockville Centre Bill Murphy, who is a Boston priest.

The Papal Foundation

On Friday, the members of the Papal Foundation were invited to an audience with the Holy Father. The Papal Foundation is a U.S. organization that raises money for the Holy Father's charities, particularly in the developing world.

The meeting was held in the Apostolic Palace, in a room I had never been before. It was very beautiful, with many old tapestries lining the walls.

As I mentioned last week, this is the largest-ever annual gathering of the Foundation, and many stewards and their family members were there.

There were also a number of guests with us. Among those joining us from Boston were Terry and Susan Ragon, John Corcoran, Father Will Tarraza, Msgr. Kevin O'Leary, and Bobby Travers.

After the Holy Father addressed us, he greeted each person individually.

When it was Bobby Travers' turn, he asked the Holy Father to autograph a baseball and a Celtics jersey.

As he was doing it, the Holy Father turned to me and said, "I sign everything but the checks!"

Mass with FOCUS members

Saturday morning, I had Mass at the tomb of Pope St. John Paul II with a group from FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University students, who were in Rome. It was Pope John Paul II who encouraged Curtis Martin to found this ministry to young people on campuses.

St. Paul's Choir School

During the time I was in Rome, the boys from St. Paul's Choir School were also there and performed in several places, including at a papal audience.

They did a fabulous job and had a huge crowd for the Mass. There are so many people in Rome these days. I've never seen the city so crowded!

C9 Council of Cardinals

Then, Monday through Wednesday of this week, we had our first meeting of the C9 Council of Cardinals with our new members. And now, Bishop Marco Mellino is acting as the coordinator in addition to his role as secretary.

It was a very good meeting, at which we discussed a number of topics, including the implementation of Praedicate Evangelium and the Church's role in helping to bring peace to those parts of the world where there is conflict.

Father Paterno

One day, while I was outside the Church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva, I was happy to run into Father Paterno, a priest in the Paraguayan nunciature, who was in Rome for a meeting.

There is also a very interesting obelisk in the plaza outside the church. Of course, you see these obelisks, which were brought from Egypt, in many of the squares of Rome. This one is particularly interesting because it is mounted on the back of an elephant carved by Bernini.