Redemptoris Mater Seminary announces plans for new chapel at gala
QUINCY -- Nearly 800 people -- priests, seminarians, and supporters of the seminary -- gathered together for Redemptoris Mater Seminary's 11th annual gala dinner April 30.
Redemptoris Mater Seminary was founded to form diocesan priests for the New Evangelization of the Church and for the "Missio ad Gentes," proclaiming the Gospel to those who have not heard it. The seminarians attend a local Neocatechumenal community and go on to serve the Church both locally, as pastors and parochial vicars, and in missionary outposts.
The dinner took place at Boston Marriott Quincy on April 30, which was also Good Shepherd Sunday.
Organizers originally planned to honor Cardinal George Pell, who passed away in January. Subsequently, Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley was asked to be the honoree and keynote speaker. However, due to the death of his longtime mentor and friend, Capuchin Father Bob McCreary, the cardinal was unable to attend, but sent a video message and asked Vicar General Bishop Mark O'Connell to represent him at the event.
During the speaking program, Father Antonio Medeiros, the rector of Redemptoris Mater Seminary, announced their intention to build a chapel. The seminary is currently run from two buildings adjacent to St. Lawrence Church in Brookline, and they have been working with town officials to obtain building permits.
"Just as a soul is to a body, a chapel is to a seminary," Father Medeiros said.
"The soul confers an identity to the person, and the chapel of the seminary is where the various elements of priestly formation -- the spiritual, the intellectual, the pastoral, and the human dimensions -- coalesce together to form a man into a priest. As a sacred space, the chapel witnesses the most important moments in the formation of the seminarians as they prepare to become priests," he added.
He said that building the seminary chapel is "both urgent and necessary, not just to guarantee the stability of this institution, but also as a pledge of our commitment to the formation of future priests for the Archdiocese of Boston."
The seminary presented a video showing the designs for the future chapel. The tables had envelopes for guests to take home so they could make donations for the project or give others the opportunity to do so.
"We are all beneficiaries of the faith of past generations, and contributing to this project is a unique way of giving glory to God and transmitting the faith to the next generation," Father Medeiros said.
Both he and Bishop O'Connell recalled how Cardinal O'Malley announced the creation of Redemptoris Mater Seminary nearly 18 years ago, at a time when some people thought all the seminaries in Boston should be closed in light of the revelations of abuse committed by clergy.
Cardinal O'Malley "knew the power that is in this room, and he knew the prayers that you all generate. He knew how you convert people on the absolute margins into the most incredible Catholics," Bishop O'Connell said in his remarks.
He echoed Father Medeiros' emphasis on the role of a chapel in the formation of seminarians. He encouraged everyone to think about the chapel that most moved them and formed their faith.
"God will speak to the hearts of your future priests. What greater thing can you build than that?" Bishop O'Connell said.
Also during the evening, the 2023 Redemptoris Mater Seminary Evangelization Award was presented to seminary benefactors Jack and Susan Bassick. In their remarks, they recalled how they met Father Medeiros and other members of the Neocatechumenal Way during a pilgrimage to the Holy Land 10 years before. They were also active in Worldwide Marriage Encounter for many years.
Both Bishop O'Connell and the Bassicks were presented with an icon painted by Kiko Arguello, the initiator of the Neocatechumenal Way.
The evening ended with the Redemptoris Mater seminarians performing several popular songs. Many attendees waved their napkins or lit up their phones as they sang along. The final song was dedicated to Father Medeiros, who would celebrate his 30th anniversary of ordination two days later.
More information about Redemptoris Mater Seminary can be found on their website, www.rmsboston.org.