From Cardinal Seán's blog

Last weekend, I was pleased to be able to attend the New York Encounter hosted by Communion and Liberation. Each year, CL holds this gathering for young people, which is modeled on "Il Meeting" held every year in Rimini, Italy, and is the largest annual cultural event in Italy.

We always have a very good contingent of people from Boston attend, and this year, they probably had the largest group that they've ever had. In fact, they had to secure a larger space to accommodate the crowds.

On Saturday, I was happy to participate in a panel speaking about the legacy of my dear friend, the late Father Lorenzo Albacete.

As part of the gathering, they have a number of exhibits that people can peruse. One I found particularly interesting this year was an exhibit on the Church in Armenia.

There are always many young families with children. I always like to see the different activities they have for the children, like singing and crafts.

They had an activity for the children making mosaics, which I liked very much.

First Sunday of Lent

Sunday was the First Sunday of Lent. So, we joined cathedrals throughout the world in holding the Rite of Election for catechumens preparing to be baptized at Easter.

It was the largest group that we've had for the last several years. The cathedral was packed. It was very encouraging to see that.

The celebration is always a wonderful opportunity for the catechumens to realize that they are joining not just a parish, but the Universal Church as they gather in the cathedral with hundreds of people from other parishes who were also making the same step to enter the Church at Holy Week.

Cardinal Anders Arborelius

On Tuesday, I was visited by Cardinal Anders Arborelius of Stockholm, Sweden. He is a Carmelite and was in the area visiting with the local Carmelite community, so he came to greet me.

We had a very interesting conversation. He has been the Bishop of Stockholm for over 25 years and explained that his diocese has a very small Catholic population, most of whom are immigrants from Poland, the Middle East, and South America. He himself is a convert from Lutheranism and told me that, of the seven ordinations they had this year, four of them were Lutheran ministers who were becoming priests.

Meeting with recently ordained priests

Thursday, I joined our recently ordained priests who are on retreat at the Betania II Retreat Center in Medway for one of our regular ongoing formation gatherings.

I celebrated Mass with them, followed by lunch and a time of dialogue. It's always very life-giving to be with them and hear about their ministries.