From Cardinal Seán's blog

Last Saturday, while I was still in Washington, I celebrated a 50th anniversary Mass and renewal of vows for Pablo and Amelia Ortiz, a couple whom I married 50 years ago at St. Matthew's Cathedral. Their children, grandchildren, and many of their friends were there to share the occasion with them.

It was a joy because I don't get many opportunities to celebrate 50th anniversaries of couples whose weddings I celebrated. But I told them that theirs was one of the ones that I guaranteed for 50 years, or their money back! So, I was delighted to go back and bless the marriage once again.

The two priests who accompanied me, Father Briggs and Father Walsh, are involved in Hispanic ministry in Virginia. [ . . .]

Back in Boston

On Sunday, I was back in Boston and visited by Bishop Paolo Martinelli of Abu Dhabi, an Italian Capuchin from Milan, and his secretary, Father Derek, a Capuchin from India.

As a gift, he brought me some incense from Arabia, which is in his diocese.

Lawrence Catholic Academy

On Monday, I had the pleasure of attending the groundbreaking of a new school for Lawrence Catholic Academy.

That was a very significant event because this is the first new Catholic school building we are constructing from the ground up in many decades. Of course, we have beautifully refurbished a number of schools -- I think particularly of Cathedral High, Trinity Catholic Academy in Brockton, and Pope St. John Paul II Catholic Academy in Dorchester and Mattapan -- but this will be the first new school building.

All the students were there for the ceremony, along with the Mayor of Lawrence, the principal, and, of course, the pastor, Father Paul O'Brien, who has worked so hard to make this possible. We were also joined by many of the people who helped him make the project a reality. Truly, it is a miracle and the result of Father Paul's dedication and the generosity of supporters like Peter Lynch and the Yawkey Foundation, who did so much.

We know this new school will have a great impact and be such a great sign of hope for the whole community. Lawrence is a community where the school-aged population is growing every year, and we know what a difference Catholic education is going to make in their lives -- spiritually, psychologically, and economically. So, it was a wonderful and very encouraging event.

Meeting in Rome

That evening, I departed for Rome for a plenary meeting of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

I celebrated a Mass at St. John's Chapel for the commission on Tuesday night.

Wednesday night, I had dinner with five of our seminarians who are in Rome on spring break, along with Father David O'Leary, who is here on sabbatical.

Thursday morning, the commission had an audience with the Holy Father.