From Cardinal Seán’s blog

St. Andrew’s Dinner

On Friday evening, we had a St. Andrew’s Dinner at St. John’s Seminary in Brighton. Young men from several parishes came for the holy hour and the vespers with the seminarians.

Afterward, we had dinner with them, and three seminarians gave witness talks about their vocations. Then, I addressed the young men, talked about vocations and answered some of their questions.

As we were leaving the seminary, we ran into a Portuguese group, a “rancho folclorico,” from St. Anthony Parish in Cambridge.

They were at the seminary for an ethnic party, and all the young children were dressed up in their costumes and had castanets. They sang a couple of songs for us, which was very enjoyable.

Pay respects to Father Ed Boyle

On Sunday I attended the wake for Father Ed Boyle in the chapel at Campion Hall, the Jesuit retirement home in Weston.

Many hundreds of people went there to pay their respects. It was a very moving experience to see how beloved Father Boyle was to so many people whose lives were touched by his ministry in working in the labor movement. The crowd extended from the coffin, through the church, down this very long hallway out to the street. It was incredible how many people went there.

His funeral was the following day at St. Angela Parish. He had helped out for many years at St. Angela’s, so he asked to be buried there.

I had seen Father Boyle recently at Campion. He was dying, but he was still able to talk, and we had a nice visit. I will always cherish my memories of this outstanding priest and Jesuit.

I also know that he has prepared a farewell statement that will be read at the Labor Guild Dinner on Nov. 30.

Day of recollection

Tuesday, we had a second day of recollection for the priests, meant as a follow-up to our presbyteral convocation in September. More than 400 priests registered for the event. There was a good turnout, which was very encouraging. It was a time to pray together as we are poised to begin our bicentennial celebration on Dec. 2. Father Bob Connors, director of the anniversary celebration’s council, gave the priests an update on the events that are planned.

The theme of this convocation was “Healing, Reconciliation, Forgiveness.” I delivered the opening prayer, which was followed by the first talk by Brother Loughlan Sofield.

Brother Loughlan was very engaging. Everyone enjoyed his insightful comments about the challenges priests face as well as his sense of humor. The two other speakers were Father Bruce Nieli and Sister Terry Rickard from the Renew program. Our own Renew program, “Arise: Together in Christ,” will be the centerpiece of our 200th anniversary celebration.

The priests also had a chance to view the wonderful video “Fishers of Men,” that was produced by the bishop’s conference as a tool for vocations.

The day afforded many opportunities for prayer and fraternity, which are both so important for our priests. We also had opportunities for confession and a reconciliation service during the day, which I preached at.

I spoke to the priests about the importance of forgiveness, which no serious renewal can be without. Our Father already has forgiven us so much, and it is through his mercy that we learn to be merciful. As priests we are called to be the healing voice of the Lord through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We must love confession and avail ourselves of its graces by confessing regularly ourselves.

Also in this week’s blog:

> Youth Ministry Awards

> Archdiocesan Catechetical Congress

> Black Catholic Awards Night

> Presiding at the annual Red Mass in Worchester