From Cardinal Seán's blog

I want to begin this week noting the passing of Father Michael Scanlan, TOR.

He was an outstanding churchman who, in the 1970s, was named president of what was then the College of Steubenville. He truly re-founded the university and gave them an incredible impetus to train committed disciples in the Church.

He made Steubenville a center of spirituality, evangelization and theology. A majority of the students attend daily Mass and are following courses of study centered around theology and catechetics. Wherever you go in the United States, you find teachers, pastoral workers, evangelists, and youth ministers who received their academic and spiritual training at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. Of course, many vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life have also resulted from the deep spiritual atmosphere of the university.

I was very proud to have received an honorary doctorate from Franciscan University last May, on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima. Like today, it was a Friday the 13th and so I told the students, "Many people feel that Friday the 13th is an unlucky day, but for me it's the luckiest day of my life because I'm getting a free degree from the Franciscan University of Steubenville!"

I was a great admirer of Father Scanlan. When I was bishop in the West Indies and in Fall River, we invited him to come and preach and I also participated in some of the priest retreats that he organized, particularly the international retreats in Rome that would bring together some 1,400 priests from all over the world. He certainly was a very gifted man who used his gifts at the service of the Lord and the Church. He will be sorely missed but fondly remembered, and his ministry will continue to touch the lives of so many people.

Museum of the Bible

Following the installation of Cardinal Tobin in Newark, I went to Washington to attend a conference at the Catholic University of America entitled, "Erroneous Autonomy: The Dignity of Work."

While I was in Washington I was invited to visit the new Museum of the Bible, which is scheduled to open in November. It will be the third largest museum -- and the largest privately owned museum -- in Washington, D.C.

There has been a very great effort to invite Protestants, Catholics and Jews to work together on this project, and the Holy See is being offered space to exhibit items from the Vatican Library and the Vatican Museums.

The museum expects to host up to five million visitors in its first year. Hopefully, in the future, when our young people from Boston come to Washington for the March for Life, we will be able to take them to visit the museum at the St. John Paul II National Shrine and this wonderful new Museum of the Bible.

Catholic Extension visitors

On Tuesday (1/10) I returned to Boston, and that afternoon I was visited at the cathedral by a group of over 30 sisters from Latin America accompanied by Father Jack Wall, the president of Catholic Extension.

These sisters are all missionaries from Latin American mission dioceses who have been sponsored by Catholic Extension and the Conrad Hilton Foundation to come for five years to the U.S. to serve poor, Hispanic immigrant communities in a number of dioceses.

This was their first time in Boston and they were here to take a week-long course on operational leadership at Boston College.

Part of Catholic Extension's goal is to give the sisters opportunities to advance their education while they are here, so they gather two or three times a year to take courses or do retreats. Since many them do not have a university-level education, they can use the credits they earn here toward a future degree at home.

During our visit, I gave a brief talk to the sisters, in which I offered some thoughts on Hispanic ministry, and afterward the sisters sang us some songs.