From Cardinal Seán's blog

Last Friday (1/13) I attended the annual New York Encounter hosted by Communion and Liberation.

The annual gathering is modeled after an event in Rimini, Italy, also sponsored by Communion and Liberation, called "Il Meeting," which it is the largest annual cultural event in Italy.

We are so grateful for the presence of Communion and Liberation in the Archdiocese of Boston, with members of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Charles Borromeo caring for St. Clement Parish and School in Somerville; a community of Memores Domini consecrated laymen, many of whom are physicians or hospital administrators, who live in Cambridge; as well as many laypeople and diocesan priests who participate in the Communion and Liberation spirituality.

MLK prayer breakfast

On Monday (1/16), I went to St. Katharine Drexel Parish in Roxbury to participate in the annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Day Prayer Breakfast, which is sponsored by the parish in collaboration with the Archdiocese's Black Catholic Ministries.

As always, the breakfast featured a performance by the Archdiocesan Black Catholic Choir, led by Meyer Chambers.

The keynote speaker for this year's gathering was Dr. Randall Kennedy of Harvard Law School. He gave a stunning presentation on the history of civil rights in the United States, inviting us to deepen our knowledge of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King.

...We are very grateful to Father Oscar Pratt, the pastor of St. Katharine Drexel, and all the parishioners who worked so hard to make this wonderful celebration possible.

St. Andrew Dinner

That evening, I went to St. John's Seminary to participate in one of our ongoing St. Andrew Dinners for young men considering a vocation to the priesthood. I was so encouraged to see such a large group of young men; about 120 attended the gathering.

As we always do, we began our gathering with a Holy Hour followed by a dinner together and a tour of the seminary. Following the tour, we heard witness talks from three seminarians and I also addressed the young men, after which we had a question and answer session.

It was a wonderful evening, and we are so grateful to our Vocations Office for organizing the event, as well as to all the priests and parishioners who accompanied these young men in an important step toward discerning the possibility of a vocation to the priesthood. We also want to extend our thanks to St. John's Seminary for hosting us.

New position

Finally, as many of you know, last week I was appointed to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith by the Holy Father. I am deeply humbled and honored by this appointment and am hopeful that this new position will allow us to build even closer collaboration between the Congregation and the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

I know much has been said and written recently about the work of the Pontifical Commission, and have noticed that at times these are some misunderstandings of its role. The Commission is made up of almost twenty people from throughout the world -- laity, religious and clergy -- and most of the members have professional experience in the field of child protection. It is not charged with evaluating or responding to individual cases of abuse, past or present, but rather serves to advise the Holy Father by making recommendations for educational efforts and programs for the prevention of the abuse of minors or vulnerable adults in dioceses and religious communities throughout the world. Members of the Commission also assist with the implementation of these efforts and programs.