From Cardinal Seán’s blog

Cardinal Zen visits Boston. Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun of Hong Kong, certainly one of the strongest proponents of human rights in China, visited Boston to receive an honorary doctorate -- Doctor of Humane Letters -- from Amherst College last Monday.

Cardinal Zen and I were both elevated to cardinal at the same time. He came to see me with his secretary and Peter Chan, co-chair of the Outreach and Welcoming Committee of the Boston Chinese Catholic Community at St. James the Greater Parish in Boston.

We had a wonderful conversation and he shared with me many things that are happening in Hong Kong. I was amazed to hear that there are 300 Catholic schools in Hong Kong. In fact, one-fourth of the children there attend Catholic school. As you may know, Catholic schools are being threatened by the government but the cardinal is very courageous and a good leader of the Church. He formerly taught in many of the seminaries in mainland China and he is a member of the Salesian Society, a religious order founded by St. John Bosco in the 1800s.

Visiting the Sisters of Notre Dame

On the vigil of Pentecost I had Mass for the Sisters of Notre Dame in Ipswich. They have a retirement facility there which houses a large community. They carry out a number of other ministries there as well. It is also the location of some of their provincial and international offices. They also have a retreat house, which is often used for the Spanish Cursillo.

They have a beautiful chapel there with wonderful stained-glass windows and stations -- all designed by members of their community. It is a magnificent property that Cardinal Cushing helped them to acquire 50-60 years ago.

I was happy to celebrate the Church’s birthday -- Pentecost -- with these extraordinary women. Many of them had been missionaries to Kenya and Japan. The members have had long and wonderful ministries in the archdiocese and throughout the world in the service of the Church.

Sister Eileen Burns, who is one of the Notre Dame Sisters’ coordinators, has been a member of our archdiocesan pastoral council. She is going on a sabbatical and finishing her term of office. We thank her for her service and wish her well.

Laboure College Awards

Later on Wednesday I participated in an event at Laboure College in which the president of the college, Dr. Joseph McNabb presented the Laboure Award to the three past local chairs of the Order of Malta in New England: John McCabe, John McManmon and James O’Connor. It was a nice recognition of the work of the Order of Malta.

The Order of Malta, which is committed to ministering to the sick, has had a close relationship with Laboure College in Dorchester. The small, Catholic college has a Caritas agency and grants an associate of science degree in nursing and allied health. There has always been a great synergy between the order and the ministry of Laboure College. Every year, students from Laboure accompany the Order of Malta in taking the sick on pilgrimage to Lourdes.

Also in this week’s blog:

> Presbyteral Ordinations

> Anniversary weddings

> RENEW meeting

> Christ speaks in the City series