From Cardinal Seán’s blog

Annual appeal leadership receptions

Recently, I attended a couple of leadership receptions for the annual appeal. Last week, one was held in Winchester at the home of Craig and Nancy Gibson.

At both of these there were about 70 couples who have exhibited their commitment to their parishes and the archdiocese. It was an opportunity to thank them for their support of the archdiocese and encourage them to continue to be supportive to the annual appeal. It was also an opportunity to update them about some of the activities that are taking place in the archdiocese, in particular about our bicentennial celebrations.

In Winchester, Father Richard Erikson also spoke to the participants and in Hingham, Father Paul O’Brien shared his experience of establishing the Cor Unum Meal Center in Lawrence.

Holy Family, Rockland

On Sunday, I celebrated the 125th anniversary at a very vibrant parish: Holy Family Parish in Rockland. It was a wonderful celebration.

After the Mass, there was a large picnic nearby. Over 1,000 parishioners attended the picnic.

Praying the rosary in Holliston

On Wednesday, I paid a visit to the Xaverian missionaries’ shrine in Holliston. They are a wonderful missionary community. We are blessed that they have a shrine in our diocese. They are men helping in missions all over the world and their mission experience allows them to be of very special service to our own immigrant communities here. For example, the superior, Father Joseph, helps with the Chinese Catholic community. They also have a number of priests who speak Spanish and Portuguese.

People gather for a prayer vigil the 13th day of each month, remembering the apparition of Our Lady to the children in Fatima that the Church celebrates the 13th of May.

As a matter of fact, I’ve been to this shrine twice over the years. The first time was when I was in Fall River. I came up and celebrated a Mass with the Portuguese communities. And the summer before last, I had a big outdoor Mass with the Brazilian community.

The evening celebration was in English, but at the end, after the rosary, Father invited everyone to come up and pray the Hail Mary in their native language. There were people from Lebanon, Africa, India -- it was all very touching. I’d say there were probably eight different languages spoken there.

Also in this week’s blog

> Disturbing news about marriage

> Ordaining three Jesuit priests

> Celebrating Brazilian and Hispanic confirmation at Immaculate Conception, Marlboro

> Breaking ground for a new emergency room at St. Elizabeth’s