From Cardinal Seán’s blog

Mass at Trinity Academy

Then, Sunday we had the Mass in Brockton to celebrate the new Trinity Academy. The school system in Brockton has been revitalized as the first step in the 2010 Initiative for schools in the archdiocese.

The Mass at Trinity Academy was beautiful, and so many people came that there was standing room only. The children did the readings and petitions and so forth. Afterwards there were tours of the schools and a reception. The people were all very, very pleased with the way that the school has turned out. It was a happy occasion, and I was very glad to be a part of it.

Regis College anniversary

On Tuesday, I gave the closing remarks at a panel discussion at Regis College to celebrate their 80th anniversary and annual Founder’s Day. The panel was moderated by Mary Jane England, the college president, and discussed the history of the college as well as the participation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in that history and their tremendous contribution to the Church in Boston. It was a very interesting exposition, and there were many alumni at the event.

Renew session

That evening, I attended information sessions for the Renew program here in the Archdiocese of Boston. The program is named, “Arise: Together in Christ” and is specifically designed to meet the pastoral needs in our archdiocese. It will be the centerpiece of our bicentennial celebration.

Renew International is a canonically-recognized Catholic organization based in the Diocese of Newark. It seeks to foster spiritual renewal in dioceses throughout the United States and more than 20 other countries.

Information sessions were held from Sept. 24 to Oct. 4. Pastors, parish staff and lay leaders had the opportunity to attend one of 10 information sessions.

I was able to attend two of the sessions that day, one in Portuguese for the Brazilian and Cape Verdian communities and the other in English.

Arise will be offered in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Brazilian and Haitian Creole, which are all common languages of different Catholic communities.

We are pleased that a vast majority of parishes have been represented at one or more sessions. We have been very gratified by the response on the part of the parishes. We are hopeful that this process can help to bring about spiritual renewal in observance of our bicentennial. Arise is a way of inviting people to adult faith formation, prayer and reconnecting with their local faith communities.

Transitus of St. Francis

On Wednesday evening I joined the Capuchin Community at the San Lorenzo Friary in Jamaica Plain to attend the Transitus of St. Francis, a vigil service to mark St. Francis’ passage to eternal life. It is a Franciscan tradition that takes place each year on Oct. 3, the evening before his death. The following day is his feast day and glorious entrance into the presence of God.

Here in Boston, every year there is a big celebration at St. Anthony Shrine on Arch Street. Different Franciscan communities have different observances.

The services include prayers, reflections and readings from the life of St. Francis. We pray the prayers he prayed. He had the Gospel accounts of the Last Supper and Passion and so we also read them.

St. Francis died at the infirmary of the Friary of the Porziuncola in Assisi, which is now located inside the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli. He asked to be laid on the ground and the friars sang the canticle of brother sun that he had written, read the Gospel to him and prayed psalm 142.

Grandparent’s day at

St. Paul School

On Thursday, the feast day of St. Francis, I celebrated Mass at St. Paul School in Wellesley. The school was also honoring grandparents of the children so there were many grandparents and also a few uncles.

The music was very beautiful and the children also sang the prayer of St. Francis both in Spanish and in English. The students are all learning Spanish at the school. They were very happy to showcase that.

After the Mass there was a breakfast for the grandparents and the others. I was very happy that the grandparents were honored, because they have a very special role in transmitting the faith and the traditions of the families to their grandchildren. It was a wonderful idea to bring the grandparents in and to honor them.

Also in this week’s blog:

> Attending the Episcopal installations of Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh and Archbishop O’Brien of Baltimore.

> Answering some comments posted in the blog.