From Cardinal Seán’s blog

(...) The Catholic Labor Guild had its annual Cushing-Gavin Awards Banquet (Nov. 30) during which those involved in the field of labor-management relations are recognized. There were 1,200 guests at this very important Boston event.

The Auxiliary Award (which has been renamed the Boyle Award) was given posthumously to Father Ed Boyle, the guild’s chaplain for 27 years who passed away on Nov. 13.

Father Boyle, a Jesuit priest, gave over 34 years to being a labor priest and working in the realm of social justice, particularly with labor unions and management. He was so dedicated to the social gospel of the Church and touched many, many lives.

(...) Father Ed had composed a farewell speech that was read at the dinner. It was a very moving appeal to people to become involved in these social justice issues.

We know that the wonderful legacy of Father Ed will continue in the Catholic Labor Guild. I was happy to be at the dinner so that I could thank the president of the board, congratulate the honorees and especially to say a word of profound gratitude to the ministry of Father Ed Boyle and to publicly acknowledge the presence of his family at the banquet.

Blessing of a nativity scene

On Saturday I had Mass at St. Bonaventure Parish in Plymouth, followed by the blessing of their new life-size nativity scene. St. Bonaventure’s has a wonderful community, fantastic choirs and many young families. The Mass was standing-room only.

Afterwards, we had the ceremony outside to bless the crèche and the Christmas tree. Readings were proclaimed and carols were sung by the choir. It was a very, very cold night, but virtually the whole congregation stayed for the blessing, and the pastor obviously was very, very pleased to see the response.

They have acquired a beautiful nativity scene, made in the Philippines. The figures are magnificent. In fact, it is one of the most beautiful crèches I have ever seen. They had built three gazebos in which different parts of the nativity scene are placed behind protective glass.

In Plymouth there is no crèche on public land, but the parish’s response was, in effect, “Well, we can’t be criticizing the public authorities if we don’t have one ourselves.” So they put up this beautiful display so that children and adults would be reminded of what this season is all about.

St. John’s rector installation

On Thursday, I installed the new rector at St. John’s Seminary, Father Arthur Kennedy.

He came to us after many years of experience as head of the Catholic studies department at St. Thomas University in St. Paul and working in the area of ecumenism for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. He brings a set of skills and gifts that are proven to be a great blessing for St. John’s Seminary, so celebrating his formal installation is a time of great rejoicing for the diocese and the seminary community.

The numbers at the seminary have increased dramatically over last year’s. The spirit in the seminary is very good. We are very pleased, and the neighboring dioceses are beginning to have a greater sense of ownership and participation in life at the seminary, something we had been hoping for.

Also in this week’s blog:

> Opening Mass for the bicentennial celebrations