From Cardinal Seán’s blog

‘‘We also recognized Msgr. Andrew F. Connell for his decades of service as the director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the archdiocese...We presented him with the official document naming him Apostolic Protonotary, which is the highest rank of monsignor in the Church.’’ Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy

On Thursday (June 11), the Feast Day of St. Barnabas the Apostle, we had a Mass at the Pastoral Center with something of a missionary theme.

St. Barnabas, like St. Paul, was a great missionary to the gentiles and, at the Mass on his feast day, we honored two men for their missionary service. It was a wonderful celebration of the commitment to the Mission ‘‘Ad Gentes’’ of the Catholics of the Archdiocese of Boston.

First, we presented the mission cross to Father Mark De Angelis who will soon be serving in South America with the St. James Society. He will be studying Spanish first and then assigned to a ministry with the society, which works in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador. In the last 50 years, we have sent over 300 priests to work with the St. James Society in those areas.

Father Mark’s family and friends were there to honor him, including a group from the parish school of St. Patrick’s in Stoneham, where he currently ministers.

Also, in attendance was the new head of the St. James Society, Father Kevin Hays.

We also recognized Msgr. Andrew F. Connell for his decades of service as the director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the archdiocese, which most people know as the Propagation of the Faith office. We presented him with the official document naming him Apostolic Protonotary, which is the highest rank of monsignor in the Church.

Also in attendance was Msgr. William Glynn who has been in the Propagation Office for many years and began serving there even before Msgr. Connell. The service of these two men, Msgrs. Connell and Glynn -- along with many others -- has led the archdiocese’s Propagation office to be one of the most successful in the world.

Father Thomas Kopp is carrying on that tradition as the current director.

On Saturday morning, I had the privilege of ordaining a new Jesuit priest, Father Todd Kenny, at St. Ignatius of Loyola Church in Chestnut Hill.

Father Todd is originally from Belmont and had served with Jesuit volunteers in Micronesia and had also spent time in Brazil. The last two years of regency were in San Salvador de Bahia Brazil, and he will be returning there this summer.

Of course, many of his family and friends were there to share this special occasion with him. We also had a very large contingent of Jesuits who attended including Archbishop Larry Burke, the retired Archbishop of Kingston, Jamaica.

On Sunday, I attended the memorial Mass at the Firefighters Lot at Forest Hills Cemetery followed by a service to mark the 100th anniversary of the monument located at the site where firefighters have been buried for over a century.

I spoke at the event about the selflessness of the profession of firefighters. People will often make great sacrifices for their loved ones and their friends, but firefighters are a class of people who are prepared to risk their lives for strangers each day.

It is a beautiful sense of dedication to the common good. And as we gathered at the monument, our hearts were filled with gratitude, as were the hearts of those who erected the beautiful monument 100 years ago.

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