Archbishop celebrates 25th anniversary of Jeanne Jugan Residence

Somerville’s Jeanne Jugan Residence, which is staffed by the Little Sisters of the Poor, was abuzz with excitement and expectation Sept. 6. The phrase, “the archbishop is here, the archbishop is here,” spread among the Sisters standing at the entrance as Archbishop Seán O’Malley’s car pulled up to the home.

Together with approximately 18 of the Little Sisters of the Poor and over 25 priests, the archbishop processed into the nursing home chapel for an opening Mass to celebrate 25 years of care at the Jeanne Jugan Residence. Several residents of the facility, two in wheelchairs, sat in front of the first row of pews, while a number of residents sat with their families or in the choir loft to enjoy the Mass.

The Mother Provincial, Sister Genevieve Regina, LSP, welcomed the archbishop saying “Archbishop, when you entered the front door I hope you felt a jolt of energy, for there is a power, which emanates from this house. It is the power, which comes from prayer, consecration, unity, wisdom and, yes, suffering. It is the power that we are happy to put at your service as you take up your role in this Church of Boston.”

"A few weeks ago the East Coast experienced a power failure because the local units shut off rather than risk the load," she continued. "Consider us an unfailing link in your power grid. The Little Sisters of the Poor are deeply grateful to have an archbishop who understands consecrated life. The residents are delighted that you chose [to make] one of your first visits here."

In his homily, Archbishop O’Malley responded to Mother Genevieve’s analogy. “I just want Mother Genevieve to realize that I had no doubt when I walked in that door that I was in the power grid,” he joked.

Archbishop O’Malley began by noting the years of service the Little Sisters of the Poor have given, not only at Jeanne Jugan Residence, but also at St. Joseph’s Home in Roxbury for 104 years and Holy Rosary Home in Somerville for 89 years.

"If you add them all up, it's 218 years of service of love in these three homes in the loving care of the Little Sisters of the Poor," said the archbishop. "We are very grateful to God for you."

He retold the story of Blessed Jeanne Jugan, foundress of the Little Sisters of the Poor, who, at a young age, dedicated her life to caring for the sick, the elderly and the poor in 19th century France.

He emphasized that just as Mary said ‘‘yes’’ to life and to God and bore Jesus Christ, so too did Blessed Jeanne Jugan say ‘‘yes’’ to life when she began her ministry of caring for others.

"Our Holy Father has spoken to us so often and so eloquently about the Gospel of Life. As Catholics it must be the centerpiece of our social gospel," stated Archbishop O'Malley. "The Little Sisters are apostles of the Gospel of Life in a world that promotes abortion, euthanasia and assisted suicide."

"The Sisters' ministry proclaims the dignity and importance of every irreplaceable person made in the image and likeness of God... their dignity at every stage of life," he continued. "We all depend on each other and our mission is to care for each other, knowing full well that there are moments, particularly at the beginning and the end of our lives, that we will depend on others to care for us... it's not something that is a burden--that's why we are here--to take care of each other. No one is a burden."

"What the Sisters do here in their homes, and the kind of loving community and the caring for each other that they bring about, certainly brings about so much good in the world."

Among the 110 residents who live in the nursing home, residents Edith Ward and Genevieve Zarzecki, both 88, were overjoyed with the archbishop’s presence at the anniversary celebration.

"It was a beautiful service," said Ward, who has lived at Jeanne Jugan for over 20 years. "It was wonderful to have him here."

"It really hit me," commented Zarzecki, who said she was so moved by the archbishop's words that she cried during the Mass. "He's wonderful. He's going to work awfully hard in the archdiocese."

Father Jim Darcy, pastor of St. James Parish in Medford, who concelebrated the Mass, described it as both “awesome” and “magnificent.” As a seminarian many years ago, Father Darcy used to visit the residents and play bingo. He said he felt honored and privileged to celebrate the Mass marking the Sisters’ anniversary.

"It's the Gospel," he said of the Sisters' dedication to the elderly. "It's the work of the Gospel and the work of Christ continued in a special way."

"It's an exuberant day to receive the blessing of the archbishop, the priests and the diocese," said Mother Superior, Sister Celine Therese Vadukkoot, LSP. "We thank God for giving such a blessing for our home, our residents, our archdiocese, and we are happy and humble to be here in this archdiocese serving the elderly."

After Mass, Archbishop O’Malley blessed a statue of Blessed Jeanne Jugan which stands in the front lawn of the residence. He then distributed rosary beads to the residents before joining them for lunch.

World
Cardinal beatifies 22-year-old Romanian as 'martyr to chastity'

WARSAW, Poland (CNS) -- A 22-year-old Romanian peasant has taken a step closer to sainthood as a "martyr to chastity," six decades after she was murdered ...

Nation
Maryland attorney general will review church records on child sex abuse

BALTIMORE (CNS) -- In a Sept. 24 letter to the clergy of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Archbishop William E. Lori informed priests and deacons that the ...

Nation
People helping people is what attracted actor to 'God Friended Me'

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Television audiences may recall seeing actor Joe Morton as Eli Rowan Pope, the father of professional Washington fixer Olivia Pope, ...

Nation
Pa. bishops support creating fund to compensate survivors of sex abuse

PHILADELPHIA (CNS) -- The bishops of Pennsylvania's eight Roman Catholic dioceses are supporting creation of an independent fund to compensate survivors ...

Nation
CRS sells fair trade coffee, supporting Mexican farmers and land

Baltimore, Md., Sep 24, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- Catholic Relief Services is now offering fair trade coffee beans that will benefit local farming communities ...

World
The Jesuit who survived the KGB

Vilnius, Lithuania, Sep 24, 2018 CNA.- When Pope Francis visited a former KGB building in Vilnius, Lithuania Sept. 23, Archbishop Sigitas Tamkevicius ...

World
Next step toward artificial reproduction violates human fundamentals, ethicist warns

Washington D.C., Sep 25, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- Artificial human reproduction appears to be on the horizon with Japanese scientists’ claim to ...

World
Update: Scandals create outrage, but there is time for conversion, pope says

TALLINN, Estonia (CNS) -- In what is probably the least religious country in Europe, Pope Francis said he is surprised by how many people hold firm to ...

Nation
Catholic leaders oppose administration's plan to limit green cards

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Catholic leaders are speaking out against a Trump administration proposed rule announced Sept. 22 that would deny green cards to legal ...

Nation
Head of Georgetown Prep urges renewed commitment to being 'men for others'

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- In a letter to the school community, the president of an all-boys Jesuit high school in suburban Washington emphasized the schools' ...

Nation
Today is 'hour of the laity,' Archbishop Gomez tells Encuentro delegates

GRAPEVINE, Texas (CNS) -- Hispanic Catholic leaders are living an important moment in the history of the Catholic church in the U.S. and are called to ...

World
Stay close to the suffering, forgive one another, pope tells Latvians

AGLONA, Latvia (CNS) -- What would Mary do? was the question Pope Francis, in effect, asked Latvian Catholics gathered at their nation's popular Marian ...

Nation
Joy, hope contagious for Encuentro participants as they discern priorities

GRAPEVINE, Texas (CNS) -- Joy, hope, energy and a spirit of continued collaboration are contagious among the participants of the Fifth National Encuentro, ...

World
Update: Pope in Lithuania: Don't let anti-Semitism, hatred resurge

VILNIUS, Lithuania (CNS) -- Outside the former KGB headquarters in Vilnius, Pope Francis ended a day of paying homage to victims of totalitarianism and ...

World
God is patient, even with failures, pope tells young Lithuanians

VILNIUS, Lithuania (CNS) -- Meeting young Lithuanians in Vilnius, Pope Francis said he wanted a relaxed conversation, like they were sitting in a pub ...

World
Update: Vatican signs provisional agreement with China on naming bishops

VILNIUS, Lithuania (CNS) -- For the first time in decades, all of the Catholic bishops in China are in full communion with the pope, the Vatican announced. Pope ...

World
Find strength in tolerance, solidarity, pope tells Lithuanians

VILNIUS, Lithuania (CNS) -- In Lithuania, a nation that experienced invasions, atrocities and persecution, Pope Francis began his visit with a plea to ...

Nation
Ospino: Encuentro reflects 'energy, maturity' of a church 'here to stay'

GRAPEVINE, Texas (CNS) -- The thousands of Hispanic Catholic ministry leaders gathered in Texas for the Fifth National Encuentro shared views on the maturity ...

Nation
N.J. cardinal won't attend synod, asks to remain home at 'time of crisis'

NEWARK, N.J. (CNS) -- Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin of Newark told the people of his archdiocese Sept. 21 that Pope Francis has granted his request that he ...

Nation
Detroit Archdiocese welcomes investigation into Michigan dioceses

DETROIT (CNS) -- Michigan's attorney general has opened an investigation into the handling of sexual abuse by clergy in all of Michigan's seven Catholic ...

Nation
Catholics believe in God but 'don't believe in us,' Miami archbishop says

MIAMI (CNS) -- The crisis the Catholic Church is facing is not "a crisis of faith" or "mainly about a crisis of sexual abuse by clergy," but is "a crisis ...

Nation
Update: Disney animator says grounding in Catholic schools led to success

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (CNS) -- Ron Clements is a renowned animator, screenwriter and producer-director of award-winning Disney films, including the blockbuster ...

Nation
#WhyImCatholic movement aims to share hope at difficult time for church

CHICAGO (CNS) -- Catholic Extension has launched a new social media campaign called #WhyImCatholic to offer "hope and unity" for Catholics by inviting ...

Nation
Continue to be an evangelizing church, nuncio tells Encuentro delegates

GRAPEVINE, Texas (CNS) -- Quoting from Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation "The Joy of the Gospel," Archbishop Christophe Pierre encouraged Hispanic Catholic ...

Nation
Encuentro opens with procession, papal message, prayers for abuse victims

GRAPEVINE, Texas (CNS) -- A video message from Pope Francis and a procession of Encuentro crosses representing all of the participating episcopal regions ...

Nation
Retired Green Bay auxiliary bishop failed to report abuse, withdraws from ministry

Green Bay, Wis., Sep 20, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- Bishop Robert Morneau, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Green Bay, has withdrawn from public ministry saying ...

Nation
Dolan 'impatient' waiting for apostolic visitation in response to McCarrick

New York City, N.Y., Sep 20, 2018 CNA.- The Archbishop of New York said Thursday that while he has confidence in the way Pope Francis is handling the ...

World
Two more Chilean bishops step down in wake of abuse crisis

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis accepted the resignations of two more Chilean bishops, bringing to seven the number of bishops who have stepped down ...

Local
Celebration of the Priesthood dinner raises over $1.8 million

BOSTON -- A record 1,700 people attended the 10th annual Celebration of the Priesthood dinner to raise funds for the Clergy Health and Retirement Trust ...

Local
Lawrence parish helps community cope with gas explosion aftermath

LAWRENCE -- Volunteers at St. Patrick Church's Cor Unum Meal Center were serving dinner when multiple natural gas explosions and fires broke out in homes ...

Local
Ceremony, Mass kick off St. Augustine Chapel bicentennial

SOUTH BOSTON -- St. Augustine Chapel and Cemetery began its year-long bicentennial celebration on the weekend of Sept. 14-16 with tours, special Masses, ...

Local
Mass. Knights install new officers

The Massachusetts State Council Knights of Columbus recently held its Installation of State Officers at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Canton with ...

Local
Deal will keep Sancta Maria Nursing Facility open

CAMBRIDGE -- Sancta Maria Nursing Facility announced Sept. 17 that it has negotiated a comprehensive operational contract with Advocate Healthcare Management ...

Local
From Cardinal Seán's blog

As I mentioned in my preface to last week's blog, this week and last, I have been in Rome for meetings related to the work of the Pontifical Commission ...

Nation
N.Y. Archdiocese names judge as independent reviewer on abuse protocols

NEW YORK (CNS) -- New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan has named a former federal judge to study archdiocesan policies and procedures with respect to sexual ...

Nation
U.S. reports poverty declines, but agencies finding needs remain great

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The good news from the U.S. Census Bureau Sept. 12 was that the poverty rate dropped for the third straight year in 2017 and median ...

Nation
Class-action lawsuit filed against eight Pennsylvania dioceses

PITTSBURGH (CNS) -- A class-action lawsuit was filed Sept. 17 against eight Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania demanding the dioceses provide proof that ...

World
Apostolic visitor outlines plans for expansion at Medjugorje shrine

WARSAW, Poland (CNS) -- The Polish archbishop tasked with overseeing Bosnia-Herzegovina's Medjugorje shrine has outlined plans for expansion, including ...

World
Pope names administrator as Indian bishop investigated for alleged rape

MUMBAI, India (CNS) -- Pope Francis has accepted the request of an Indian bishop accused of raping a nun to be relieved of his duties during the investigation. In ...

World
In letters to German cardinal, retired pope defends way he stepped down

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Retired Pope Benedict XVI expressed his displeasure with the way a German cardinal publicly criticized his stepping down as pontiff, ...

Nation
Thousands of Hispanics expected in Texas for Encuentro summit

Fort Worth, Texas, Sep 20, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- As many as 3,000 Catholics of Hispanic background are expected in Texas this week for the National V Encuentro, ...

Nation
Church plans third-party abuse reporting system, code of conduct

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pledging to "heal and protect with every bit of the strength God provides us," the U.S. bishops' Administrative Committee Sept. 19 ...

World
Be grateful to parents, never insult them, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Honoring mothers and fathers means being grateful for the gift of life and Christians should never insult anyone's parents, Pope ...

World
Canadian cardinal: Women should help screen, train priest applicants

Poznan, Poland, Sep 18, 2018 CNA.- Increasing the role of women in screening and training priests is among the steps that should be taken to prevent future ...

World
Vatican delegation will travel to China this month to finalize agreement, Chinese newspaper reports

Beijing, China, Sep 18, 2018 CNA.- A newspaper tied to the Chinese Communist Party reported Tuesday that a delegation of Vatican officials will head to ...

World
Media reporting Vatican-China agreement could be signed in late September

HONG KONG (CNS) -- The long-awaited Sino-Vatican agreement on the nomination of bishops is expected to be signed in September, reported several media ...

World
Update: Irish singer Bono calls pope 'extraordinary man for extraordinary times'

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Bono, the lead singer of the Irish band U2, said he told Pope Francis that in Ireland "it looks as though the abusers are being ...