This past Friday (5/6) I attended the 22nd annual American Cardinals Dinner, which benefits the Catholic University of America scholarship funds. This year's celebration was held at the Hyatt Regency in Scottsdale and was hosted by Bishop Thomas Olmsted, the bishop there.
We were so pleased to be joined by Cardinals Mahony, Egan, Rigali, George and DiNardo as well as Archbishop Vigneron of Detroit, the chairman of the CUA board of directors, the papal nuncio, Archbishop Sambi and many members of the CUA board.
Of course, it was the first Catholic University dinner attended by John Garvey, the president of Catholic University inaugurated this past January. It was a very successful gathering, with almost 400 people in attendance.
Prior to the dinner, we joined Bishop Olmsted for Mass at nearby St. Bernard of Clairvaux Church. Bishop Olmsted gave a wonderful homily on the Catholic intellectual tradition, its importance in contemporary life and the important role Catholic University plays in society.
Confirmations in Sudbury
On Sunday (5/8), I had confirmations at St. Mary Star of the Sea Parish in Salisbury.
This was my first visit to the parish since I arrived here in Boston. The visit was a wonderful occasion, but it was particularly notable because their pastor of over 30 years, Father Thomas Morgan, died very suddenly on Friday. He was 81. He had retired in January for age and health reasons. It was an important chance to recognize his ministry over many years in the parish and personally express to the parish community my condolences on the sudden loss of their former pastor.
Father Louis Palmieri is the pastor there now, as he graciously agreed to assume responsibilities for the parish in addition to his other assignment as pastor of Holy Name Parish in nearby Amesbury. This year's confirmation class at the parish consisted of about 30 students and the Mass was attended by a standing-room-only crowd. It is always a great joy for me to be able to celebrate Confirmations in a parish, this moment when young people receive the great gift of the Holy Spirit.
Mass at BU
Sunday (5/8) I was the main celebrant at the evening Mass at Boston University and had a wonderful visit with the students there. They have two Masses on Sunday evenings -- at 6 o'clock and then at 10 o'clock. BU has one of the most vibrant campus ministries in the archdiocese.
We have been blessed for many, many years with the tremendous support of the administration at Boston University.
Sunday, as you know, was also Mother's Day, and we honored our spiritual mother, Mary, with a May crowning near the end of Mass. The students processed a statue of the Blessed Mother into the chapel where we had the crowning.
I was so happy to see their evangelization efforts in practice -- through the countless numbers of students they serve. Some of these students may not have been fully engaged in the Church prior to coming to BU, but become more active through the campus ministry program. As always, the BU Catholic community is very upbeat, energetic, and gives me great hope for the future of this archdiocese.
In addition to celebrating Mass with the students and having a chance to be present to them, the visit provided me the opportunity to publicly recognize the ministries of Sister Olga Yaqob and the Brotherhood of Hope at the campus. Both Sister Olga and the Brotherhood will be leaving BU this summer. Sister Olga will be discerning the founding of a new religious women's order in the archdiocese and the Brotherhood will be working on a new campus ministry effort focusing on colleges in the Fenway area.