We were all very saddened by the news that Archbishop Pietro Sambi, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, passed away Wednesday night at Johns Hopkins University Hospital from complications following lung surgery.
We were very shocked by the news, particularly given the fact that he was with us just a matter of weeks ago in Boston for the fundraising event of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary, at which he was honored.
At that moment, he was full of life, health and enthusiasm and gave a very beautiful and moving speech. No one at that time ever would have suspected that his life's journey was approaching such a sudden end.
We commend him to God's merciful love and providence and thank the Lord for the gift that his life has been to his family, his Church, and to all the people he has served as a priest and bishop.
Visiting with the Catholic Daughters
Last Wednesday (July 20) I met the leadership team of the State Court of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas.
We had a nice talk and State Regent Connie Pagan updated me on a number of initiatives the Daughters are undertaking.
Every year the Daughters make a substantial contribution for the pro-life activities of the archdiocese through their Pennies for the Unborn program. This year they were able to double last year's amount, presenting me with a check for $20,000.
Marianne Luthin, the director of our Pro-life Office, and Father Kevin O'Leary, who is their state chaplain, were also present there. We were able to thank the women for this very significant gift and assure them that it will be put to very good use, to support the pro-life ministry of the archdiocese.
Farewell to Bishop Reilly
On Sunday (July 24), I went to a state gathering of the Knights of Columbus. They had a banquet to honor Bishop Dan Reilly, who is retiring as their state chaplain. He is the Bishop Emeritus of Worcester and has been in the Knights for about 50 years. He is probably the only person who has ever been the state chaplain in three different states -- he has been the chaplain in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
New emergency room
On Tuesday (July 26), I went to Methuen to visit Holy Family Hospital, which is part of the Caritas system, for the dedication of a new emergency room.
I was invited to the ribbon cutting for the new facility.
It is beautiful and state of the art, much along the fashion of the new emergency care center they constructed at St. Elizabeth's Hospital. This is a great blessing for the people in the area and will assure they get the highest level of care.
Of course, one of the things that has allowed us to do this, is the investment that Steward Health Care has made in the Caritas system. Just recently, it was announced that Saints Medical Center in Lowell is becoming part of Steward Health Care.
We are all very enthused about the benefits this can have for Saints Medical Center and that they are committed to maintaining their Catholic identity.