'On Monday (3/7), I paid a visit to St. John's Prep in Danvers.' Pilot photo/CardinalSeansBlog.org
This Friday, March 4, we joined Catholics all over the world in observing 24 Hours of the Lord here in the archdiocese. ...We began the 24 Hours for the Lord at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross with the Stations of the Cross. That evening, I celebrated Mass to begin the 24 Hours of the Lord at St. Joseph's Parish in Lynn.
At the Mass, we also had the Ministry of Acolyte for four seminarians from our Redemptoris Mater Seminary. In Lynn, as at the Cathedral, there was a very good crowd of people.
In addition to activities at the Cathedral and in St. Joseph's, the reports I've heard from the other parishes have been overwhelmingly positive and the participation was far beyond our expectations. We are very grateful to all of the priests and those who volunteered to remain in the churches throughout the night.
Catholic Appeal Commitment Weekend
This weekend was our Catholic Appeal Commitment Weekend. The appeal provides vital support for more than 50 ministries of the archdiocese that benefit our parishes and schools. So, over the weekend I visited three parishes that have been particularly strong in their support of our Catholic Appeal. It was an opportunity for us to express our gratitude to them and to encourage them in their continued support. After each Mass there was a reception, where I had a chance to greet and speak with some of the people.
On Saturday (3/5), I visited Immaculate Conception Parish in Marlborough to celebrate the 4 o'clock Mass. There, I was able to greet the Spanish-speaking and Brazilian communities that are part of that very vibrant parish. On Sunday morning (3/6), celebrated Mass at St. Paul in Hingham, where they had also taken part in the 24 Hours for the Lord. And then I celebrated the noon Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas in Bridgewater.
Visit to St. John's Prep
On Monday (3/7), I paid a visit to St. John's Prep in Danvers. The school was founded by the Xaverian Brothers, who still have a presence at the school. St. John's prep is one of our larger secondary schools in the archdiocese. They have an enrollment of about 1,200 students in the high school grades and already about 300 students at the middle school level, which was just added this year.
I am always very impressed by their campus, which I think could easily be confused for a small Catholic college. In fact, they are in the processes of making their facilities even more grand, with the addition of a new Wellness Center sports complex. During my visit, I blessed a shovel to be used in the groundbreaking. The school was celebrating their Foreign Language Week, so our Mass with the students incorporated Spanish, German, Latin and Chinese, as well as many different languages in the Prayers of the Faithful. Afterwards, we had a reception at the school's McKenzie Center with some members of their language department.
Vespers with Hispanic ministry
On Tuesday (3/8), I met with those involved in Hispanic ministry in the archdiocese. We began with Vespers, followed by our meeting.
In all, there were about 70 people -- priests, deacons and religious, along with representatives of about 40 communities throughout the archdiocese. I was able to speak to them about some of our initiatives for Hispanic young people. We also had a presentation by Father Paco Anzoategui on the upcoming V Encuentro of Hispanic/Latino Ministry, and Father Carlos Suarez gave a report on the vocation history of the archdiocese.