Last Friday (4/22), I had one of my periodic gatherings with seminarians by class. This was just one more opportunity to get together seminarians in small groups to be able to pray with them and dialogue with them about their vocations and the Church. These gatherings are always great joy for me.
Wellness center dedication
Tuesday (4/26), we had the dedication of the new wellness center at Newton Country Day School of the Sacred Heart. Sister Barbara Rogers had invited us to dedicate the new wellness center and visit the school. Newton Country Day is a wonderful Catholic school. In my own family, many of my relatives attended schools of the religious of the Sacred Heart, so I know personally of the extraordinary education that the sisters have provided for many generations of Catholics.
Campaign for Catholic Schools gathering
That evening, I attended a gathering of the Campaign for Catholic Schools hosted at the home of Herbert and Charlotte Wagner in Cambridge. The purpose of the evening was to thank and honor benefactors of the campaign, who were responsible for the Lower Mills Campus of Pope St. John Paul II Academy.
Deacon Manion funeral
Wednesday (4/27), I celebrated the funeral Mass for Deacon John Manion, who died at 89. He was from Galway in Ireland. In fact, he had just been with us at the cathedral for our celebration of St. Patrick's Day. Many people will remember him as the deacon who would read the Gospel in Irish. He worked for three decades as chaplain in Walpole prison and was much beloved in his parish of St. George in Framingham. The pastor, Father John Rowan, gave a wonderful homily and we heard a very moving remembrance by Deacon John's daughter. We were joined by many permanent deacons for the Mass as well as Father Silva, who was formerly in charge of the diaconate program.
Clergy Personnel Board meeting
Also that day, I had lunch with the members of the clergy personnel board. It was an opportunity to thank the outgoing members for their service and thank the new men for taking on the responsibility of the personnel board. It is such an important task and I know that it takes a lot of time and energy but the careful consideration of assignments is crucial for our priests and our parishes. We are very grateful for their collaboration in this process.
Walpole school anniversary
Thursday morning (4/28), I celebrated Mass at Blessed Sacrament in Walpole to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their parish school, which was originally staffed by the Glen Riddle Franciscans from Philadelphia. The pastor, Father Chip Hines and the former pastor, Father Tim Kelleher, joined us for the Mass. After the Mass, the students gave me a tour of the school. They have over 400 students enrolled there and Jim Spillman, the principal there, is doing a wonderful job. We also joined by our Superintendent of Catholic Schools Kathy Mears and Maureen Heil of the Missionary Childhood Association.