'At the end of Mass, we invited everyone present to join us outside for the crowning of the Virgin. It was a beautiful day.' Pilot photo/CardinalSeansBlog.org
Last Thursday (5/5) was Cinco de Mayo, which in many places is an important day of festival because it marks the Mexican celebration of a victory in a battle against the French in the 1800s. But this year Cinco de Mayo was also the Feast of the Ascension, and I celebrated Mass for the Hispanic community at the Cathedral the Holy Cross.
Ave Maria commencement
I was invited to give the commencement address at Ave Maria University in Florida last Saturday (5/8). This is the largest graduating class they have ever had, I believe it was about 300, and the university continues to grow.
Ave Maria University was the brainchild of Tom Monaghan, an orphan raised in a Catholic orphanage by sisters, who became a millionaire through his many business ventures, including Domino's Pizza. He has used his considerable fortune to support evangelization in the Church: He created the Catholic college in Nicaragua, built the cathedral in Managua following the earthquake there, and he has been involved in many acts of mercy and evangelization throughout our own country. Another of his very important works was the founding of Legatus, the organization for Catholic business leaders.
Mass for Ecuador earthquake victims
Sunday (5/9), I was back in Boston and I celebrated a special Mass for those who suffered in the recent earthquake in Ecuador. Of course, many members of the local Ecuadorian community joined us, including the Honorary Consul General of Ecuador in Boston, Beatriz Almeida de Stein. The Consul General of Peru and many members of the Peruvian community of Boston were with us, as well. Father David Costello, the head of the St. James Society, concelebrated with me and there were also representatives from Rostro de Cristo, the organization founded by Father Jim Ronan to work in Ecuador.
Pastoral Center events
Wednesday (5/11) was a busy day of events to be sure. We began by celebrating Mass at the Pastoral Center with the consecrated virgins of the archdiocese. The Mass is organized by our Delegate for Religious, Sister Marian Batho.
After the Mass was a luncheon with discussions and reports. For example, Joani McCann gave a wonderful report on the gathering in Rome for consecrated life. She brought back some very interesting statistics. For example, she mentioned that France is now the country with the most consecrated virgins, with about 600. I found it very interesting and a sign that, as countries become more secularized, this particular ministry is going to take on a greater importance.
At the end of Mass, we invited everyone present to join us outside for the crowning of the Virgin. It was a beautiful day. The weather was just perfect for that sort of outdoor event and the people were very enthusiastic to be able to participate in this public act of devotion and faith that has such a long tradition the Catholic Church.
That afternoon, we had a reception at the Pastoral Center to thank all the staff for their help and participation in our Annual Catholic Appeal. Then, that evening, we had one of our regular meetings for ongoing formation of priests ordained in the last five years. We began with a Holy Hour and Vespers followed by a discussion on Amoris Laetitia. As we always do, we concluded our gathering with dinner.