Last Thursday we celebrated the 40th anniversary of the first class of permanent deacons in the Archdiocese of Boston. It was Cardinal Medeiros who initiated the first program and who ordained these men.
We celebrated Mass at the Pastoral Center and we were very pleased to be joined by quite a number of deacons. After the Mass we had a luncheon at which we presented each deacon with a small gift as remembrance of their anniversary.
In my homily, I commented on the fact that they were pioneers and how challenging it was because people did not have an understanding at the time of what a permanent deacon was. Yet, they, very generously and courageously, embraced this vocation that has made such an impact on the Church. I expressed how grateful we are to them.
With the golden jubilarians
Friday morning, we went to Regina Cleri to celebrate Mass with the Golden priest jubilarians, those celebrating 50 years of ordination. It was quite a big group of jubilarians this year and we also celebrated the 100th birthday of Msgr. Paul McManus.
It was a very beautiful day and after the Mass we had a reception outside followed by a lunch together.
We calculated that the men in that ordination class had celebrated about half million Masses over their lives as priests. It is just such an amazing legacy of faith!
Faith formation leaders
Wednesday, I addressed the annual gathering of faith formation leaders held at the Pastoral Center. We are very pleased to see the excellent response, the large number of people who came to participate in the training and discussions around the subject of evangelization.
I was very happy to be able to greet them and thank them personally for all of the generosity and their efforts on behalf of the new evangelization.
With our silver jubilarians
Then at noon, we celebrated a Mass at the Pastoral Center for our jubilarian priests celebrating 25 years of ordination, as well as for three religious brothers, one of whom was an OMI celebrating 50 years of religious life and the other two were Xaverian brothers, one celebrating 50 years of religious life and another 70 years of religious life.
I was very happy to celebrate this occasion and express to them how grateful we are for their vocations.
Witness to Life Video Contest
Thursday morning, I met with Olivia Colombo whom we selected as the winner of the Witness to Life Video Contest, run by the Office for Lifelong Faith Formation.
She is a sophomore at Sacred Heart School in Kingston and she had prepared a video about the pro-life group at her school.
It was very lovely to meet her with her parents and Dr. Mike Gill, her school Principal.
She told me that she had been part of the March for Life in Washington, DC and prepared this very clever video.
With the consul general of Taiwan
Then later that day I was visited by the consul general of Taiwan and his vice consul, who came to have lunch with me at the Pastoral Center. They were representing the vice president of Taiwan who wanted to be present for the ordination of Msgr. Paul Russell but was unable to come.
The Taiwanese government and people are so grateful for the ministry of Msgr. Russell in Taiwan and for the many good works of the Catholic Church there. Although the Catholic population of Taiwan is very small, there are many universities, colleges, schools, nursing homes, clinics and other institutions run by the Catholic Church in Taiwan. The institutional footprint of the Church there is enormous.
They brought me a very interesting gift, a replica of one of the most important works of art in Taiwan -- a jade cabbage.
Clearly the cabbage is a very significant symbol to the Chinese people. We Irish people just eat them in boiled dinners! It will certainly make an interesting conversation piece!