Archbishop Chaput keynotes Redemptoris Mater Seminary gala

Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput delivers his keynote talk at the Redemptoris Mater Seminary's Annual Gala Dinner held June 2 in Norwood. Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy

NORWOOD -- Redemptoris Mater Seminary's Seventh Annual Gala Dinner honored Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, and Father Kevin J. O'Leary, rector of Boston's Cathedral of the Holy Cross, during an event that brought together priests, seminarians, and parishioners from local Boston parishes, June 2.

The annual dinner, held at Four Points by Sheraton in Norwood, also celebrated the 10th anniversary of the seminary's founding.

Established on Sept. 11, 2005, Redemptoris Mater Seminary, an archdiocesan missionary seminary, prepares priests for the new evangelization. Vocations pursued at the seminary, which is in Chestnut Hill, arise from the Neocatechumenal Way, an international itinerary of faith formation within the Catholic Church.

"We are happy to be celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the founding of our Seminary on this Jubilee Year of Mercy," wrote seminary rector Father Antonio Medeiros in the program for the gala dinner.

"Although much has changed in the past 10 years, the need for holy priests in the Church remains as urgent today as it was then. May the Lord continue to bless his Church for many years to come with priests formed in this seminary whose hearts and minds are aflame with the love of God and the pastoral charity of Jesus Christ, our Good Shepherd," he continued.

Currently, there are 24 seminarians from 10 different countries receiving formation at the seminary. Four priests formed at the seminary have been ordained.

The gala dinner began with a prayer by Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley before Father Medeiros offered words of thanks to supporters of the seminary, as well as Archbishop Chaput and Father O'Leary.

"I am especially indebted to our distinguished honorees for accepting this recognition from our seminarians... This evening we are honored to celebrate God's transformative grace in your lives that enabled you to respond so generously to a life of faithful service to the Church and joyful commitment to the Gospel," he said.

Guest of honor Archbishop Chaput offered the evening's keynote talk, which centered on the concepts of mercy, truth, and justice. He said these concepts are all connected.

"Mercy makes no sense without a context of justice. Justice makes no sense without a context of truth. And truth demands an ability to think clearly and judge rightly between good and evil," he said.

"We live in a tangle of debts that we owe to others, and that others owe to us, a web of mutual hurts that pure justice can never undo. When we see justice untempered by mercy, no matter how well intentioned we are, we risk crushing others or being crushed ourselves by the punishment we deserve. On its own, the human race can never achieve true justice, or show mercy truly effectively," he continued.

The archbishop said mercy requires action, and that action is what sets it apart from pity.

"A state governor might pity prisoners on death row, and he might genuinely feel their suffering. But, if he does nothing to spare their lives, he is not merciful," he said.

"Mercy leads us to imitate the God of Israel so far as it falls within our power. Only when the governor commutes death sentences to life sentences in prison can we rightly call him merciful. When he does that, he has married compassion and feelings into practical action," Archbishop Chaput continued.

Mercy has no place for cowardice or inaction, he said, noting that "true mercy can therefore be rightly fierce."

"A merciful person is quick to use what power she has to destroy evil, and this is exactly how God acts through the scriptures," said the archbishop.

Father O'Leary, the evening's other honoree, was presented with the seminary's Evangelization Award in "recognition of his witness to the Gospel, and of his personal contribution to the New Evangelization of the Church," Father Medeiros said.

Father Medeiros praised Father O'Leary's extensive efforts to not only restore and revitalize the physical structure of the cathedral, but also to reach out to the people of the surrounding neighborhood.

"When Father O'Leary learned that more and more people around the (Cathedral of the Holy Cross) spoke Spanish and couldn't speak English, he spent a summer in Spain studying the language so as to better communicate with his parishioners and respond to their needs," he said.

"When he heard that there was a group of people who did not set foot in the church, but would listen to the Gospel on the streets, he went out to meet them, preach the Gospel to them, and heard their confessions in the park," Father Medeiros continued before he and Cardinal O'Malley presented Father O'Leary with the award.

Father O'Leary said he was "very honored" by the award, and thanked those who helped him in his ministry.

"The evangelization effort was not just me, I was just a part of it, and was glad to be a part of it because it really did transform the lives of so many people. So, I am accepting the award, but I accept it in their name as well," he said.

The gala dinner ended with music, performed and sung by seminarians at Redemptoris Mater Seminary.

Paolo Strudtgoff, a seminarian at Redemptoris Mater, spoke to The Pilot after playing guitar and singing with his fellow seminarians during the musical performance.

He said he enjoyed Archbishop Chaput's keynote talk, particularly his thoughts on the relationship between truth and mercy.

"If you don't know what is wrong and what is actually right, what is sin and what is not sin, you cannot have mercy," he said.

"We all have to know what is wrong and what is right, and then we can speak about mercy," he continued.

Gabriel Hanley, another seminarian, said he agreed with the archbishop's view that mercy requires action.

"What I really loved is he said mercy in itself can be like a force, it can be fierce, but at the same time it's always about caring for that person... It's not about crushing a person with doctrine," he said.

Retired Green Bay auxiliary bishop failed to report abuse, withdraws from ministry

Green Bay, Wis., Sep 20, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- Bishop Robert Morneau, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Green Bay, has withdrawn from public ministry saying ...

Dolan 'impatient' waiting for apostolic visitation in response to McCarrick

New York City, N.Y., Sep 20, 2018 CNA.- The Archbishop of New York said Thursday that while he has confidence in the way Pope Francis is handling the ...

Two more Chilean bishops step down in wake of abuse crisis

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis accepted the resignations of two more Chilean bishops, bringing to seven the number of bishops who have stepped down ...

Celebration of the Priesthood dinner raises over $1.8 million

BOSTON -- A record 1,700 people attended the 10th annual Celebration of the Priesthood dinner to raise funds for the Clergy Health and Retirement Trust ...

Lawrence parish helps community cope with gas explosion aftermath

LAWRENCE -- Volunteers at St. Patrick Church's Cor Unum Meal Center were serving dinner when multiple natural gas explosions and fires broke out in homes ...

Ceremony, Mass kick off St. Augustine Chapel bicentennial

SOUTH BOSTON -- St. Augustine Chapel and Cemetery began its year-long bicentennial celebration on the weekend of Sept. 14-16 with tours, special Masses, ...

Mass. Knights install new officers

The Massachusetts State Council Knights of Columbus recently held its Installation of State Officers at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Canton with ...

Deal will keep Sancta Maria Nursing Facility open

CAMBRIDGE -- Sancta Maria Nursing Facility announced Sept. 17 that it has negotiated a comprehensive operational contract with Advocate Healthcare Management ...

From Cardinal Seán's blog

As I mentioned in my preface to last week's blog, this week and last, I have been in Rome for meetings related to the work of the Pontifical Commission ...

N.Y. Archdiocese names judge as independent reviewer on abuse protocols

NEW YORK (CNS) -- New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan has named a former federal judge to study archdiocesan policies and procedures with respect to sexual ...

U.S. reports poverty declines, but agencies finding needs remain great

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The good news from the U.S. Census Bureau Sept. 12 was that the poverty rate dropped for the third straight year in 2017 and median ...

Class-action lawsuit filed against eight Pennsylvania dioceses

PITTSBURGH (CNS) -- A class-action lawsuit was filed Sept. 17 against eight Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania demanding the dioceses provide proof that ...

Apostolic visitor outlines plans for expansion at Medjugorje shrine

WARSAW, Poland (CNS) -- The Polish archbishop tasked with overseeing Bosnia-Herzegovina's Medjugorje shrine has outlined plans for expansion, including ...

Pope names administrator as Indian bishop investigated for alleged rape

MUMBAI, India (CNS) -- Pope Francis has accepted the request of an Indian bishop accused of raping a nun to be relieved of his duties during the investigation. In ...

In letters to German cardinal, retired pope defends way he stepped down

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Retired Pope Benedict XVI expressed his displeasure with the way a German cardinal publicly criticized his stepping down as pontiff, ...

Thousands of Hispanics expected in Texas for Encuentro summit

Fort Worth, Texas, Sep 20, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- As many as 3,000 Catholics of Hispanic background are expected in Texas this week for the National V Encuentro, ...

Church plans third-party abuse reporting system, code of conduct

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pledging to "heal and protect with every bit of the strength God provides us," the U.S. bishops' Administrative Committee Sept. 19 ...

Be grateful to parents, never insult them, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Honoring mothers and fathers means being grateful for the gift of life and Christians should never insult anyone's parents, Pope ...

Canadian cardinal: Women should help screen, train priest applicants

Poznan, Poland, Sep 18, 2018 CNA.- Increasing the role of women in screening and training priests is among the steps that should be taken to prevent future ...

Vatican delegation will travel to China this month to finalize agreement, Chinese newspaper reports

Beijing, China, Sep 18, 2018 CNA.- A newspaper tied to the Chinese Communist Party reported Tuesday that a delegation of Vatican officials will head to ...

Media reporting Vatican-China agreement could be signed in late September

HONG KONG (CNS) -- The long-awaited Sino-Vatican agreement on the nomination of bishops is expected to be signed in September, reported several media ...

Update: Irish singer Bono calls pope 'extraordinary man for extraordinary times'

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Bono, the lead singer of the Irish band U2, said he told Pope Francis that in Ireland "it looks as though the abusers are being ...

Cardinal Marx says mistakes were made, calls for change in German church

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, head of the German bishops' conference, admitted that mistakes were made in the German church's handling of sex abuse of minors ...

Church crisis response: Healing Masses, listening sessions, fasting

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- In response to the sexual abuse crisis in the church, Catholics are praying for victims, talking about their frustration and anger, ...

Pope names Minnesota priest as auxiliary bishop of Hartford

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pope Francis has appointed Father Juan M. Betancourt, a priest in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, as auxiliary bishop ...

Listening church: Pope gives new vision for Synod of Bishops

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Synod of Bishops increasingly should be a structure for listening to the Catholic faithful, demonstrating a local bishop's concern ...

Director of Courage releases letter on Penn. abuse report

Washington D.C., Sep 17, 2018 CNA.- Courage International, an apostolate to support people with same sex-attraction in leading chaste lives, has issued ...

Richmond bishop apologizes to victims; commits to opening, reviewing files

RICHMOND, Va. (CNS) -- In celebrating the Diocese of Richmond's first Mass of Atonement for victims of abuse Sept. 14, Bishop Barry C. Knestout apologized ...

Advocates decry historically low cap for refugee entry in 2019

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Advocates for refugee admissions into the United States decried what one statement called a historically low cap of 30,000 for fiscal ...

Stanford University to remove saint's name from some properties

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- California's Stanford University will strip the name of 18th-century Franciscan friar, St. Junipero Serra, from some of its properties ...

Catholic Charities distributes disaster relief to areas hit by Florence

RALEIGH, N.C. (CNS) -- The Carolinas were hard hit with record rainfall and flooding rivers from tropical storm Florence since it made landfall Sept. ...

Archbishop Lori assures diocese he's with them in journey toward healing

WHEELING, W.Va. (CNS) -- In his celebration of Mass at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Wheeling Sept. 15, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore said ...

Bishop takes a (sky) dive to get pilgrims to Lourdes

HOVE, England (CNS) -- "The Moth has landed," tweeted the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton. The tweet Sept. 14 and a similar post on the diocesan Facebook ...

Words, promises are not enough to prevent abuse, archbishop says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Inviting presidents of the world's bishops' conference to the Vatican to discuss abuse prevention reflects an understanding that ...

Pope praises Capuchin order's charism of authenticity, simplicity

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Capuchins are called to be men of peace, reconciliation and prayer and to be close to all people, Pope Francis told members of the ...

Path to healing starts with seeking forgiveness, Cardinal Wuerl says

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A "Season of Healing" for sexual abuse survivors began in the Archdiocese of Washington with a Sept. 14 Mass at the Cathedral of St. ...

Archbishop McCarrick's unofficial role in Vatican-China relations

Vatican City, Sep 17, 2018 CNA.- Following reports that the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China could be about to sign an agreement ...

Archbishop Chaput: When we forget faith, we forget our humanity

Spokane, Wash., Sep 14, 2018 CNA.- When man tries to cling to reason and separate himself from faith, he forgets who he is and loses his source of hope, ...

Pope Francis warns priests against living a double life

Palermo, Italy, Sep 15, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- During a day trip to Sicily Saturday, Pope Francis told priests and religious to fight their vices and strive ...

What is the pontifical secret?

Vatican City, Sep 14, 2018 CNA.- Following the allegations made by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò about the case of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, ...

Catholic workers say U.S. aid cuts to Palestinians could be disastrous

JERUSALEM (CNS) -- The U.S. budgetary cuts to humanitarian aid institutions helping Palestinians could lead to long-term disastrous consequences, said ...

Vatican publishes list of synod participants, including papal nominees

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- To the list of members of the Synod of Bishops elected by national bishops' conferences, Pope Francis added cardinals from 14 countries, ...