Cardinal celebrates canonization with Dorchester parish

Father John Currie formally announces the new name of St. Teresa of Calcutta Parish. Pilot photo/Mark Labbe

DORCHESTER -- Hours after Mother Teresa was declared a saint during a canonization Mass celebrated by Pope Francis in Vatican City, Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley remembered Mother Teresa's life and accomplishments during a Mass held at St. Teresa of Calcutta Parish in Dorchester, Sept. 4.

"Mother Teresa's life rises in the darkness, and she brought hope and comforting to so many who were in pain and despair," cardinal said in his homily.

Her "energy and strength comes from her profound understanding of how much God loves us, and that gave her the strength and courage to be able to do so many wonderful works of mercy," he added.

The parish, previously named Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta Parish, was renamed St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta Parish on Sunday, following Mother Teresa's canonization.

At the Mass, local sisters belonging to Missionaries of Charity, the order founded by Mother Teresa, were present.

In his homily, Cardinal O'Malley praised the sisters for their work with the needy.

"In our own archdiocese, our beloved sisters here run a shelter for homeless mothers and children," he said.

"In a quiet, humble way, they serve the poor with joy and with love, and they invite so many people into their midst," he continued.

He recalled the first time he met Mother Teresa. It was in the 1960s, he said, and he was teaching Modern Language at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He had received a notice in his mailbox that the university was going to honor a visiting missionary nun in its Caldwell Hall auditorium.

At first, the cardinal said, he didn't think anything of it, as Mother Teresa was virtually unknown at that time. Yet, he eventually decided to "begrudgingly" attend the event, after his "conscience began to bother (him)."

"I called it one of those Simon of Cyrene moments, where we end up doing something we didn't want to do but afterwards we say 'Wow, I am glad that I did that,'" he said.

Eileen Egan, the head of Catholic Relief Services at that time, introduced Mother Teresa at the event, telling of her work with the poor and the dying.

"As Eileen Egan described Mother's mission, we were all just amazed. And then Mother began to speak, and I must say everyone in that auditorium was weeping, we were so moved by her holiness, her goodness, and how she embodied the love of Mercy in our Gospels," the cardinal recalled.

In this Year of Mercy, Cardinal O'Malley said, we are called to trust in the mercy of God, like Mother Teresa did.

"Mother Teresa had such trust in God's providence. She was not afraid to go anywhere or do anything or make any request from anyone, because she had so much trust in God's love and in his presence in our lives," he said.

"Let us ask Mother Teresa intercede for us, to help us to have loving, merciful hearts, so that all of us, like her, will be able to do something beautiful for God," he concluded.

At the end of the Mass, Cardinal O'Malley presented the sisters of the Missionaries of Charity present with a miniature of the bronze sculpture, "Homeless Jesus" by Timothy P. Schmalz, a copy of which was installed and blessed by Pope Francis earlier this year at the Vatican. The sculpture depicts a man wrapped in a long cloak lying on a bench. Only the man's feet are exposed and they exhibit stigmata, signifying that the man is Jesus.

Father John Currie, the pastor of the Dorchester Tri-Parishes collaborative, which includes St. Teresa of Calcutta Parish, said in a Sept. 6 interview that the sculpture is based on the works of mercy in Matthew 25, and "Mother's Gospel for her feast day is Matthew 25."

"It seemed so fitting to give (the sisters) something to commemorate that day and to help them celebrate that day, and to bring into their own home as a reminder of Mother and the gospel really being lived through their mission, through their charism, through their order," said Father Currie.

He added that he visited the sisters in the days following the Mass, and noticed that they have a "life-size wooden bench that is almost the same style used in the model."

"They brought me over and said this is where our homeless sit, because it is in the area where they welcome the women and children in their home... It's one of those 'God winks,'" he said.

St. Teresa of Calcutta Parish will be holding another Mass on October 2 in Mother Teresa's honor, and Father Currie expects her sisters will be present.

"I'm praying that her canonization, and having her name in our patronage during this Year of Mercy will help us to stop and think and pray about our own lives and our own willingness to be instruments of mercy, as Mother was," he said.

Today is 'hour of the laity,' Archbishop Gomez tells Encuentro delegates

GRAPEVINE, Texas (CNS) -- Hispanic Catholic leaders are living an important moment in the history of the Catholic church in the U.S. and are called to ...

Stay close to the suffering, forgive one another, pope tells Latvians

AGLONA, Latvia (CNS) -- What would Mary do? was the question Pope Francis, in effect, asked Latvian Catholics gathered at their nation's popular Marian ...

Joy, hope contagious for Encuentro participants as they discern priorities

GRAPEVINE, Texas (CNS) -- Joy, hope, energy and a spirit of continued collaboration are contagious among the participants of the Fifth National Encuentro, ...

Update: Pope in Lithuania: Don't let anti-Semitism, hatred resurge

VILNIUS, Lithuania (CNS) -- Outside the former KGB headquarters in Vilnius, Pope Francis ended a day of paying homage to victims of totalitarianism and ...

God is patient, even with failures, pope tells young Lithuanians

VILNIUS, Lithuania (CNS) -- Meeting young Lithuanians in Vilnius, Pope Francis said he wanted a relaxed conversation, like they were sitting in a pub ...

Update: Vatican signs provisional agreement with China on naming bishops

VILNIUS, Lithuania (CNS) -- For the first time in decades, all of the Catholic bishops in China are in full communion with the pope, the Vatican announced. Pope ...

Find strength in tolerance, solidarity, pope tells Lithuanians

VILNIUS, Lithuania (CNS) -- In Lithuania, a nation that experienced invasions, atrocities and persecution, Pope Francis began his visit with a plea to ...

Ospino: Encuentro reflects 'energy, maturity' of a church 'here to stay'

GRAPEVINE, Texas (CNS) -- The thousands of Hispanic Catholic ministry leaders gathered in Texas for the Fifth National Encuentro shared views on the maturity ...

N.J. cardinal won't attend synod, asks to remain home at 'time of crisis'

NEWARK, N.J. (CNS) -- Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin of Newark told the people of his archdiocese Sept. 21 that Pope Francis has granted his request that he ...

Detroit Archdiocese welcomes investigation into Michigan dioceses

DETROIT (CNS) -- Michigan's attorney general has opened an investigation into the handling of sexual abuse by clergy in all of Michigan's seven Catholic ...

Catholics believe in God but 'don't believe in us,' Miami archbishop says

MIAMI (CNS) -- The crisis the Catholic Church is facing is not "a crisis of faith" or "mainly about a crisis of sexual abuse by clergy," but is "a crisis ...

Update: Disney animator says grounding in Catholic schools led to success

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (CNS) -- Ron Clements is a renowned animator, screenwriter and producer-director of award-winning Disney films, including the blockbuster ...

#WhyImCatholic movement aims to share hope at difficult time for church

CHICAGO (CNS) -- Catholic Extension has launched a new social media campaign called #WhyImCatholic to offer "hope and unity" for Catholics by inviting ...

Continue to be an evangelizing church, nuncio tells Encuentro delegates

GRAPEVINE, Texas (CNS) -- Quoting from Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation "The Joy of the Gospel," Archbishop Christophe Pierre encouraged Hispanic Catholic ...

Encuentro opens with procession, papal message, prayers for abuse victims

GRAPEVINE, Texas (CNS) -- A video message from Pope Francis and a procession of Encuentro crosses representing all of the participating episcopal regions ...

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 ...