This past weekend was, of course, Pentecost (6/3) and as has been my tradition, I celebrated confirmations for the young people of the Brazilian community in the archdiocese. Ordinarily, we would hold all the confirmations at the same time at the cathedral. However, this year, because the upper church of the cathedral is closed, we are holding them in stages at different locations. This first group was held at the Madonna Queen Shrine in East Boston and next weekend we'll be celebrating confirmations at St. Tarcisius in Framingham.
We had about 150 young people receive their confirmation there and we were so happy to be joined by the priests and sisters active in the Brazilian Apostolate. I presented the young people with a prayer card with Pope Francis' prayer for young people in preparation for the upcoming Synod on Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment.
That evening, I attended the annual Explorer Award Dinner to benefit the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center of the Boston Public Library.
During the evening, they presented their Explorer Award to Peter Lynch and named a teacher fellowship in honor of Carolyn Lynch.... Peter and Carolyn Lynch are two of those who have made such outstanding contributions to education in the Boston area, and in a very special way to our Catholic schools, and so they were very fitting candidates to be honored.
The Boston Public Library is, of course, itself such a great treasure. Being the oldest library in the United States they have so many treasures right in the heart of Boston. It's just a great resource and source of pride for the people of Boston.
St. Mary anniversary
Sunday (6/4), I went to St. Mary of the Annunciation in Cambridge to celebrate the Mass to mark their 150th anniversary.
Like most parishes of its age, St. Mary's has a very rich and interesting history. I was particularly struck by the story of the founding pastor, Father Thomas Scully.
Father Scully was born in Ireland and educated in England and Rome before he was ordained as a priest of Boston. After his ordination, he went to serve as an Army chaplain during the Civil War with the Massachusetts 9th Regiment, the "Fighting 9th" made up primarily of Irish Catholics. He had many harrowing experiences, including twice being a prisoner of war.
The Archdiocese of Boston has always had a very proud tradition of sending chaplains to serve our Armed Forces. Even 150 years ago we see how this chaplain not only served, but was twice a prisoner of war during the Civil War. Despite his health, he returned to Boston to found St. Mary of the Annunciation Parish, which came to include a grade school, high school and even a junior college called St. Thomas Aquinas College, which lasted until 1905.
Funeral for Charlotte Flatley
Monday (6/5), I attended the funeral for Charlotte Flatley at St. Agatha's Parish in Milton. Charlotte was an extraordinary Catholic in the archdiocese whose life of dedication to her family, her Church and her community has been a blessing to so many. I was very happy to be able to gather with her family. Father Bill Brown gave a very beautiful homily in reflection on Charlotte's life that was very edifying for us all. The great good she did and the impact she and her husband Tom made will long be remembered.