From Cardinal SeŠnís blog

Cardinal OíMalley enjoys lunch with archdiocesan directors of religious education. The DREs met for a day of recollection at Bishop Petersonís Hall in Brighton Feb. 28. Pilot photo/ Courtesy Office of Religious Education

Meeting the directors of religious education

Sister Clare Bertero the director of the Office of Religious Education, organized a day of recollection for all directors of religious education on Wednesday. I celebrated Mass with them at St. Johnís Seminary in Brighton. Following a lunch together, I gave a talk on prayer and the importance of being teachers of prayer -- a vital part of their role as educators in the faith. It was a very nice turnout and many of our DREs were there. Sister Clare and Susan Kay do a wonderful job supporting them in their ministries.

Gathering with the newly ordained priests

Later that same day I met with the priests who have been ordained within the last five years in the archdiocese. We have these gatherings, which we call Jesu Caritas meetings, several times a year. This time, about 30 priests joined our gathering at St. Mary Parish in Waltham.

We always begin with a holy hour before the Blessed Sacrament. Then we pray vespers, have a meal together and reflect on different themes. At this gathering we reflected on the Holy Fatherís Lenten letter, and talked about what Lent should mean in the life of a priest.

These meetings have always been wonderful moments for me. It is life-giving to be with our brothers and to reflect on themes related to the spiritual lives of priests, our ministry and the concerns we face today.

In every diocese I have been in, I have tried to have these regular meetings with recently ordained priests. They are a way of continuing their formation, building a sense of paternity and brotherhood among the priests as well as connecting them to the bishop. I am always very edified by the response of the priests.

Commenting on a recent court ruling

Iíve noticed some of you have posted comments regarding the recent federal court ruling involving two sets of Lexington parents who filed suit to be allowed to opt their children out of discussion of same-sex themes in the classroom. Massachusetts law states that parents must be notified in advance and have the option of removing their children from the classroom when ďhuman sexual education or human sexuality issuesĒ are presented. However, in this case, the judge ruled that the schoolís discussion of same-sex marriage concerned diversity rather than human sexuality.

Obviously, the Church sees the parents as being the primary educators of their children and having a very special role that must be respected. The disturbing part of this affair is that it underscores how, by redefining marriage in Massachusetts, peopleís religious rights are going to be challenged by the state. I think that people were very naÔve saying that we can change the definition of marriage and it will not have any repercussions and will not affect anyone elseís marriage or society as a whole. This situation with the Parkers and the Wirthlins is just beginning to show how far-reaching and how ill-advised the course of action embraced by our Supreme Judicial Court in Massachusetts was. In Canada, where same-sex marriage was legalized in 2005, they are already seeing the many different ways that peopleís religious rights are being trampled because of the redefinition of marriage. So I am pleased to see that these families are attempting to address the situation through the courts, and we certainly hope they will be successful in their endeavors.

Also in this post:

> The Rite of the Election

> Meeting with the major superiors of congregations of women religious in the archdiocese

Read the entire post at www.CardinalSeansBlog.org

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