At the end of the month, the Office for the New Evangelization of Youth and Young Adults, the Vocations Office and the Office of Campus Ministry are jointly sponsoring a eucharistic congress for young adults and college students. The congress will take place at St. Stephen Church in the North End March 28-29.
There will be speakers, adoration, a eucharistic procession through the North End and a service component as well. We are particularly encouraging the campus and young adult ministries to invite their constituencies to come to be a part of this wonderful event. The idea has been very well received, and we are hoping that we will have a good turnout.
(On Friday, March 7) I attended a groundbreaking for a low-income housing development for elders in Lowell. The Planning Office of Urban Affairs, in conjunction with the Grey Nuns, is working on the project, which will be next to the wonderful facility the Grey Nuns have there. Lisa Alberghini, president of the Planning Office, was able to attend.
The local provincial of the Sisters of Charity of Ottawa, Sister Prescille Malo, is a real pillar of the community. She is the principal of St. Jeanne d’Arc School, involved on the board of All Saints Hospital and is very anxious for the charism of the Grey Nuns to continue. Even though there are fewer sisters, their mission to serve the poor and the elderly will be enhanced by this type of cooperation.
On Saturday (March 8), which happened to be International Women’s Day, I attended a diocesan gathering for women who are considering religious life. The day of discernment took place at the Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse in Brighton.
They had it in the room they call the “penthouse,” which is up on the top floor and has a fantastic view of the city. Sister Marianne Batho organized the event, and many different religious communities were represented. The sisters talked about their different charisms.
Potato famine feast
I attended a feast at St. Peter Parish in Cambridge that took place after their Mass to commemorate the Irish potato famine. At the annual Mass, parishioners received potatoes and shamrocks.
The parish was founded by Irish immigrants who fled the famine in the 1850s. Father Kevin O’Leary, the pastor, instituted this celebration, which is held a bit earlier than the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.
The big dinner afterward was far from a famine with lots of Irish food. They also had entertainment, including bag pipers and the Irish Sopranos, a lovely trio of women.
The Sopranos sang traditional Irish songs and a number of arias from Italian operas. They also did a rendition of “Our Lady of Knock” which, of course, is one of my favorite hymns. Bishop Boles and his sister were able to attend, and everyone had a wonderful time.
On Sunday, I attended the 125th anniversary Mass of Immaculate Conception School in Newburyport.
It was wonderful to celebrate the occasion with the priests and the school family. The children, wearing their school uniforms, brought the gifts up in the offertory procession and sang very beautifully. Their music program was very, very impressive.
After the Mass, there was a reception in the hall, and I visited with the confirmation class. It is a very large class, taught by one of our seminarians, Christopher Carmody, who is from the parish.
This week the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ administrative board met in Washington, D.C. I attended since I am the chairman of a new committee that has taken over the functions of the priestly formation, consecrated life and the diaconate. I am also part of the pro-life committee and the immigration committee. So I had three committee meetings plus the administrative board meeting. It was a busy week of meetings!