As many of you may know, on the weekend of the 18th and 19th of April we will be holding our annual Boston Catholic Men’s and Women’s Conferences at Boston College’s Conte Center. This is our first time in this venue and we are looking forward to having a good group this year.
This year our conferences coincide with the Holy Father’s visit to the United States. In addition to the 3,000 Boston pilgrims who are traveling to see the Holy Father in New York, we expect several thousand others to participate in the men’s and women’s conferences.
One of the wonderful outcomes of these conferences has been the formation of men’s and women’s groups in our parishes. We are anxious to promote this opportunity for people to come together and experience their faith in a very vibrant way.
The conferences are an opportunity for people to reach out and invite friends and neighbors to be a part of the Church or for wives to invite their husbands and vice versa. This is a very fitting opportunity to fulfill our role as evangelizers and witnesses of the resurrection.
I would like to express my gratitude to the parish captains and all those who are working diligently to organize and promote the conferences and we look forward to another successful year in the men’s and women’s conferences. I certainly encourage you to check out their Web site (http://www.catholicboston.org/).
I try to meet regularly with the priests ordained in the last five years in what we refer to as the “Jesu Caritas” group. We have an hour of eucharistic adoration, have a meal and share conversations on priestly spirituality, ministry and the spiritual life of the priest.
Our most recent meeting was held last week at St. Patrick Parish in Watertown and a good number of the priests were able to join us.
We always have very lively and varied discussions, and in this last gathering we talked about the Pew study on religion in America and the challenges of passing on the faith in a secular culture. It was very interesting to hear all their perspectives on the issue.
Jewish students attend cathedral Mass
Last week, Father David Michael brought a group of Jewish high school students from the Gann Academy in Waltham to the Mass in which we commemorated the life of St. Patrick March 17. I was very pleased to see the Jewish youth there.
I told them that corn beef and cabbage is the Irish Seder meal. I was also pleased that they were exposed to a religious aspect of St. Patrick’s Day, which unfortunately in the United States is presented as simply high kitsch.
The students were accompanied by Rabbi Bard, who after the event sent Father Michael a message thanking us for the welcoming. Here is an excerpt of that message:
“We want to thank the cardinal, the staff at the church and yourself for the wonderful learning experiences shared on Monday of this week. We especially appreciated your personal touch and your ability to traverse the distances between Christianity and Judaism. Your comments combined a certain gracefulness and clarity. In fact, I have a feeling it wasn’t so much what you said, but how you said it, that had the greatest impact on the students.”
Also in this week’s blog:
> Celebrating the Easter Triduum