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From Cardinal Seán's blog

On Saturday (11/3), I celebrated a Mass at the Pastoral Center for the admission to candidacy for permanent deacons. Pilot photo/CardinalSeansBlog.org

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Each year, Mary Grassa O'Neil and the Catholic Schools Office bring together pastors and principals for a Catholic Schools Convocation to discuss timely issues and to give them the most recent analysis of what is happening in Catholic schools. This year the convocation was held on All Saints Day. Students from Blessed John Paul II Catholic Academy performed for us to open the day. The keynote speaker was Father William Leahy, president of Boston College. He spoke about his vision for the mission and leadership of Catholic Schools. He gave a very strong endorsement and encouragement to our Catholic schools. Also during the gathering, they recognize the schools that have had significant anniversaries in the past year. St. Patrick's School in Roxbury was celebrating its 150th anniversary.

Newman School reception

In the evening, (11/2) I went to a reception at the Algonquin Club, which was the annual fundraiser for The Newman School. This is an independent school, but the Catholic faith and the philosophy of Cardinal John Henry Newman is a very important part of who they are. During the evening, they honored Edward D'Alelio. Ed D'Alelio is an alumnus, board member and supporter of the school. He is also very active in the community. In giving the award, they talked about Cardinal Newman's definition of the gentlemen, which they read. I joined headmaster Harry Lynch in presenting the award. The students sang for us. They had a wonderful choir. The Algonquin club is a beautiful venue for something like that -- a beautiful old Boston establishment.

Candidacy Mass for permanent deacons

On Saturday (11/3), I celebrated a Mass at the Pastoral Center for the admission to candidacy for permanent deacons. The celebration of candidacy is an opportunity to remind people of the seriousness of their preparation and their commitment to prepare themselves spiritually and intellectually for ordination. Of course, it is also an opportunity to be with the candidates and their families.

150th anniversary Mass

In the afternoon, I went to St. Joseph's in Boston's West End to celebrate the parish's 150th anniversary. Being a city parish, it was very encouraging to see the church filled with so many young families. St. Joseph's was originally built as a Protestant Church in the 1830s but, by the 1860s the neighborhood's composition had changed and the building was sold to Bishop Fitzpatrick. It is a very old and beautiful church with beautiful architecture. In fact the architect, Alexander Parris, also designed Quincy Market. Of course, the visit was also an opportunity to thank Father Dan O'Connell who is taking a new assignment after several years as pastor there. He has done a wonderful job and the people there love him very much.

Funeral for Dr. Madan

Monday morning (11/5), I made a quick trip down to Washington to celebrate the funeral Mass of Dr. Rafael Madan. I have always been very close to him and his family. He was a member of the Agrupacion Catolica Universitaria that I belong to and he helped me to set up a dental clinic at the Centro Catolico, even doing the carpentry work. He was a man who gave so much to helping out in the missions serving the poor in the area of Washington and Virginia. He was a great pillar of the Church. It was very moving to be there with his family -- people that I had baptized and married -- and members of the Agrupacion Catolica. His eldest son, Rafael, offered a few words of remembrance at the end of the Mass. We sang the hymn of the Agrupacion.

St. Mary's Center fundraiser

By that evening, I was back in Boston to attend the fundraiser for St. Mary's Center for Women and Children in Dorchester. Rev. Liz Walker was the evening's host and she did a wonderful job. They do outstanding work with young women, in helping people out of homelessness, and finding people jobs and training them -- really being a great source of hope for many single-parent families who face just overwhelming odds and challenges. There were a couple of wonderful testimonies by women who have been helped by the program. Judy Beckler and the staff there do extraordinary work changing people's lives in giving them hope.

Visit to Plymouth County jail

After voting Tuesday (11/6) morning, I visited Plymouth County jail. There I celebrated two baptisms and confirmations and also celebrated Mass with the prisoners. The sheriff, superintendent, and staff were all very welcoming to us. The Deacon, Joseph Sullivan, prepared the men who were received into the Church. They had a wonderful choir and great group of volunteers. A number of deacons were there and Father Carmichael who says Mass there regularly.

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