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From Cardinal Seán's blog

On Tuesday, Jan. 21, Cardinal O'Malley visited Resurrection Parish in Hingham for a St. Andrew Dinner for young men considering a vocation to the priesthood. Pilot photo/CardinalSeansBlog.org

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On Monday, was, of course, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and I was happy to go to St. Katharine Drexel Parish in Dorchester to attend our annual MLK Day Prayer Breakfast.

It was a beautiful event, which lasted most of the morning and was filled with songs and readings.

The day's speaker was Dr. Emmett G. Price III, professor of Worship, Church and Culture, dean of the Chapel, and founding executive director of the Institute for the Study of the Black Christian Experience at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He gave a moving and inspirational talk.

One of the most inspiring parts of the event was that, towards the end, we had the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick for Father Gerry Osterman, who was going to the hospital the next day for an operation. So, it was beautiful to be surrounded by the whole community as I anointed him.

Of course, as we do every year, we concluded the breakfast with the singing of the famous civil rights anthem, "We Shall Overcome." It was a wonderful ending to a wonderful morning.

St. Andrew Dinner

On Tuesday, we had one of our St. Andrew Dinners for young men considering a vocation to the priesthood at Resurrection Parish in Hingham.

It was a beautiful gathering. We began with a half an hour of Eucharistic adoration, led by Father Sinisa Ubiparipovic, followed by a meal and witness talks by some of our seminarians. Of course, I also addressed the young men.

We are so pleased with the wonderful turnout. We are grateful to Father Eric Cadin of our Vocations Office and his team for organizing these dinners and also to Father Tom Nestor and Father Sinisa of Resurrection Parish for so graciously hosting us.

March for Life

On Wednesday, I traveled down to Washington for the March for Life.

On Thursday evening, we had the Opening Mass of the Vigil for Life at the National Shrine of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.

As always, the basilica was packed to standing-room only.

Of course, there were many priests, seminarians, and bishops with us and, over the last few years, we have been very blessed to have a number of Orthodox bishops, as well.

The celebrant of the Mass this year was Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, who is the current president of the Pro-Life Committee of the USCCB.

He gave a stirring homily, which included a number of very interesting thoughts on the situation in our country. I think it was a very powerful testimony.

He is a man who has been involved in pro-life ministry since the time he was a priest, and he explained to us how he chose his episcopal motto, "Vitae Victoria Erit" ("Life Will Be Victorious"), when he was named a bishop.

Ordinarily, a bishop's motto is taken from the Scriptures. For example, my own is taken from John's Gospel: "Do whatever he tells you," the Blessed Mother's last words in the Gospel. However, sometimes it can be taken from other ecclesiastical documents, and Bishop Naumann chose those words from Pope St. John Paul II's encyclical "Evangelium Vitae."

He spoke about this being the 25th anniversary of "Evangelium Vitae," and his desire to see a response throughout the country in the outreach to women in difficult pregnancies. He challenged us to take stock of what the needs are so that we, as a faith community, can respond.

He also spoke about his recent ad limina visit to the Holy Father with his region. He told us that in the dialogue with the Holy Father, the Holy Father expressed his great support for the March for Life. I think it was very encouraging for people to hear that the Holy Father was supporting them in witnessing to life.

As I mentioned, the Mass is really just the beginning of the Eucharistic vigil that takes place in the shrine overnight. I was so pleased that seminarians from our three seminaries in Boston were able to participate in that.

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