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From Cardinal Seán's blog


The Cathedral of the Holy Cross resumed regular public Masses on the feast of Pentecost, Sunday, May 31. Pilot photo/CardinalSeansBlog.org

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On Monday, I received a message from the Holy Father, in which he expressed his concern and prayers for our country during this time of unrest, occasioned by the killing of George Floyd. The Holy Father also called the president of our bishops' conference, Archbishop Gomez, this week in order to assure him of his prayers for the Church in the United States.

In light of the ongoing and unfolding tensions in our country surrounding the death of Mr. Floyd, I have prepared a reflection on the evils of racism that calls on people to work and pray for justice, peace and reconciliation. I have asked that it be shared in our parishes this weekend and can also be found on my blog.

Pentecost

This past Sunday was, of course, Pentecost and, like many other parishes in the archdiocese, we resumed our regular public Masses at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. It was fitting that we began on Pentecost, which is the birthday of the Church.

I was happy to celebrate the Mass for the Spanish community.

Of course, people are returning slowly but we had about 300 parishioners come to join us -- about 200 in English and about 100 in Spanish. We had put in place all the required precautions and the people were very happy to observe them -- we had an online registration system for reserving seats ahead of time, everyone wore their masks, the pews were marked for social distancing, and we had a team ready to perform the cleaning and sanitizing after Mass.

We are grateful to all the volunteers and people who helped with the many different tasks that are now required for the celebration of a public Mass during this time of pandemic.

For the first weekend, I think things went very well and everyone seemed happy to be back in the Cathedral.

Catholic University of America

On Monday, I had several online meetings, beginning with our annual board meeting of the Catholic University of America. Ordinarily, the meeting would have taken place at the university but this year it was done via Zoom.

Catholic University is the only university sponsored by the bishops of the United States and it is also the university that has probably trained the most priests and religious over the years. It is a very important institution for us.

They are still hoping to be able to reopen the campus to students in the fall, but they are waiting for clarifications from the appropriate authorities. And, of course, like all colleges and universities, they face great challenges due to the economic strictures that are the result of the pandemic. It was a very good meeting and I was glad we were able to do it by Zoom.

That day, we also had a meeting of the auxiliary bishops of the archdiocese. We hold this meeting each week as an opportunity to share information and discuss our plans going forward. Among the topics we discussed this time was the process of resuming confirmations following the feast of Corpus Christi, and announcements about that will be made soon.

We are very grateful to the auxiliary bishops and episcopal vicars who are doing such a fine job being present in their region.

Council of Cardinals

On Thursday, we continued our virtual meetings of the Council of Cardinals advising the Holy Father. Ordinarily, I would have been traveling to Rome for these meetings but, because of the pandemic, we are continuing some of our work online. We also met last Friday, and, during that meeting, the Holy Father called to encourage us in our work. It was very good to have him join our meeting.

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