'I gave a short reflection, sang some Christmas carols and gave a blessing to the volunteers. The Boston Globe had a nice story on my visit, which included this photo of one of the residents who sang a beautiful, improvised song for me.' Pilot photo/CardinalSeansBlog.org
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Last Friday (12/21) I visited the Missionaries of Charity in Dorchester to give my farewell to their superior, Sister Mary Ajay. She has been transferred to Washington D.C. I said Mass and they treated me to a delicious breakfast. Sister Ajay had been previously serving in New Bedford. She did a wonderful job and will be greatly missed. We also welcomed the new superior, Sister Lizen, pronounced "Listen." I told them that is a good name for a superior...
Mass with the Vietnamese community
Sunday (12/22) I celebrated Mass with the Vietnamese community. It was a very impressive celebration. They brought relics of Vietnamese martyrs and I was happy to see a number of Vietnamese priests, deacons, seminarians and religious who joined us for the Mass. It was a full church and they had a magnificent combined choir from different parishes. It was a joy to have them at the Cathedral.
On Christmas Eve I visited Pine Street Inn as I do each year. They have a special meal for the residents that day and it gives me a chance to visit and to serve them meals with the other volunteers. I always like to thank all the volunteers that help all year round and I take this opportunity to encourage people to do more for the homeless remembering that at Christmas time the Holy Family had no room in the inn. I was welcomed by Director Lyndia Downie, who is doing tremendous work at the Inn. During the visit I was accompanied by Lisa Alberghini from our Planning Office for Urban Affairs, Msgr. Frank Kelly and Father John Unni.
That night, I celebrated the midnight Mass at the cathedral. It was a beautiful celebration and very well attended. The cathedral was very beautifully decorated this year and the musical program was just extraordinary. The rector, Father Kevin O'Leary, is doing such a great job attracting people to the cathedral with the events he has there. Midnight Mass is yet another wonderful opportunity to showcase the cathedral. Not every parish has Midnight Mass anymore but at the cathedral we have maintained that tradition and I am so happy that people have responded to it. On Christmas day I also celebrated the 11:30 Mass.
On Christmas day several local TV channels carried the Christmas Mass I celebrated with the Daughters of St. Paul. CatholicTV produced the Mass and has posted my homily on YouTube.
Also on Christmas day we had a prayer Service at St. Francis House. I gave a short reflection, sang some Christmas carols and gave a blessing to the volunteers. The Boston Globe had a nice story on my visit, which included this photo of one of the residents who sang a beautiful, improvised song for me. Karen LaFrazia, the executive director there does a wonderful job. During my visit I was also accompanied by Lisa Alberghini who is working both with Pine Street Inn and St. Francis House on getting permanent housing for homeless people. On Christmas night I went to visit my family for a couple of days. I wish you all a very blessed Christmas season, and pray that you are able to enjoy the company of family and friends during this beautiful time of the year.