'...I joined the annual gala to benefit the Jeanne Jugan Residence of the Little Sisters of the Poor in Somerville.' Pilot photo/CardinalSeansBlog.org
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...I joined the annual gala to benefit the Jeanne Jugan Residence of the Little Sisters of the Poor in Somerville. We began with Mass, which was concelebrated by a number of priests whose mothers are residents at Jeanne Jugan. The Sisters are such an important presence in the archdiocese. Especially in this Year of Mercy we focus on their lives of mercy, as they serve the elderly and the sick. We also are anxious to see what the final outcome of their legal challenge of the HHS mandate will be. I know I was among the many people who were very pleased to see that the Supreme Court did not rule against them, but instead asked the government and the representatives of the Sisters to look for an alternative to the health care mandate that would be morally and ethically acceptable to the Sisters. I know our entire Catholic community is looking forward to seeing what kind of possibilities can be reached.
Also on Saturday (4/16), the Boston College Irish Studies Program had hosted an all-day conference, "Faith in the Future: Religion in Ireland in the 21st Century." I was unable to attend the conference itself, in the evening I joined the dinner for the speakers. I was very happy to have a chance to see Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin and the Anglican Archbishop of Dublin, Michael Jackson. Also with us was Marie Collins, who is a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Children, as well as a very distinguished group of Irish and Irish-American scholars who participated in the conference.
Visit to St. Monica
On Sunday (4/17), I paid a visit to St. Monica Parish in South Boston to celebrate Mass for the Spanish-speaking community there. They recently lost the priest who had been celebrating Mass with them: Father Ramon from Chile, who was here studying but has now completed his studies and returned home. I know the community has been growing and I wanted to visit them and assure them of my support. We were joined by the pastor, Father Steve Madden, the vicar Father Gerry Souza, and Deacon Paul Kline. It was very encouraging to see such a full church, with many young families with young children.
Passing of Father Helmick
We were very saddened to learn the Father Raymond Helmick passed away yesterday (4/21). We are very grateful that the Jesuits at Weston have accepted Msgr. Bill Helmick there for rehabilitation after his heart surgery. It also allowed him to be close to his brother in his brother's last days.
On Monday (4/18) I went to visit them and I was very touched to the see support of the Helmick family for both brothers. We express our condolences and thank God for Father Ray's vocation and his many years of service to the Church, particularly here in Boston.
Mission Societies board meeting
And finally Thursday (4/21) we had the annual board meeting of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the Archdiocese of Boston. The most familiar of these societies for most would be the Society of the Propagation of the Faith, but there is also the Missionary Childhood Association, the Society of St. Peter Apostle and the Missionary Union of Priests and Religious. We are so proud of the long tradition we have in Boston of so strongly supporting the missions and we are very grateful to Father Rodney Copp, Maureen Heil and the whole staff who work so hard to make the Societies so effective in their mission.