"Saturday (9/24), I went to Fall River to celebrate the annual Red Mass there for those involved in the fields of justice and law, such as attorneys, judges and legislators." Pilot photo/CardinalSeansblog.org
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Saturday (9/24), I went to Fall River to celebrate the annual Red Mass there for those involved in the fields of justice and law, such as attorneys, judges and legislators.
I had initiated the Red Mass in Fall River 20 years ago, and so they invited me back for this anniversary celebration. It was also an opportunity for me to see many of my former parishioners.
As it turns out, it was also the second anniversary of the installation of Bishop Edgar da Cunha. Since I had installed him two years earlier, I was also very happy to be able to congratulate him and thank him for all his wonderful ministry in the Diocese of Fall River.
I was happy to celebrate the Red Mass, which is a wonderful tradition in the Church.
On Monday (9/26), I traveled to Chicago to deliver the keynote at the Catholic Extension 2016 Mission Bishops' Conference. Every two years they hold this meeting of all the home mission dioceses, which are dioceses that are under-resourced and that are supported by the Catholic Extension Society.
As I always like to say, when I arrived in the Virgin Islands the total diocesan budget was $30,000 a year and with that, I had to support myself, the retired bishop, the nun who was the chancellor and two seminarians. You can imagine that I was very grateful for the aid I received from Catholic Extension. So, when they asked me to come and give the keynote, I was happy to be able to support their efforts.
Ordination in Rome
...I left for Rome, where, Thursday morning, I celebrated the ordination of 30 deacons from the Pontifical North American College at St. Peter's Basilica, including two of our seminarians from Boston, Kevin Leaver and Michael Zimmerman.
The Mass was held at the Altar of the Chair of St. Peter. The only time I had celebrated there was concelebrating with the Holy Father, so it was a great privilege to have that opportunity.
The annual ordination of the deacons is a great and important celebration for the North American College and many friends and relatives of the seminarians come from the states to be there for the event. Also, in addition to the deacons' families, a number of our priests from the Archdiocese of Boston came to be present, including Father Bob Monagle, who is a military chaplain in Aviano here in Italy.
The Pontifical North American College is the largest seminary for the United States, with about 250 students from all over our country, and some from Australia, who are studying for the priesthood. It's a privileged place, allowing for the opportunity to study in Rome and to experience the catholicity of the Church, as well as be close to the Holy Father and his ministry as the successor of St. Peter.
CUA's New Rome Center
While I was in Rome, I took the opportunity to attend some other events.
Wednesday evening the Catholic University of America's Board of Trustees was in Rome for the dedication of CUA's new Rome Center, which is on the Gianicolo.
There was a dinner for the members of the board of trustees and, since I am the president, I was happy to join them. It was also President John Garvey's birthday, so it was nice to be together with him and the other board members, including Stephen Kaneb from Boston.
It was held in a restaurant which is built on the very site where the Theater of Pompey once stood and it is the place where Julius Caesar was assassinated. (One of the board members offered to recite the funeral speech from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar in honor of the occasion!)
At the restaurant, they have a model of what the site looked like originally, though all that remains today is one pillar.