'On Tuesday (11/1), the Feast of All Saints, I went to St. Mary's in Lynn for a Mass to celebrate their 135th anniversary.' Pilot photo/CardinalSeansBlog.org
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Thursday (10/27), we had our annual Mass and dinner with the members of the Order of Malta at St. John's Seminary. We are blessed to have such an active Area of the Order of Malta in Boston. The order promotes the mission of the Church throughout the world, particularly around Catholic health care, humanitarian efforts and service to the poor.
During the Mass, it was our joy to invest several new members. Following the Mass, the order hosts a dinner in the refectory and our keynote speaker for the evening was Bishop Robert Reed.
One of the important activities that the order participates in is an annual pilgrimage to the shrine at Lourdes and they take people who are sick, known as "Malades." During the dinner, we heard a witness talk by John Norris, a man who was taken by the order on their annual pilgrimage and who experienced a profound healing there.
Della Robbia Exhibit
Then, on Monday (10/31), I went to the Museum of Fine Arts to view the della Robbia exhibit they are currently hosting. I had wanted to see the exhibit for quite some time and was glad to finally have the opportunity. I was accompanied by MFA director Matthew Teitelbaum, Mark Kerwin and Oliver Baker and particularly Marietta Cambareri, the senior curator of European sculpture, who gave me a very lovely tour.
The exhibit is, of course, very beautiful. I was particularly struck by what could certainly be considered the centerpiece of the exhibit -- the life-sized sculpture of The Visitation, in which St. Elizabeth is kneeling before the Blessed Mother and embracing her as she enters her home.
All Saints Mass
On Tuesday (11/1), the Feast of All Saints, I went to St. Mary's in Lynn for a Mass to celebrate their 135th anniversary. We were also joined by students from Sacred Heart School for the Mass, which was celebrated at St. Mary Church. The liturgy was very beautiful featuring music performed by the young people.
They presented their first St. Francis Scholarship to 8th grader Amanda Mena in my honor. William Mosakowski, who is the head of their Board of Trustees was with us and presented the scholarship. We were joined at the Mass by many members of the school's Board of Trustees as well as the local clergy.
They gave me gifts of some warm socks and a vest, looking forward toward the March for Life that the school participates in every year. I am so pleased that they have a very large group that comes with me to the March each January.
All Souls Day
The following day was, of course, All Souls Day and I observed the traditional practice of celebrating three Masses on that day. All Souls Day is one of the two days of the year when a priest is allowed to celebrate three Masses without pastoral need, even privately. It is such a privilege to offer these Masses for the holy souls and to remember all those who have gone before us marked with the faith, who shared with us the important moments of our lives and those who have made such great contributions to our families and our communities. It is important that we have this moment to remember them and pray for them each year.
Campaign for Catholic Schools
That evening, I was happy to participate in a gathering of business leaders for the Campaign for Catholic Schools. The Campaign assembled a panel to speak to, particularly young business leaders, about the contributions and needs of our Catholic schools, including attracting and retaining great teachers. On the panel was our Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Kathy Mears; Bob Atchinson, vice chair of Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy; and Kate Brandley, regional director of the academy.
A 7th grader from Pope John Paul II Academy named Christine gave a very beautiful testimony about the importance of Catholic education in her life. She explained that her parents are immigrants from Haiti, and that they sacrificed greatly to give the opportunity to attend Catholic school. I think it was a very valuable meeting and I believe that the participants came away with a greater understanding of the importance and the valuable contribution the Catholic education makes to society.