From Cardinal Seán's blog

Last Saturday, while I was still in Rome, I had dinner with Cardinal Adalberto Martinez and Cardinal Lazzaro You Heung-sik.

Cardinal Lazzaro studied at St. John's Seminary and is the prefect of the Dicastery for the Clergy. Of course, Cardinal Adalberto was one of my priests in the Virgin Islands and is now the archbishop of Asuncion in Paraguay.

Seminarians in Rome

As I mentioned last week, it was a great joy to be able to present some of our seminarians who were in Rome for spring break to the Holy Father before the audience with the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

The Holy Father chatted and joked with the seminarians and then gave them a blessing.

Return to Boston

On Sunday, I returned to Boston and arrived in time to greet the nearly 2,000 members of the Cape Verdean community who were gathered at the cathedral for a Mass with Cardinal Arlindo Furtado.

It was an historic assembly. I never remember that many Cape Verdeans being in the cathedral at one time. The cathedral was completely packed.

They are initiating a 10-year preparation to mark the 500th anniversary of the Diocese of Santiago de Cabo Verde. (So, that makes them twice as old as the Archdiocese of Boston!)

I was sorry not to be able to join Don Arlindo for the Mass he celebrated on Monday for the 100th anniversary of the birth of Father Pio Gottin. However, I did mention Father Pio in my remarks at the cathedral. [ . . .]

Trip to Panama

I was unable to be at the Mass for Padre Pio because I had to make a short trip to Panama for a safeguarding conference organized by the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. There were about 400 participants there from Central America, including about 50 priests and 20 bishops.

I read a long message from Pope Francis that he had given me to deliver to them. Then, I gave a talk.

Mass in Panama City

I had Mass at the cathedral of Panama City for the group.

When I was vesting, a young bishop came up and introduced himself as Bishop Tulio, the new auxiliary bishop in Guatemala City. He said, "I was in the seminary in Solola in Guatemala City when you made your apostolic visitation in 1996."

In those days, I conducted visitations of about 20 seminaries in Latin America, but it took me back to my time there. Solola is a beautiful, rural area of Guatemala. The bishop there at the time, Bishop Fuentes, was a wonderful man, though sadly, he died very young. It was also during the visit that I met Bishop Jose Gerardi, who was very much like Msgr. Oscar Romero -- a champion of the indigenous people and defender of the poor. Bishop Gerardi was murdered shortly after I left Guatemala.