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From Cardinal Seán’s blog

Posted: 10/30/2009

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”Thursday (Oct. 15) I attended the Adopt-a-Student Dinner at the Seaport Hotel for Cathedral High School.” Pilot photo/Courtesy Cathedral High School

(Last) week, the Holy Father accepted Bishop Francis X. Irwin’s letter of resignation that he tendered last year. We are very grateful that he has generously served so long, even beyond his 75th birthday. We look forward to his retirement and his continued presence to the people of Boston in many different ways.

His generosity, good humor, and pastoral wisdom have been gifts that he has brought to the archdiocese. We’re very grateful for all of his goodness and friendship, and hope that his retirement will be filled with many blessings and graces.

Adopt-a-Student Dinner

Thursday (Oct. 15) I attended the Adopt-a-Student Dinner at the Seaport Hotel for Cathedral High School. Every year there is a dinner to raise funds for Cathedral High School. It is sponsored by the Board of Trustees, under the leadership of Mr. John Raimonde. Father Kevin O’Leary, pastor of the cathedral parish, was there with us. There are a number of sisters from different communities who help staff the school, including the Sisters of Saint Joseph, Franciscan Sisters, and School Sisters of Notre Dame. They also have one religious brother. He is a member of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart.

It was a very successful evening. Catholic philanthropist Jack Connors spoke to the group about Catholic education. Earnest McNeil, one of the senior students spoke very eloquently. There was a film presentation about the school as well.

Cathedral has undergone some impressive facilities improvements in recent years. This past summer, they put in new science labs, purchased new desks for the students and teachers, and repainted and installed a new floor and tables in the cafeteria. Last year, they replaced all the bathrooms, and two years ago they put a new roof on the building. Three years ago, they built a new gymnasium. They have been working very assiduously.

The new headmaster, Tom Arria, has provided terrific leadership for the school. He came from Malden Catholic High School. They are doing a fine job there providing a quality education to low income students.

Middle School Rally

(On Saturday Oct. 17) I attended the New England Middle School Rally at Xaverian Brothers High School in Westwood.

The Office of New Evangelization is trying to expand the ministry to middle school students. This was an attempt to do that. We’ve realized in the past that oftentimes this age group falls through the cracks. They’re there for sacramental preparation, and then when that passes their contact with the Church is minimal. I applaud the efforts that are being done by the office for this ministry.

I think that this can be replicated in the parishes. It’s a model of what can be done with the youngsters of this age group. There was great enthusiasm amongst the youngsters. I was happy to address them and greet them.