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From Cardinal Seán's blog

Posted: 2/12/2016

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"The Gibsons were awarded the St. John the Evangelist Medal for their 'constant willingness to go above and beyond for the good of the Church, and for their faithful contributions to the spiritual life of St. John's Seminary.'" Pilot photo/

Saturday evening, I visited the Catholic Weymouth Collaborative of St. Jerome's and Immaculate Conception Parishes and celebrated Mass for them at St. Jerome's. Afterwards there was a dinner for clergy in the area.

They have a thriving Catholic school in the collaborative, St. Jerome Elementary School. So, I was pleased to be visiting them during Catholic Schools Week, this time when we celebrate the transformative value of Catholic education. Catholic schools provide not only a superior academic experience, but a place where young people can be formed as disciples of Christ and follow him to build a civilization of love.

As I like to say, we learn the faith the way we learn a language -- by living in a community that speaks that language. Catholic schools play a vital part in that mission and we are so grateful to all the students, parents, teachers, administrators and supporters who allow that work to continue.

St. John's Benefactors Banquet

Sunday, I went to St. John's Seminary for their 3rd annual Benefactors Banquet. We began our evening with a Mass, followed by the dinner.

During the evening they honored Craig and Nancy Gibson and Dr. Phil Crotty for their ongoing support of the seminary.

Dr. Crotty received the, Archbishop John J. Williams Medal, named after the founding bishop of the seminary, for his "tireless efforts on behalf of and contributions to the temporal life of St. John's Seminary."

The Gibsons were awarded the St. John the Evangelist Medal, named for the patron saint of the seminary, for their "constant willingness to go above and beyond for the good of the Church, and for their faithful contributions to the spiritual life of St. John's Seminary."

I want to congratulate and thank them again for the important support they give to St. John's!

At MCI Framingham

On Monday, I spent the day at MCI Framingham, the women's prison in Massachusetts, where Sister Maureen Clark, assisted by a dedicated team of volunteers, does such a phenomenal job ministering to the women. I visited all the women in the hospital unit and then I had Mass, during which I received a young woman into the faith.

I also made sure I visited all the women in solitary confinement. We are hoping that, going forward, that the use of solitary confinement will be reduced. We know the courts and the governor are looking at that now. After that, I visited the women in the pre-release center and had a dialogue with them.

St. Andrews Dinner

Tuesday, I joined one of our periodic St. Andrews Dinners for young men considering a vocation to the priesthood, which was hosted by Father Chip Hines at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Walpole. In all we had about 30 young men, who in many cases were accompanied by their parents or youth ministers from their parish.

The dinner takes its name from St. Andrew, who was the first Apostle to follow Jesus. When he asked Jesus where he was staying, Jesus replied "Come and see." St. Andrews then went and brought his brother, Peter, to Christ.

During the evening, the young men heard from three seminarians who spoke about their vocation: Marcos Enrique, Denis Nakkeeran and Andrew Solkshinitz.

We prayed Vespers together followed by lovely meal and a time of conversation.