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Justice Convocation explores themes of justice and mercy


  • Participants browse exhibitor booths at the Archdiocesan Justice Convocation, held Nov. 5 at B.C. High. Pilot photo/Mark Labbe
  • Cardinal O’Malley and convocation keynote speaker Dr. James O’Connell, president of the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program. (Pilot photo/courtesy Deacon Timothy Donhue)
  • Father J. Bryan Hehir delivers his keynote. (Pilot photo/Mark Labbe)

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DORCHESTER -- Themed "Justice in the World, Mercy in the Church," the eighth annual Archdiocesan Justice Convocation payed special attention to the ministry of Pope Francis, as well as the plight of the homeless.

This year's Justice Convocation was held Nov. 5 at Boston College High School, after it outgrew the archdiocese's Pastoral Center in Braintree, where it had been held for the last several years.

Organizers estimated that around 400 people attended the event, as well as exhibitors from 32 different organizations aimed at promoting social justice.

Highlights of the convocation included keynotes by the president of the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program Dr. James O'Connell and Father J. Bryan Hehir, cabinet secretary for Health and Social Services of the archdiocese, and a greeting by Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley.

Attendees were also invited to network with each other, as well as participate in faith-sharing sessions led by associate director of RENEW International Sister Honora Nolty, OP.

In his keynote, O'Connell recalled the stories of the countless men, women, and children the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program has assisted since it was first established in 1985.

Among those stories was the story of Constance, who came to the program's Barbara McInnis House, a 104-bed medical respite facility, after years of heavy drinking led to severe cirrhosis of the liver.

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