(Feb. 20), I went to St. Jerome in Weymouth for another vicariate dinner. It was a very large turnout. Father Bob Blaney, the pastor there, was very welcoming and Bishop John Dooher was also with us. As I have mentioned in prior posts, we have been doing this during the Year for Priests as an opportunity for me to get together with the priests in each of the 20 vicariates. Pilot photo/CardinalSeansBlog.org
Last Friday, I met with Lisa Alberghini of the Planning Office for Urban Affairs and John Noone, Chair of the Board, for our Annual Member Meeting. The Planning Office is a social justice ministry of the archdiocese that develops permanent affordable housing on behalf of the Church for people of limited means. We talked about work they are doing with Pine Street Inn that will provide permanent housing for the homeless in Boston’s South End, and about a housing development they hope to begin working on soon in Dorchester with St. Mary’s Women and Children’s Center (another archdiocesan ministry).
We also discussed the Hayes Building in Haverhill, which is now under construction and will provide affordable housing to low-income working families when it is complete, and about Rose Hill Manor (named after St. Theresa of Lisieux, who was known as “Little Flower”), in Father Gene Tully’s Parish in Billerica. Rose Hill Manor will be affordable elderly housing that is scheduled to begin construction this summer.
We also talked about a delegation of Jews and Arabs from Israel that recently visited the Rollins Square development in the South End. Rollins has become well known for its mixed-income housing where all people can live with dignity and respect in homes they can afford. The Israeli group was in the United States studying successful housing models, and they enjoyed breakfast at the rectory of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross prior to their tour of Rollins.
Finally, we talked about an attempt by some to eliminate the state’s affordable housing law, known as Chapter 40B. Chapter 40B is responsible for providing more than 29,000 units of housing for low and moderate-income households across the commonwealth, and it will be very important that we preserve this critical housing tool.
On Saturday, I attended the annual Permanent Diaconate Convocation at St. Patrick Parish in Stoneham.
Deacons Dan Burns and Pat Guerini, as well as Father Bill Kelly, are responsible for the ongoing formation for the deacons, and they are doing a terrific job.
During the convocation they had Father David Couturier, the director of our Pastoral Planning Office, speaking to them on that topic.
I celebrated the Mass for them and afterwards gave them a short talk and took questions and answers.
We’re very pleased that soon we’ll be having an ordination class every year among the deacons. We see this is an important part of our strategy to meet the growing pastoral needs in our parishes going forward.
On Monday, I celebrated Mass for Communion and Liberation at the Blessed Sacrament Chapel at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. It was a memorial Mass marking the anniversary of the death of their founder, Father Luigi Giussani. We celebrated it actually on the feast of the Chair of St. Peter.
Father Giussani was a high school religion teacher in Italy who began a youth movement that has grown into a very important reality in the life of the Church. CL now not only has lay people but priests in the Priestly Fraternity of St. Charles Borromeo who are in the archdiocese now, as well as consecrated members -- men and women who make vows, live in the community, and pursue their secular professions.