Saturday (3/18), I began the day by attending the annual breakfast for the Mary Ann Brett Food Pantry at St. Mother Theresa of Calcutta Parish in Dorchester. The gathering is always held this time of year with a St. Patrick's Day theme.
The pantry is dedicated to the memory of Jim Brett's mother. Jim and his wife Patti dedicate significant time and effort to this fundraiser and to the ongoing work of the pantry, which provides so many individuals and families with much-needed assistance.
...Father John Currie, Pastor of St. Mother Theresa Parish, introduced the high school students who volunteer for community service at the Pantry. We are blessed that the young members of the Church are giving time and effort to this pastoral outreach.
Mass for survivors
Later that day, I celebrated our Mass for Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors and their Families at the Pastoral Center.
I'm very grateful to our Office of Pastoral Support and Outreach for organizing this Mass, which is always an important moment to be able to pray with survivors and their families and to try to promote healing and reconciliation, as well as express the Church's deep regret and apologies for the suffering of so many and to renew our commitment to vigilance and the protection of children and young people.
That evening, I attended a reception held by the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums at the headquarters of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company in Faneuil Hall. It was held in celebration of their exhibit on the life and work of the Swiss Guards, who are responsible for the protection of the Holy Father and the Vatican.
...We are so grateful to the Patrons of the Arts for bringing this exhibit to Boston and for all they do supporting the work of the Vatican Museums. As I told the people, one of the missions of the Church is to preserve the artistic patrimony of the world and, as Pope John Paul II said in his letter to artists, "beauty will save the world." The Church presents beauty so that people can glimpse God's beauty and be led to the source of all goodness and beauty, which is God himself.
On Sunday (3/19), Father Brian Manning welcomed me to St. Mary Parish in Franklin for the Mass celebrating the centennial of the parish Knights of Columbus Council, dedicated to the Sacred Heart.
There was a standing-room crowd for the Mass, reflecting the Knights' extensive work in the parish and the local community. We are so grateful for all that our Knights of Columbus Councils do to support and advance the work of the Church, particularly in our efforts for respect and protection of life and encouraging vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
Knights from many councils joined in the honor guard at the Mass and the parish choirs came together to provide a magnificent music program.
Afterwards, the Knights hosted a lovely brunch reception at the area high school.
They were so gracious and hospitable to us at the brunch, and they served me a very delicious looking omelet. Unfortunately, just as I put my fork into it to take a taste, all the smoke alarms went off and we had to be evacuated from the building. So, I never did get my omelet!
Visit to St John's School
On Tuesday (3/21) morning I visited St. John's School Wellesley for the celebration of their 50th anniversary. The school was founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and a number of the sisters were with us for the celebration, including Sister Julie McDonough, who served as principal for nearly 25 years.