Gathering of major superiors
Last Thursday (4/12), I met with the major superiors of men's religious orders that have a presence here in the archdiocese. We began our gathering with a Mass in the Pastoral Center chapel, followed by a lunch together.
We hold these gatherings once a year to express our gratitude for all the ministries that these communities carry out in the archdiocese and for the presence of their witness and charisms that enrich our local church.
That evening (4/12), I went to the Marriott Copley Plaza to attend the 28th Annual Inner-City Scholarship Fund Gala. It was a wonderful event that raised over $3.3 million to provide scholarships for students in our Catholic schools.
Ordaining transitional deacons
Saturday (4/14) we had the joy of ordaining 14 men as transitional deacons at Immaculate Conception Church in Lowell. We are so grateful to Father Sannella and all the people of Immaculate Conception for hosting us for this very joyous occasion.
These are men who, God willing, will be ordained to the priesthood in 2019. As many of you may know, in the past it was our tradition in Boston to ordain men to the diaconate in January and then to the priesthood only a few months later in May. Since last year, we've returned to the practice of giving them a full deacon year, which I think is a better experience for them.
Dinner with fellow priests
That evening (4/14), I went to Sacred Heart in Roslindale for dinner with a number of priests. Msgr. Frank Kelly organizes these dinners frequently for the priest in nearby parishes. It's always good to be together with my brother priests and hear what is happening in the parishes. We are so grateful to Msgr. Kelly for this wonderful evening; he is always such a gracious host.
Then, Sunday evening (4/15) I went to Our Lady of Good Voyage Shrine in the Seaport to celebrate adult confirmations for parishioners from a number of parishes throughout the archdiocese. There were about 60 confirmed in all.
Meetings in Rome
Monday (4/16), I left for Rome for meetings of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.
Wednesday (4/18), myself and members of the Commission for the Protection of Minors met with a delegation of survivors of sexual abuse who came from the United Kingdom and spent two days with us. These are members of the Survivor Advisory Panel, which was established by the Bishops of England and Wales. Baroness Sheila Hollins was good enough to organize this meeting, and Marist Brother Brendan Geary was our facilitator.
We were very anxious to have the voice of victims and survivors of sexual abuse present to the members of the commission in our work. It was a very, very valuable session for all of the members of the commission and we are very grateful to the members of the Survivor Advisory Panel for coming to spend those days with us.
As I mentioned, our meetings with the Survivor Advisory Panel were Wednesday (4/18) and Thursday (4/19). Also, Thursday I had a personal meeting with the Holy Father in preparation for the plenary session of the commission, which began today.
Dinner with pilgrims
Wednesday night (4/18), I gathered with members of the Order of the Holy Sepulcher who were on pilgrimage to Italy. They had already been here for a few days and had made a trip to Assisi, and I joined them for dinner during their time in Rome.
Cynthia Monahan organized this trip, and there were many people from the Northeast Lieutenancy as well as a number of priests from Worcester and Boston who accompanied them.