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From Cardinal Seán's blog

There were quite a number of members of the Knights of Columbus and the Order of Malta with us at the Mass. Photo/courtesy Cardinal Seán's Blog

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Saturday afternoon, I went to Sacred Heart in Lynn for the celebration of their 125th anniversary.

Father Brian Flynn is the pastor there, and the parish is part of the Lynn Catholic Collaborative with St. Mary's. In fact, they used the occasion of the Mass to distribute their Local Pastoral Plan for the collaborative.

There were quite a number of members of the Knights of Columbus and the Order of Malta with us at the Mass.

Afterward, there was a reception in the school, where I was able to greet many of the parishioners and thank them for their fine work in the parish.

Italian Heritage Month

The following day, Sunday, although it was still September, I celebrated a Mass at St. Leonard's Church in the North End to initiate Italian Heritage Month, which is, of course, October, the month in which we celebrate Columbus Day...

In my homily, I talked about the great contributions that Italian-Americans have made in the life of our country.

I also tried to hold up the fact that we are an immigrant Church and that we must be willing to welcome the stranger and newcomers, who come from different countries today, but for the same reasons that our ancestors came to America.

It was wonderful to once again be in St. Leonard's, which now looks so stunning after the recent renovations. We are so grateful to Father Antonio Nardoianni for all that he does for the North End community.

Cor Unum

On Tuesday, I went to Lawrence for an event to mark the resumption of full meal service at the Cor Unum Meal Center, which is sponsored by St. Patrick Parish.

We were delighted to be joined by Father Paul O'Brien, Mayor Dan Rivera, Joe Nolan from Eversource and other officials for the announcement.

Of course, as everyone with ties to the Boston area knows, last month there was a terrible series of gas explosions in the Merrimack Valley communities of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover due to faulty gas lines. This has resulted in gas service being shut off to much of the area while extensive repair work is completed. Thousands of residences and businesses have been left without natural gas for heating, cooking, and hot water and the repairs are expected to take until November. St. Patrick Parish and the Cor Unum Meal Center are in the very heart of that affected area.

Now, thanks to the hard work of many people, the meal center has been converted to propane from natural gas and will be able to serve hot meals.

We are delighted that Cor Unum will be fully up and running because it is such an important institution for the community. Each year they serve over 250,000 meals and, since their inception, they have served almost 2.5 million meals to those in need.

They depend on the generosity of many different businesses and organizations and, of course, hundreds of volunteers to support this wonderful place where people can go to get a hot meal, which is served with great dignity and style. It provides nutritious food, served in a way it that makes people feel appreciated and that their dignity is respected.

With all the problems that they have had in Lawrence, the services they provide are now more necessary than ever.

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