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From Cardinal Seán's blog

Cardinal O'Malley celebrates Mass of the Holy Spirit at Malden Catholic High. Photo courtesy/Cardinal Seán's blog

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Last Friday, I went to Malden Catholic High School to celebrate their Mass of the Holy Spirit to open the academic year.

Of course, the school comes under the sponsorship of the Xaverian Brothers who have played such an important role in education in our archdiocese. Malden Catholic has started a girls' school, which has been very successful and already has a waitlist.

They had a wonderful choir made up of children from the boys' and girls' sections of the school. We began the day with a Mass and afterward there was a reception in the newly refurbished section of the girls' school.

50th anniversary of the restoration of the permanent diaconate

On Saturday, we had our archdiocesan celebration of the 50th anniversary of the restoration of the permanent diaconate in the United States.

The day began with a Mass at St. James Church in Stoughton.

After the Mass, there was a banquet held at the Lantana in Randolph. There were a number of speakers, including Bishop Mark O'Connell, who gave a wonderful keynote. He spoke on the mission of the deacon in our church today.

I also offered some remarks and gave the final blessing.

When I was a young priest working with the immigrants in Washington, one of my responsibilities was running a diaconate program to train Spanish-speaking permanent deacons. I saw what a wonderful contribution that permanent deacons make in the life of the church, and I am so pleased that we have such a vibrant program here in the Archdiocese of Boston. We are very pleased that we have been able to expand the diaconate program so that we are now taking in a new class each year. We are, of course, very grateful to Deacon Chris Connelly, our director of Permanent Diaconate Formation, and Deacon Pat Guerrini, our director of Diaconal Life and Ministry, for all they do to support this ministry.

World Mission Sunday Mass

On Sunday, I went to Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted Church in Waltham for the celebration of our annual World Mission Sunday Mass.

We were pleased to be joined by many representatives from the various ethnic apostolates in the archdiocese, including many priests, sisters and brothers.

The Mass featured two children's choirs -- one from Our Lady's and the other from the Vietnamese community in Dorchester.

As always, the Mass was very special and included the opening procession with the flags and the blessing of the World Mission Rosaries. This year, there was a special emphasis on the 100th anniversary of the Missionary Childhood Association, and so the participation of children in the Mass was stressed.

We are so grateful to Maureen Heil and Father Gabe Troy for the very important work they do in our archdiocesan Office of the Pontifical Mission Societies and, particularly, for all they do in organizing this very special Mass each year.

Regional meetings

On Monday, I had the first of our regional meetings with priests in the archdiocese. I met with the priests of the Merrimack Region and later in the week I met with the priests of the South and North Regions. I will be gathering with the priests of the Central and West Regions in the coming days.

All the meetings were very well attended by our own clergy and many of the religious priests who serve in the area participated as well, along with, of course, the regional bishops and vicars. At each meeting, there was a time for reflection, and then each of the priests had an opportunity to express their own thoughts. From my point of view, the priests seemed very free and relaxed and were able to share their concerns, raise questions and make suggestions.

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