On Saturday, April 27, Cardinal O'Malley visited Our Lady of Good Voyage Shrine in Boston to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation for college students from various campus ministries in the archdiocese. Pilot photo/CardinalSeansBlog.org
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Last Friday, I celebrated the funeral Mass of Father John Sassani, who most recently had been the pastor of Sacred Heart and Our Lady Help of Christian parishes in Newton. He had, of course, also worked for a long time with the Office for Spiritual Development as a spiritual director.
There was a memorial Mass at Our Lady Help of Christians on Wednesday, but the final funeral Mass was at St. John's in Swampscott, the parish of his family and where he was baptized. I was the principal celebrant of the Mass, and Father Jack Ahern was the homilist.
Maryann McLaughlin, who worked with him for many years at the Office for Spiritual Development, also gave a moving reflection on his life at the end of the Mass. He was a man of prayer and a teacher of prayer, and his passing had a great effect on many people.
Sacrament of Confirmation
On Saturday, I went to Our Lady of Good Voyage Shrine in the Seaport to celebrate confirmations for college students from the various campus ministries in the archdiocese.
With us at the Mass was Father Eric Cadin, who oversees our campus ministry, as well as a number of FOCUS missionaries, priests, and deacons involved in campus ministry.
It is always a great joy to be able to celebrate these confirmations.
Survivors Advisory Panel
Later that day, I met with our Survivors Advisory Panel. This is a small group of abuse survivors established about two years ago, who work with our Office of Pastoral Support and Outreach to provide support to others who have been abused as well as those impacted by abuse -- including families, parish communities, and priests. The panel has helped organize healing Masses, wellness workshops, rosaries, parish missions, and other activities for survivors and their families.
I was happy to have this opportunity to hear about some of the successful activities the group has carried on; their participation in some of our formation programs, particularly for our deacons; and their outreach to prisoners.
Gala dinner for the Oblates of the Virgin Mary
On Saturday evening, I attended the annual gala dinner for the Oblates of the Virgin Mary at the Seaport Hotel. I gave the invocation for the evening, which brought together people from the places all over the country where the Oblates minister.
We are grateful for the work the Oblates do here in the archdiocese at St. Clement Eucharistic Shrine and at the Prudential Center Chapel, and we are also pleased to have their seminarians studying at St. John's Seminary. So, I was very happy to be able to be part of that gala to support their ministries.
Greek Orthodox Easter vigil
From the gala, I went to the Greek Orthodox Cathedral to join their celebration of the Easter vigil.
As they graciously do each year, they invited me to read the gospel passage and to address the people. We also heard the Easter message from Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the message from Metropolitan Methodios.
Ge'ez Rite Easter celebration
From there, I went to our own cathedral, where, on the same night, our Ge'ez Rite Catholics were celebrating their own Easter vigil. The Ge'ez are Eastern Catholics belonging to the Ethiopian Rite of the Church, which is similar to the Ethiopian Coptic Rite. Like the Orthodox, they follow the Julian calendar for their liturgical year.
We are pleased to have these Ethiopian Eastern Rite Catholics as part of our cathedral parish. Their presence demonstrates the catholicity of our Church, which is not just the Latin rite, but also all the Eastern Rites of the Church. Their presence also underscores the way that the cathedral, which was built by immigrants, is now serving the new immigrants who come to Boston from Latin America, Africa, and Asia.