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From Cardinal Seán's blog

Cardinal O'Malley poses for a photo with Sister Giovanna Fratelli and Sister Oliva Pacheco at the house of the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master on Saturday, Dec. 5. Pilot photo/CardinalSeansBlog.org

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This week, to mark the 150th anniversary of St. Joseph being declared the patron of the Universal Church, the Holy Father called for a year dedicated to St. Joseph. Of course, we know that the Holy Father, like Pope John XXIII, has long had a great devotion to St. Joseph. When Pope Francis became a bishop, he included the lilies of St. Joseph in his coat of arms. Pope John XXIII added the name of St. Joseph to the Roman Canon, and Pope Francis has now extended the inclusion of the prayer to St. Joseph to all the canons of the Mass.

St. Joseph is a beautiful role model, and we are very pleased that the Holy Father has announced this special year. St. Joseph, along with the Blessed Mother, is so important in the history of salvation, and we recall him particularly now in the seasons of Advent and Christmas. We hope that this year will inspire a great deal of reflection on the role of St. Joseph, and we look forward to seeing how we can observe this special year going forward. Of course, there are two feast days for St. Joseph -- March 19 and May 1, and perhaps novenas or other events can be planned around those.

Annual Cushing-Gavin Award program

Last Friday, I was very happy to participate in the Labor Guild's annual Cushing-Gavin Award program. Typically, the awards are presented at a banquet with many hundreds of people from the field of labor relations, but this year it was a virtual event.

Each year, they honor a member of the labor community, a member of the management community, a labor attorney, as well as the recipient of the Guild's Father Edward Boyle Award.

This year, the Labor Award was presented to Janet Wilder, lead organizer for SHARE/AFSCME; the Management Award went to Arthur Osborn, Jr., president of Osborn Labor Management Consulting; Amy Laura Davidson of the firm Sandulli Grace received the Attorney Award; and John Hanson, chairman of the Joint Labor Management Committee for Municipal Fire and Police, received the Father Edward Boyle Award.

Sister Disciples of the Divine Master

On Saturday, I went to the house of the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master to bid farewell to Sister Giovanna Fratelli and Sister Oliva Pacheco before they left for their new home with their order in California. Sister Giovanna, who is originally from Milan, Italy, came to Boston in 1988, has been stationed at the Sisters' Liturgical Center here ever since. Sister Oliva is from Mexico and worked in Boston for many years, making vestments.

The visit was also an opportunity to present Sister Oliva with her Cheverus Award Medal. Ordinarily, around the time of the feast of Christ the King, we would be presenting our annual Cheverus Awards for selfless service to the archdiocese but, this year, we are postponing our celebration until conditions allow a large gathering. However, because Sister Oliva was moving so far away, I thought it would be good to present her with her medal before she left. Sister Giovanna had received the Cheverus Medal many years ago, but I also gave her a token of our appreciation before her departure.

Archdiocesan Pastoral Council

On Wednesday evening, we had one of our regular gatherings of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council.

During our gathering, we heard presentations on religious education in the parishes and Project Nazareth, as well as a presentation on pastoral planning by Father Paul Soper.

We are grateful to all the members of our Archdiocesan Pastoral Council. Their function is an important one because it gives us an opportunity to have direct contact with religious and laity from throughout the archdiocese and receive their valuable input.

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