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From Cardinal SeŠnís blog

ďTuesday (Feb. 17), I went to Fontbonne Academy for a LIFT rally... It is a very powerful prayer experience as well as an opportunity for faith formation for our teenagers and young adults.Ē Pilot photo/George Martell

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Last Friday (Feb. 13), I invited Metropolitan Methodios to come visit the Pastoral Center for lunch. It was his first time here. This year he is celebrating his 25th anniversary as the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Boston. I look forward to going to his anniversary celebration on Spy Wednesday. Also, he will be visiting our cathedral on Holy Tuesday for the Chrism Mass.

Archbishop Methodios is a very close friend of the Church and it is an important relationship for us to foster in order to further Christís desire for unity within the Church.

One of the more recent milestones in that relationship was our September 2007 ecumenical pilgrimage to Rome, Istanbul and St. Petersburg.

Metropolitan Methodios and I led the trip of about 100 pilgrims which included members of both the Catholic and Greek Orthodox communities as well as several Catholic and Orthodox priests. It was a moving experience and there were many wonderful opportunities to pray together, to share our faith, and to learn more about the wonderful traditions of our Church that was one Church for the first thousand years of Christianity.

It is our hope that, in the future, we will once again enjoy that same unity we had for the first millennium.

On the international level, there has been a new patriarch elected in Russia and we trust that will also help to bring about advances in the process of working towards reuniting the Catholic Church with the Orthodox Church in the world.

Black History Month

On Sunday (Feb. 15), the Office of Black Catholics, in conjunction with St. Patrickís Parish in Roxbury, organized a liturgical observance of Black History Month.

At the Mass, gospel music was showcased by the choirs and it was an opportunity to reflect on the growing importance of the black Catholic community -- not just in our local Church but throughout the world.

The number of Catholics in Africa is very large and has experienced great growth in recent decades. Our Holy Father will be visiting that continent very soon as a sign of the Churchís recognition of the importance of the Church in Africa.

I was very pleased to see that among the exquisite stained glass windows in St. Patrickís one is dedicated to the baptism of the Ethiopian by St. Philip. It is certainly an uncommon theme for a window and I pointed that out during the homily. I also pointed out the fact that, historically, the first personage to oppose slavery in his writings was St. Patrick.

Slavery, particularly in the United States, caused so much suffering to the black people and the legacy of that has been racism and poverty and discrimination that our black Catholics and black Americans have suffered with over their history in this country.

The election of a black president does mark an important advance in our cultureís evolution away from the racism that was so strong here historically.

Lorna DesRoses, the head of our Office for Black Catholics, did a wonderful job organizing the event and I was glad to see so many people there, including the Knights and Ladies of St. Peter Claver.

I was also happy to be able to concelebrate Mass with Father Russell Best who, because of health problems, was not able to continue at Cathedral High School but who is now living and helping out at St. Patrickís.


Tuesday, I went to Fontbonne Academy for a LIFT rally. This is my second appearance at LIFT. For two years they have been meeting monthly at the auditorium of Fontbonne Academy.

It was a standing room only event, with young people gathered there for praise and worship, Adoration and the Eucharist. It lasts from about 7-9 p.m. and is a very powerful prayer experience as well as an opportunity for faith formation for our teenagers and young adults. I was asked to talk to them about the saints and I talked for about 45 minutes on the role of the saints in our lives, mentoring us by their example and encouraging us by their friendship and their prayers to lead by discipleship.

Iíd like to express my thanks to Father Matt Williams, who has been very instrumental in organizing and supporting the LIFT ministry.

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