'I celebrated Masses at two parishes to personally launch the Appeal: Saturday at Holy Family in Amesbury and Sunday at Sacred Heart in Middleborough. At Sacred Heart, they have a very active St. Vincent de Paul Society, which does wonderful work helping those in need.' Pilot photo/CardinalSeansBlog.org
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Saturday evening (3/3), The New England Philharmonic with the Chorus pro Musica, the Providence Singers, the Boston Children's Chorus presented the War Requiem at the cathedral. We had a full house of almost 2000 people there. This was a wonderful follow up to the concert that was presented at the cathedral last month by Ronan Tynan. These cultural events afford the opportunity to invite people into the cathedral.
I was asked to make some welcoming remarks, so I took the opportunity to speak a little bit about what Holy Cross Cathedral is for us and also some of the activities that are carried on there: the two schools; the Cathedral Cares program, which provides health screenings and other care; the food pantry; the various ministries to the Hispanic and Ethiopian community; and St. Helena House. I also spoke about the creation of the Rollins Square housing development which was developed through the Archdiocese's Planning Office for Urban Affairs. The Rollins Square development has provided affordable housing for many moderate and low income families. All of this is just part of the life of the cathedral, but the main reason we are there is to give witness to our faith in God and to work to build a civilization of love.
Msgr. Helmick anniversary
Sunday night (3/4) I was very pleased to have dinner with Msgr. William Helmick to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his ordination. I had been in Papua New Guinea on the date of his actual anniversary, and I did call him from there, but I wanted to have the opportunity to celebrate with him in person.
Visit with president of St. Thomas More College
On Monday (3/5) I was visited by the president of St. Thomas More College of Liberal Arts, Dr. William Fahey. St. Thomas Moore is a small Catholic college in Merrimack, New Hampshire, where the traditions of the Church and spiritual formation are upper-most in their curriculum. They are planning to expand into the archdiocese and Dr. Fahey came to share some of their plans with me. We are very happy with the prospect of their coming to the archdiocese. This is just one of the ways that the college is expanding. St. Thomas More College has acquired Sophia Press, which provides a great service to the Catholic community by publishing many of our spiritual classics, as well as Crisis Magazine. I was very pleased that the college has taken on these ministries.
Meeting about Haitian nursing school
Monday (3/5) I was visited by Dr. Peter Kelly and Deb O'Hara-Rusckowski, who came to speak to me about the desire of the Archbishop of Cap Haitien to begin a Catholic nursing school. We had a very good meeting and Dr. Kelly also wanted to give me an update on what is happening with Sacre Coeur, the hospital that is run by the Order of Malta. The hospital had to expand following the Haitian earthquake in January 2010 to accommodate the victims and a number of staff members of St. Elizabeth's and other hospitals continue to travel there to assist them in their work.
Women Religious Meeting
Tuesday (3/6) I met with the Major Superiors of Women Religious in the archdiocese. We periodically hold these meetings with the leaders of both men's and women's religious communities to have an opportunity to be together with them and update them on some of the happenings in the archdiocese. We are very grateful to Sister Marian Batho who organized the gathering and does such work as our Delegate for Religious. During the day together, we were very pleased to have a report from Marjean Perhot, the director of Refugee and Immigration Services at Catholic Charities. She spoke about issues affecting newcomers to our country and ways we can enhance our ministry to them.