During the week, I 'crashed' a meeting of those involved with campus ministry including the Brotherhood of Hope and FOCUS. Pilot photo/CardinalSeansBlog.org
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I want to begin by letting you know that I have a friendly wager with the Archbishop of Chicago, Cardinal Francis George. If the Bruins win the Stanley Cup, they will be sending me Chicago pizza. If, by some strange chance, the Blackhawks win, I will be sending Cardinal George clam chowder.
USCCB meetings in San Diego
For much of this week I have been in San Diego, California to attend the spring assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic bishops.
Each year, the Bishops Conference gathers in a plenary session on two occasions. In November, we meet in Baltimore for what is very much a business meeting. We also gather in the spring, which sometimes involves business, but many times is more of a retreat workshop. This year, it is just such a retreat workshop with the themes of "The Bishop and preaching in a way that evangelizes," "The new evangelization and participation in the Eucharist" and "Practical outreach to young people in the new evangelization." The preacher for the retreat part of our meeting has been Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto.
We celebrated Mass Tuesday at the Mission Basilica of San Diego de Alcala, the first mission founded by Blessed Junipero Serra. The Mass was celebrated by Bishop Robert Brom who is the Bishop of San Diego.
The California missions are the perfect backdrop for this gathering with a focus on the new evangelization because the first evangelization in this part of the country was carried out by Blessed Junipero Serra and the Franciscan Friars, who evangelized in building up these faith communities along the length and breadth of California. Of course, this history of evangelization is still reflected in the names of many of the major cities of California, which grew from those original Franciscan missions. After celebrating the Mass at the mission, which is very near the downtown, the bishops went to various restaurants for dinner. I went to dinner with the Boston auxiliaries and we also invited Bishop Richard Lennon to join us.
Campus Ministry meeting
During the week, I "crashed" a meeting of those involved with campus ministry including the Brotherhood of Hope and FOCUS.
The community of the Brotherhood of Hope has done such extraordinary work in campus ministry at the University of Florida, Rutgers University, Northeastern University, Boston University and Suffolk University. We are so blessed to have them in the Archdiocese of Boston, where there are almost a quarter million university students. The presence of a community like theirs, which is so focused on the pastoral needs of this very important segment of our Catholic population, is a great blessing for us.
Wednesday night (6/5), they screened the film Messenger of the Truth for the bishops. It is a film about the life of Blessed Father Jerzy Popieluszko. It is a documentary, rather than a dramatization of his life, and so it includes many newsreels of him as well as interviews with those who knew him. I found it very inspiring story of a young priest who gave his life in the service of his people and his country. I hope you all have an opportunity to to see it.