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From Cardinal Seán's blog

'...the St. Andrew's Dinner for young men discerning a vocation to the priesthood hosted by Father Joe Raeke at St. Edith Stein Parish in Brockton.' Pilot photo/CardinalSeansBlog.org

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In this Holy season of Advent the Church's message is one of hope and peace. It is a time for reflection, prayer and reaching out to those in need. These themes -- hope, peace and compassion -- are urgently needed in our nation as we pray for the Brown and Garner families and all who have been impacted by the turmoil of recent weeks. Issues concerning race in our society call for recognition of our shared humanity. We are all well served by productive dialogue and cooperation between the members of our communities and those in public service. Each person's dignity must be respected and protected, while the safety and good of all people is upheld. We are grateful for the thoughtful leadership shown by Governor Patrick, Mayor Walsh and Boston Police Commissioner Evans as citizens have expressed their concern that there be effective means of providing social justice, equality of opportunity and respect for all. May peaceful dialogue on these important issues be a source of betterment for our society.

Dedication in Weymouth

After the holiday, I returned back to Boston and on Sunday we had the dedication of the renovations at St. Francis Xavier Church in Weymouth, where Father Charles Higgins is the pastor. We were also joined for the celebration by former pastors Father Dick Deveer and Father Eugene Sullivan, as well as by one of our seminarians who is from the parish, Joe Hubbard. This is something the parish has been working on for a very long time and we were fortunate to have such a beautiful day to bless the final renovations.

St. Andrew's Dinner with Bishop Martinez

...I was visited by my good friend Bishop Adalberto Martinez from Paraguay, who is the Bishop for the Military Services of Paraguay as well as the Secretary General of the Bishops Conference of Paraguay. ...I invited Bishop Adalberto to accompany me to the St. Andrew's Dinner for young men discerning a vocation to the priesthood hosted by Father Joe Raeke at St. Edith Stein Parish in Brockton. This is one of the larger turnouts we have had. I would say there were about 100 young men that came to join us. As we always do, we had vespers and, afterwards, there was the dinner and witness talks. I was very happy to introduce him to the young men there, because he had been a parishioner of mine in Washington, and was very active with young people in the parish. Eventually, he entered the seminary and I had the joy of ordaining him to the priesthood. And now we see that his vocation has flourished and touched so many lives -- but it all begins in the life of young people like these young men who had gathered for the St. Andrew's Dinner. ...It is a very important part of our vocational promotion in the archdiocese. We are also very grateful for the work that Father Dan Hennessey, Father Carlos Suarez and Father Mike Harrington did in preparing for the evening.

St. Anselm Day of Recollection

Wednesday (12/3), I went to St. Anselm College to give a conference as part of the Advent Day of Recollection for the priests and deacons of the Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire. They asked me to give them a talk about the Holy Father and his ministry. Bishop Labasci was with us. We were also joined by Bishop McCormick and Bishop Joe Gerry, who is now a resident at the monastery there. It was a very nice gathering, infused with an attitude of prayer. We had midday prayer in the Chapel with the Benedictine monks.

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