'Monday (5/16), I visited Immaculate Conception Church, part of the Stoughton Collaborative, to participate in the activities of our Pastoral Center Service Week.' Pilot photo/CardinalSeansBlog.org
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Last Friday (5/13), I celebrated the Baccalaureate Mass at the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio, where I received an honorary degree in Theology.
Steubenville, of course, is making a very unique contribution to the life of the Church. It has been a great source of vocations and training for Church leadership. Something like 70 to 80 percent of the students there are in studies related to theology or evangelization. Wherever you go in the country, you find young people teaching Catholic schools, or running RCIA, youth ministry, and campus ministry programs, who have been trained at the Franciscan University of Steubenville.
On Pentecost Sunday (5/15), I celebrated confirmations for almost 150 members of the Brazilian community of the archdiocese at the cathedral. We began with a procession through the Holy Door of Mercy. We had a full cathedral and, of course, the music is always very uplifting and inspiring. The Mass was concelebrated by many of the Brazilian priests working in ministry here, along with Father Michael Harrington from our Office for Cultural Diversity.
The Brazilian community is one of the largest ethnic groups represented in the archdiocese, so it's wonderful to have them come to the cathedral.
Visit to Stoughton
Monday (5/16), I visited Immaculate Conception Church, part of the Stoughton Collaborative, to participate in the activities of our Pastoral Center Service Week. Each year, staff from the Pastoral Center volunteer to go to a different community to help beautify church facilities, particularly with such things as landscaping and cleaning.
While I was there, Father Joe Mazzone showed me around the church and introduced me to some of the parishioners. One of the people I was very happy to see was Umbelina Costelho Fraga, whose uncle was my deacon at my Portuguese Parish in Washington D.C., Deacon Joao Costelho. She had been there 30 years ago when I preached that mission, and she is still a very active member of the parish.
I have many fond memories of Immaculate Conception, because the first time I visited the parish was 30 years ago, when I was a young bishop in the West Indies. They had invited me up to give a mission in Portuguese, and on the last day they had a huge procession, and even Governor Dukakis came to participate. Now, there is also a very active Brazilian community in the parish as well.
That evening, we had one of our regular meetings of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council. At the meeting, our Judicial Vicar, Father Mark O'Connell, gave a presentation on the Holy Father's Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia and we had a discussion on Disciples in Mission.
Tuesday (5/17), I went to Boston University for the presentation of the Medeiros Scholarships. Each year BU presents these full, four-year scholarships to graduates of our Catholic high schools. This program was begun 30 years ago by President John Silber in honor of Cardinal Medeiros. The scholarships presented over the years have a combined value of $15 million.
Provost Jean Morrison and I presented the students with the scholarship and with us at the presentation was our Superintendent of Schools, Kathy Mears, and Father David Barnes, the Catholic chaplain at BU.
Presbyteral Council meeting
Thursday (5/19), we had a meeting of our Presbyteral Council. This is a very important way of having a great deal of consultation amongst our priests. The topics we discuss the Presbyteral Council are then brought to the local Vicariate meetings. So, it is a way of "taking the pulse" of the presbyterate, in preparation for making important policy decisions and pastoral planning.