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'By Sunday (10/2) I was home in Boston to celebrate the 150th anniversary Mass of St. Mary Parish in Dedham.' Pilot photo/CardinalSeansBlog.org

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By Sunday (10/2) I was home in Boston to celebrate the 150th anniversary Mass of St. Mary Parish in Dedham. We had the anniversary celebration of the parish with their new pastor, Father Wayne Belschner. The church, of course, is very beautiful. Father Bill Kelly, before leaving, led the renovation efforts there.

I also complimented the parish on their promotion of vocations -- a number of seminarians and consecrated women have come out of that parish. ...They are particularly blessed with a wonderful Life Teen ministry, which has made such an impact.

I was so pleased to be part of the observance of their 150th anniversary. It was a very joyful celebration.

Transitus

The following day was Oct. 3 and I joined my fellow Capuchins at San Lorenzo Friary for the celebration of the Transitus of St. Francis. In all of our monasteries -- as the other Franciscan brothers and sisters do -- we celebrate the anniversary of St. Francis's death. He died on Oct. 3 at the Portiuncula in Assisi.

The Transitus ceremony consists of reading the accounts of his death from the ancient biographies, reading the Gospel that Francis had read when he was dying, as well as the singing of the Transitus and praying Psalm 142 which Francis was praying when he died.

We venerate the relic of St. Francis and then, afterwards, the Friars and visitors gather for coffee and almond cookies, which are significant because, as he was dying, St. Francis asked for an almond cookie.

Mass for the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors

Of course, the next day is the Feast of St. Francis itself and on that day I celebrated Mass for the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors at St. Ignatius Church in Chestnut Hill. It was an opportunity to welcome and thank the 300 vocations directors from throughout the United States who have been here for their annual convention.

We are very grateful for their presence and very grateful for the ministry that they perform for the church -- helping people discover their vocations, which is an extremely important ministry in today's Church.

Meeting with bishops of the Boston province

Wednesday (10/5), we had one of our semi-annual meetings of the bishops of the Boston Province, which includes the four dioceses of Massachusetts along with Maine and New Hampshire and Vermont. This was our first gathering with our new auxiliary bishops, Bishop Robert Reed and Bishop Mark O'Connell. We were also very pleased to be joined by some of the retired bishops of the province, as well. At these meetings we discuss issues that affect the Church throughout the region and try to make sure that our pastoral practices are all "on the same page," as it were.

Meeting with diocesan vicars forane

Also that afternoon, we had one of our regular meetings of the Vicars Forane of the archdiocese. I am very grateful for all the help they provide. As I told them, their task, as the Holy Father always says, is accompaniment -- to accompany our priests and to work together with the auxiliary bishops and episcopal vicars. We have a very fine group of men who, in addition to their pastoral possibilities, very generously put themselves at the service of their brother priests in the vicariates.

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