'Then, that afternoon (9/30), I went to Lowell to attend the Reason for Our Hope Conference held at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium.' Pilot photo/CardinalSeansBlog.org
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Then, that afternoon (9/30), I went to Lowell to attend the Reason for Our Hope Conference held at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium. Two of the organizers of the conference, Mary Dumont and Jason Lampron, spoke with CatholicTV in August to explain how the conference came together.
It was a wonderful gathering of about 1,200 or so people. There were witness talks by Jim Wahlberg, Andy Lavallee, Father Volney DeRosia, Sonja Corbitt and Father Mark Nolte, along with times of praise and worship, confessions and adoration. I was very happy to celebrate the closing Mass for them.
The title of the conference, and the movement it represents, The Reason for Our Hope, is a very beautiful one. In the Scriptures, we are challenged to tell people the reason for our hope and witness to our faith. In my homily I reflected on these themes. We're very grateful to all the organizers and all those who worked so hard to make the conference the wonderful success that it was.
Massachusetts March for Life
I left directly from the Public Safety Mass to head to the Boston Common to join the Massachusetts March for Life (10/1), which was already underway. This was an opportunity, on Respect Life Sunday, to witness to the importance of defending human life in all the stages, especially the most vulnerable.
There was a wonderful representation from St. Mary's in Lynn, Sacred Heart School in Kingston and Immaculate Conception Parish in Revere. We were pleased to see so many young people and families there, as well. Once again this year, Father Matt Williams served as the emcee of the rally before the March, and during the March helped organize and animate the participants.
The March concluded at the steps that lead from the Boston Common to the State House. There, I had a chance to address the people and give them my blessing. This was another opportunity to express the important witness that the Catholic community is called on to give to the preciousness of life and to build a civilization of love. This means creating a community where people care about each other and for each other, so that no child will feel unwanted, no woman in a difficult pregnancy will feel unassisted, and that no elderly person will feel abandoned or a burden because of their infirmities. This is a very important part of the message of the Church, and we're grateful to all those who came out to witness to it.
Feast of St. Therese
Later that afternoon, I went to visit the Carmelite monastery in Danvers to celebrate Mass for the Feast of St. Therese of Lisieux. It was a beautiful Mass, and the sisters' chapel was filled to standing room only capacity.
I told the people that very often for this feast day I am in Rome at my titular church, Santa Maria Della Vittoria. There, the major feast day of the year is this very feast because the church is run by the Carmelite Friars in Rome and it is the place where St. Therese came to pray when she was on her pilgrimage to Rome, hoping to get permission from the Pope to enter the Carmel before the usual age. Following the Mass, we had the blessing of the roses, and then I was able to have a meeting with the community. I was so pleased to see that they're getting vocations and see the wonderful support of the community for their vocation and their witness.