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Priests gather for annual Vianney Cookout

  • Vicar General Bishop Peter Uglietto greets priests as they arrive for the Vianney Cookout. Pilot photo/Jacqueline Tetrault
  • Rector Father Brian Kiely leads priests in adoration and vespers at Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary on Aug. 1. Pilot photo/Jacqueline Tetrault
  • Priests share a meal together following the vespers service. Pilot photo/Jacqueline Tetrault

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WESTON -- Priests in the Archdiocese of Boston came to Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary on Aug. 1 for the annual St. John Vianney cookout, so called because it is held close to the Aug. 4 feast day of the patron saint of priests.

Following a tradition that dates back to 2005, the priests began their gathering with eucharistic adoration and vespers in the seminary chapel.

Father Brian Kiely, the rector of the seminary, led the prayer service and offered brief remarks as sunlight coming in through the stained glass windows of the chapel illuminated the smoke of the incense like a rainbow leading to the altar.

"I want you to know that you are always welcome here," Father Kiely told the priests.

He said that if they are ever in the area, they are welcome to stop by for lunch or Mass.

"I'm very proud to be a Boston priest, and I'm very proud to be the rector of this seminary. And it would give me no greater joy than to be able to introduce the men of this house to the finest priests in the country, the priests of this archdiocese," he said.

Father Kiely noted that it was the feast day of St. Alphonsus Liguori, the founder of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, or the Redemptorists.

"We remind ourselves that, like him, we are called to proclaim Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ crucified. It's not a right. It's a great privilege. And the way we express our gratitude is the generous service we render to his people entrusted to our care," Father Kiely said.

After the prayer service, the priests gathered for a barbeque dinner in the seminary refectory.

Father David O'Leary, administrator of Good Shepherd Parish in Wayland, attended the cookout, which he called "a fun gathering."

"It's just nice seeing all the gents. And then all the years melt away because you go back to the same year you were in the seminary, mentally," he said.

Father Christopher Bae, parochial vicar of St. Columbkille Parish in Brighton, said he tries to come to the cookout each year. He was ordained three years ago and tries to attend the events held for the archdiocesan priests throughout the year.

"It's a great opportunity to meet our other fellow priests, and get to know them, have fun and catch up. We could be really busy with our work, and now we're catching up," Father Bae said.

Dinner was served in the seminary dining hall. Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley addressed the priests before leading them in grace. He recalled how St. John Vianney urged priests "to pray and to love," and said that was why they were there.

"Those are the most important duties of a priest. And when we're faithful to prayer, it allows us to be able to love our people," Cardinal O'Malley said.

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