With students and faculty at St. John's Seminary, Aug. 28. Pilot Photo/courtesy George Martell
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Each year, we open the academic year in all three of our seminaries with a Mass of the Holy Spirit. This week, I celebrated the Mass at St. John's Seminary.
After the Mass, I joined the seminarians for lunch, including our newly arrived seminarians, whom we were very pleased to welcome.
We were also very pleased to welcome home Deacon Francis Pham who has been on his pastoral year as a deacon and has now returned for his priestly ordination. He will be the 14th priest to be ordained for the Archdiocese of Boston this year -- making us easily the diocese that as ordained the most priests in 2019.
At the lunch, they had a special cake to mark the opening of the school year.
We were supposed to have had a picnic outside, but the threat of rain kept us indoors. However, we were able to be outside long enough to take pictures with the students and faculty.
Earlier in the week, I also joined the seminary's Faculty Dinner. It was good to see the members of the faculty and have time to speak with them. We are very grateful for all the work they do to make St. John's such an extraordinary place to form men for the priesthood.
Saturday morning, I was very happy to be visited by Cardinal Rainer Woelki, who came accompanied by his communications director and his vocations director. Cardinal Woelki is one of the younger cardinals and is also the Archbishop of Cologne, which is the largest diocese in Germany.
We began our time together by concelebrating Mass in our chapel at the cathedral rectory. Afterward, shared a very nice breakfast, during which we had a conversation about various happenings in the Church and around the world.
During his visit, I gave him a tour of our newly renovated cathedral. I was very proud to see that he took out his iPhone and took many pictures -- especially when you think that this man is the archbishop of a diocese that has one of the most famous cathedrals in the world!
He gave me this small memento of the Cologne Cathedral, a sort of modernist interpretation of the spires.
Since it was his first trip to Boston, following our meeting, he was heading off for a tour of Harvard University. Fortunately, we had lovely weather to offer him.
It was a very pleasant visit, and we are very grateful for his having come to visit us in Boston.
We are now in the process of planning a Eucharistic year. So, on Thursday, I had an initial brainstorming session with members of my staff to begin working towards implementing it, and we are currently in the process of selecting an ordinary committee to help plan the activities.
The Eucharist is the center of our lives as Catholics. We realize that, as Bishop Robert Barron has said in reaction to the alarming Pew Research Center Study, we must teach about the Eucharist with greater clarity and witness greater reverence to the Eucharist as a way of communicating this great truth to our people and to the world.