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From Cardinal Seán’s blog

“On Wednesday evening (July 25), we had the admission to candidacy of Israel Rodriguez.” Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy

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Casino gambling

News that casino gambling may be soon legalized in Massachusetts is troubling. A Native American tribe is negotiating with the town of Middleborough the construction of a casino there.

Like most Americans, I am very sympathetic to our Native Americans who in so many cases have been unjustly deprived of ancestral lands and resources. I realize that the government has attempted to compensate them by giving them privileges with regard to gambling. But I am opposed to that project and hope that Middleborough will not approve the proposal the town has received.

The Church’s stance on gambling is a nuanced one. We believe that gambling can be a legitimate form of recreation, like drinking alcohol. But, like alcohol, there are also dangers involved in gambling. Casino gambling, I believe, is fraught with many dangers for a community. First, it drains the resources away from other businesses and activities in the community. Second, it promotes gambling addiction, which is one of the worst addictions and one that is becoming more common. It is an addiction that destroys families and destroys people’s lives. The Church in Massachusetts has always opposed casino gambling for that reason.

If public works and projects in the Commonwealth need to be funded, there should be other ways to do that, perhaps by raising taxes. But relying on casinos makes us gambling junkies, and we become dependent on that money, which will result in many ruined lives, ruined businesses and ruined neighborhoods. So we unequivocally oppose casino gambling in the state.

Visiting the Sisters

of Charity

Every summer I celebrate a Mass with the Sisters of Charity and the children in their summer program, held at their facilities in Dorchester. It is always a joy. This year the Mass was on July 25, and there were about 80 children in attendance. It is wonderful to see how the children participate at Mass, singing hymns with such enthusiasm.

After the Mass, the sisters had pizza and cake for the kids. The children also sang a number of songs. One was about the “angels watching over me,” and many of the little girls were dressed as angels. It was cute.

The children really enjoy the summer program and get so much out of it. These are children who otherwise would not have the opportunity for these kinds of activities. They also gain by their exposure to religious training and participation in Mass.

The missionary sisters are always such a wonderful presence in the neighborhoods where they are. Their outreach to people who are economically deprived is beautiful, and they have such a wonderful way of involving many volunteers in their ministry. The volunteers associated with the summer program are quite a cross section. There are some high school students from the suburbs, police officers, musicians, and local mothers from the neighborhood. All are working together to ensure the children have a good experience during the program.

Admission to candidacy

for the priesthood

On Wednesday evening (July 25), we had the admission to candidacy of Israel Rodriguez which was celebrated at Our Lady of the Assumption Parish in East Boston.

Israel is the first candidate to come out of the Redemptoris Mater House of Formation.

We are very pleased. He is a talented and zealous seminarian, and we look forward to the day when he will be ordained a priest for Boston.

Also in this week’s blog:

> Visiting the Department of Youth Services’ Metro Youth Service Center in Dorchester

> Visiting the Assumptionist House in Brighton

> Meeting with the Crossroads pro-life marchers

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