“At St. John’s, over 40 college men attended. The event had much more of a retreat format, but also gave the men the opportunity to experience seminary life and to reflect on what God is calling them to do in their lives.” Pilot photo/Courtesy Vocations Office
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I’d like to begin this week’s post marking the recent passing of two men who made important contributions to the Catholic Church: Fra Andrew Bertie of the Order of Malta and Eduardo Bonnin, founder of the Cursillo movement. Both passed away last week.
We met Fra Andrew Bertie, prince grand master of the Order of Malta, last year during our trip to Lourdes with the Knights. He was already experiencing health problems at the time but tried to remain very active. He was a great promoter of the works of mercy and evangelization that the Order of Malta is so dedicated to.
Fra Bertie was a consecrated religious, which is required for heads of the order, and he was a descendant of the House of Stuart, a very historic Catholic family in the United Kingdom. Many of the important Catholic monarchs around the time of the Reformation were Stuarts, including Mary Queen of Scots.
Here in the archdiocese we have a very active community of the Order, and I am sure that everyone will be offering prayers for him and for the election of his replacement. We are arranging with the Knights the celebration of a memorial Mass in Boston, but the date is not set yet.
Eduardo Bonnin, from Mallorca, Spain, was an outstanding layman whose life was certainly dedicated to the wonderful Cursillo movement, which has formed so many Catholic leaders in the Church.
In many of our parishes, the catechists, parish council members and other active pillars are cursillistas. Many of our permanent deacons first began their journey toward ministry as cursillistas. Cursillistas are also doing wonderful work in the prisons and in many other different ministries.
Cursillo is a wonderful opportunity to experience the life of grace and to receive all at once a whole vision of the Catholic faith. Many people never have that opportunity; rather they get information about the faith piecemeal over the years. To be exposed to the Church’s teaching on the sacraments, the life of grace and to experience that sense of community that the cursillistas have is a great gift and has transformed many people’s lives. There are regular Cursillos for men and women at St. Basil Seminary in Methuen and at Stonehill College in Easton. We certainly encourage people to make the Cursillo.
We will also be having a Mass for the repose of Eduardo’s soul with the cursillistas of Boston in the near future.
Last weekend we had two vocational retreats, one at St. John’s Seminary in Brighton and the other at Blessed John XXIII National Seminary in Weston. Each year at this time we have retreats like these for men who are considering the possibility of entering the seminary. They give them the opportunity to experience a little bit of seminary life.
The Blessed John retreat was held first, and a couple of men attended. They were able to live with the seminarians and go to some of the classes.
At St. John’s, over 40 college men attended. The event had much more of a retreat format, but also gave the men the opportunity to experience seminary life and to reflect on what God is calling them to do in their lives.
I was very pleased with both retreats and am very grateful to our vocation team as well as all the pastors and those in campus ministry who helped us bring the retreat about.