“Seán and Seán” Pilot photo/Courtesy Cardinal’s office
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This past weekend (May 9-10), I traveled to Front Royal, Va. because Christendom College awarded me an honorary doctorate in humane letters on May 10.
When you are a bishop you always get some of these honorary degrees. I always say, if had I known I was going to get all these honorary degrees, I would not have bothered writing that dissertation!
They also honored Ralph McInerny, a professor at the University of Notre Dame. He gave a wonderful keynote address on Catholic universities.
Christendom College is a small, very strongly Catholic institution founded by a man I knew when I was a young priest in Washington, D.C. -- Dr. Warren Carroll. He is still giving lectures there. The school was started by lay people and has the backing of the Diocese of Arlington. The academic program there is very rigorous, providing strong philosophical and theological training.
This year’s graduating class at the university was the largest ever -- about 97 students. One of the graduates was the daughter of the school’s president, Dr. Timothy O’Donnell, who is an old friend of mine. He has a beautiful family with nine children.
Their idea has always been to have a small college where they would be able to give a very strong sense of community and spiritual formation to the young people who study there. They have had many vocations come out of that school.
I was very moved by seeing the campus because I remember when they started, there was practically nothing there. They did have a large amount of land because the school is located in the country. Now they have a magnificent library and a beautiful chapel. At the chapel is a fantastic choir that is very professional.
Baptizing a grandnephew
I left for Colorado on Sunday evening (May 11) to celebrate the baptism of a grandnephew the following day. They named him after me, actually -- Seán Thomas O’Malley.
The baptism was held at Ave Maria Parish in Parker, Colorado. I have had many baptisms, first Communions and weddings in that parish where my brother and his wife have lived for many, many years. Most of his children still live in the area, and now we are baptizing the next generation of the O’Malleys.
The area is very beautiful. When my brother went to that town, it was extremely rural. There are still herds of buffalo around the church (which is something you would not see in Boston!) and from my brother’s dining room window you can see Pikes Peak, which was snow-covered while I was there.
On Tuesday, I visited the friars in Denver, which was very edifying. The great spirit of prayer that they have in their monastery was beautiful, and they have many young, enthusiastic friars. That day I also celebrated Mass in Spanish for the Poor Clare Capuchin sisters, who are Mexican.
I was only there for a day and a half, but the first day was sunny and warm while the second day it snowed (which you would see in Boston!). It was the day that I was returning, May 13, and also the feast of Our Lady of Fatima.
After I returned, on Wednesday, I spoke at the resource seminar for priests about our campaign for marriage, entitled “The Future Depends on Love.”
The initiative was launched by the four ordinaries of Massachusetts, under the direction of the Massachusetts Catholic Conference, on June 22, 2007. Its purpose is to educate about and pray for the vocation of marriage.
I spoke to the priests and other participants and thanked them for being there to learn more about the campaign. Angela and David Franks made a presentation and Kari Collela spoke as well. I also thanked them for the fine work they have done on this initiative.
Also in this week’s blog:
> The blog gets a new look
> Pentecost at Our Lady of Lourdes in Jamaica Plain
> Annual Friends of Caritas St. Elizabeth’s Gala