“At this year’s dinner ... the award was presented to Mercedes Evans, who is an attorney at the Massachusetts College of Art.” Pilot photo/Courtesy CardinalSeansBlog.org
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Everyone was very pleased by the great outpouring of enthusiasm and love for the archdiocese that was evidenced in the celebration of the Mass closing the Bicentennial Year (...) on the last Sunday of the liturgical year, the Feast of Christ the King, which was a very fitting occasion to conclude our celebration.
The Feast of Christ the King is a beautiful time for us to reflect on our history. The gospel is from Matthew 25, and it described the time Jesus tells the Apostles: “What you did not do for the least ones, you did not do for me.”
In my homily, I said this prompts us to reflect on the history of the good works of the Church and how we are trying to fulfill that special command from Jesus to have a special love for the poor, the sick and the disenfranchised.
When I looked out into the crowded pews, I saw so many different ethnic communities, parishes and various youth groups. I was struck by how the catholicity of the Church was showcased by the liturgy and particularly the music. It was so beautiful to hear the intercessions expressed in different languages of the Church in Boston. We were also pleased to see a strong turnout from the new Syro-Malabar parish.
During the Mass, we blessed the Bicentennial Plaque, which will be a permanent marker at the cathedral of this remarkable year.
Also at the Mass, after Communion, we awarded our new Cheverus Medal to 68 individuals who have given outstanding service to the Church. The nominations for the medal came to the regional bishops, who then submitted them to me. They are all people who have given years of service to the Church. Being able to present the medal for the first time was very special.
My plan is to have the pastors and the parish councils recommend people, particularly volunteers, for the Cheverus Medal based on years of generous service, which will be awarded every year on the Feast of Christ the King.
Saturday night (Nov. 22) I was at the Bishop James Augustine Healy Award Dinner. Every fall, the Office of Black Catholics presents the Healy Award to an outstanding member of the community.
At this year’s dinner, held at The Lantana in Randolph, the award was presented to Mercedes Evans, who is an attorney at the Massachusetts College of Art.
Mercedes grew up in Baltimore, where she went to Catholic schools. I learned that her mother studied with the Sisters of Providence, which is a community of black Catholic sisters founded in that city.
It was wonderful to see Mercedes joined by her children and her brothers and sisters. Bishop Boles, who for many years was her pastor, introduced her.
Also at the dinner, there was a keynote address delivered by Auxiliary Bishop of Brooklyn Guy Sansaricq, who is Haitian. When I began the Haitian Apostolate in Washington in 1972, Bishop Sansaricq was the one I turned to for help. He was then the pastor of a very large Haitian parish in Brooklyn. I was so pleased to hear that he was named a bishop.
This is, of course, his second visit to the archdiocese this year. The Haitian Catholics had their annual convention here in Boston earlier this year and he was part of that event. It was good of him to deliver the keynote and stay for the closing Mass of the Bicentennial Year the next day.