From Cardinal Seán's blog

Last Thursday morning, I attended the wake of Margaret Rora, the mother of Father Michael Rora. I was pleased to be able to be there and offer some prayers and tender my condolences to Father Michael, his dad, and the rest of the family.

Board meeting

That evening, we had the annual board meeting of our Redemptoris Mater Seminary. We received reports on the planning for constructing the new chapel and on the various seminarians and their progress. We also welcomed some new board members.

After our meeting, we enjoyed a very excellent meal, where they gave me the gift of a very nice cardigan.

And, as always, the seminarians provided lively entertainment!

Final profession

On Saturday, I presided at the final profession of two Daughters of Mary of Nazareth: Sister Bernadette Solanus and Sister Catherine Andre.

In addition to the sisters' families and the many friends and benefactors of the Daughters of Mary of Nazareth, many priests and religious from many different communities were present for the celebration; even the Trappistines were among them.

It was a very beautiful and joyful celebration. In today's world, where there are so few religious women making professions, it was particularly significant to have two young women in our diocese making this lifetime commitment to live the evangelical councils in the spirit of St. Charles de Foucauld.

Fall general assembly

I departed for Baltimore for the annual Fall General Assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. As always, on the weekend before our gathering, there are meetings of the various committees and subcommittees of the bishops' conference. But, because I was in Boston for the Healy Award Dinner, I was only able to make it to the board meeting of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

The Opening Mass was held on Monday at the Cathedral of Baltimore, and Archbishop Lori greeted everyone at the beginning of Mass as the local ordinary.

The Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Broglio, the president of our conference, and, of course, the Apostolic Nuncio, the newly created Cardinal Christophe Pierre, was also in attendance.

Prayer is always a very important part of our gathering. There's always a Eucharistic Chapel so that the bishops can have a place to pray privately and for Eucharistic adoration.

The USCCB does an excellent job of providing details of plenary sessions, so I won't attempt to summarize them all here but rather point out some highlights for me.

There was a very good report on the Synod on Synodality given by Bishop Rhoades of South Bend. Also, Bishop Robert Barron and Archbishop Borys Gudziak gave a report on an initiative to promote the importance of mental health and acknowledge it as a great crisis in the country.

I was very pleased by that because there is a lack of attention to the problem of mental illness, depression and addiction, and it is certainly closely tied to the growing phenomenon of homelessness in the United States.