From Cardinal Seán’s blog

The training sessions for Arise Together in Christ, an adult faith formation program based on Renew, begins this month. We are very excited about the program, which has been designed for our archdiocese and is the centerpiece of our bicentennial celebration.

I am so grateful to Bishop John Dooher and Marianne McLaughlin from the Office of Worship and Spiritual Life who are our local point persons for this program. The majority of parishes have already signed up for the program, but anyone can join at anytime. We are looking forward to the great fruits that this is going to bring, not only in our parishes but in campus ministry where it is also being implemented.

Greeting a visiting bishop

Last week we had a visit from Bishop Wladyslaw Blin, the bishop of Vitebsk in Belarus. He shared with me the news that, at his request, the Holy Father had named Father Stanislaw Parfienczyk a Monsignor, following his appointment as canon of the cathedral in Belarus.

Msgr. Parfienczyk is currently a pastor at St. John the Baptist parish in Salem.

Bishop Blin came accompanied by Msgr. Parfienczyk and by Father Jerzy Auguscik, a Conventual Franciscan from the Polish church Our Lady of Czestochowa Parish in South Boston, who helped translate for us because the bishop did not speak English.

Ordination of transitional deacons

On Saturday, we had the transitional diaconate ordination of six men. It was a beautiful celebration at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. We were very pleased to see the numbers that turned out, and the musical program was very uplifting.

Another man, Deacon Joseph Arsenault, is also in his fourth year of theology. He was ordained a permanent deacon in 1988, though I jokingly call him an “impermanent” deacon because he is now going to be ordained a priest. So, God willing, in May these seven men will be named priests for the Archdiocese of Boston.

Coming as it did the day after Father Daniel Kennedy’s funeral Mass, the ordination was a very striking sign of how the priesthood renews itself. That week we not only buried one of the newest priests in the archdiocese, ordained last year, but also Father J. Walter Stocklosa who was Boston’s longest ordained priest and the last surviving member of the class of 1940.

Watching the Super Bowl

That evening, I went to San Lorenzo friary with my brother Capuchins to watch the Super Bowl. Of course, I took my Patriot’s shirt with me.

Some of the seminarians residing at San Lorenzo are from New York, so it was a very interesting evening because there was quite a bit of back-and-forth about the different rivalries of the teams. It was an exciting game, especially because it was so close. They all played well.

I know that there was great disappointment in Boston, but 18 wins is something that the Patriots can be very proud of. Hopefully, next year they will go right to the top again.

I never watch television so it was interesting to see the Super Bowl commercials that are supposed to be so stunning. After watching them, all I can say is that it seemed a bit silly that they spend so much money putting on those ads.

Also in this week’s blog:

> Ordination of transitional deacons

> Celebrating Mass to mark World Day for Consecrated Life

> Celebrating Mass at St. Michael Parish in North Andover

> Greeting members of the Community Saint Egidio at the Ash Wednesday Mass.