From Cardinal Seán’s blog

Launch of the 2008 Catholic Appeal

I visited St. Agnes Parish in Arlington (March 1), for the launch of the 2008 Catholic Appeal. We had our kickoff press conference there as a way to showcase this very vibrant parish.

St. Agnes’ has a grade school, high school, social service agency and a huge religious education program. Their religious education program begins very early and uses the Montessori Method. They do some creative and interesting things at that parish.

This year the appeal office asked me to tape a homily that could be shown at the Masses throughout the archdiocese, and so I did that using the beautiful Mass readings of that Sunday. It was an opportunity to try to connect our support of the works of the Church to our Lenten call for sacrifice, conversion and generosity. Of course at the Mass that I celebrated for the kickoff, we did not show the film because I gave it in person. It may have been better on the film; I don’t know!

There was quite a crowd there for the Mass, and so they had Mass in the main church and also the basement chapel. There was not enough room in the main church, so they had two simultaneous Masses for all the parishioners.

Liturgy Committee meeting

On (March 3), I met with the Liturgy Committee so that we could talk about the needs of the archdiocese, and we reflected on the importance of helping train our parishioners involved in liturgical ministries.

We talked about the need for good liturgical music and also workshops to help priests and deacons to improve their abilities to preside at the liturgies. It was a very good meeting. They gave me a report on the revision to the archdiocesan guidelines that they have been working on and are almost finished with.

The liturgy is the center of our life as Catholics and so we are very grateful to have the expertise and the dedication of so many people on this committee who are anxious to help us to improve our execution of the liturgy to make it more meaningful and to help our priests in the parishes with the multiple needs that exist for the beautiful celebration of the holy Mass.

Greeting the new major superiors of women religious

Every year Sister Marian Batho, who is our delegate for religious, organizes a luncheon with the newly elected major superiors of women religious during that year.

So on Wednesday (March 5)we met with them. This annual event provides an opportunity for me to greet the new superiors personally and offer my best wishes and congratulations as they assume the responsibilities of leadership.

During lunch, we spoke about the importance of the religious communities to the life of the Church of Boston.

This year we had two religious communities represented at the lunch, the Sisters of Notre Dame and the Grey Nuns.

Founded by St. Julie Billiart “to make known God’s goodness, especially among the poorest and most abandoned people,” the Sisters of Notre Dame have educated countless generations of Catholics. The Sisters of Notre Dame continue to serve the archdiocese in a variety of ministries.

The Grey Nuns, founded by St. Marguerite d’Youville to care for the sick, started Mary Immaculate Health Care Services in Lawrence and Youville Hospital in Cambridge. Covenant Health Care System was created in 1996 to sponsor the Grey Nuns’ health care ministries.