From Cardinal Seán’s blog

On Sunday (March 30) I visited St. Patrick’s Manor in Framingham. I said Mass at the residence. There’s a very large contingent of sisters, both the Carmelite Sisters who run St. Patrick’s, but also there are many sisters -- I think over 30 sisters in all -- who are residents at the residence and are members of other communities as well.

There’s a wonderful atmosphere the sisters maintain. It’s a wonderful ministry, and we are so blessed to have them working in the archdiocese.

Cardinal Rodriguez

(On April 1) I attended a conference at Boston College given by Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, entitled “The Church of Social Justice in the World.” I have known him since he was a priest, 30 years ago, in Tegucigalpa. The cardinal is a Salesian.

He was a young priest when I first met him, and shortly after that he became the auxiliary bishop of Tegucigalpa and from there was sent to a small diocese called Santa Rosa de Copan, but after a few years was returned to be auxiliary bishop again in Tegucigalpa -- which was an unusual thing -- but the archbishop was elderly and really dependent upon him. Then when Archbishop Santos retired, he became the archbishop and the first cardinal from Honduras.

He is a Renaissance man -- a musician, a pilot, and a linguist. He speaks many languages perfectly and he is a great leader in Honduras. I don’t think there is another leader in the country that has the ethos that Cardinal Rodriguez does in Honduras. Besides being cardinal of Tegucigalpa, Cardinal Rodriguez is also the president of Caritas Internationalis, a confederation of 162 Catholic aid, development and social justice agencies active in over 200 countries and territories.

Deacons’ council

This week I also met with permanent deacons. We have a deacons’ council which is something tantamount to the presbyteral council and the archdiocesan pastoral council.

We are working on trying to organize that, to promote regional meetings of the deacons with the auxiliary bishops, and to have this board meeting several times a year here with myself, so they can bring their ideas, and discussions and conversations from the deacons out in the different regions.

Knights induction ceremony

Wednesday I went to St. John’s Seminary for the induction ceremony for the Knights of Columbus. Some seminarians were inducted into the Knights of Columbus and some of the faculty as well.

Quite a number of the leadership of our state’s group was there for the ceremony and afterwards they presented me with checks from the National Knights of Columbus and the State Knights of Columbus. The checks were for $50,000 and for $10,000, to help support the Marriage Initiative in the state of Massachusetts, which is our program to educate people about marriage.

Visit to Coast Guard headquarters

This week I also had the pleasure of visiting the Coast Guard headquarters here in Boston. Father Bill Cuddy who is in charge of the Coast Guard Chaplaincy arranged it.

He is himself a Navy chaplain, but the Navy supplies the chaplains for the Coast Guard. Father Bill Cuddy lives here at the cathedral when he is home, and he had invited me to meet the local admiral, and to learn more about the operations of the Coast Guard, so we went to the Headquarters here in Boston.

Having grown up on the Canadian border, I remember as a child watching the Coast Guard come with their ships to break the ice because the lake in those days would freeze over. They do outstanding work, particularly the search and rescue missions. They are also involved in dealing with the drug dealers and smugglers trying to smuggle other things in. Theirs is a “guarding” ethos, as they describe it, as opposed to the other military branches -- which, we can say, have more of a “warrior” ethos. A great part of their mission is to protect, and to help people, to rescue people when they get into trouble on the high seas. Here where we have such an important fishing industry, they try to monitor the safety practices of the boaters and fisherman. They have boats and helicopters to do these rescue missions in time of storms or other challenges. It was interesting. They’ve even invited me to come back and to go on their boats!

As a memento of my visit they gave me these coins which, I understand, officers give out in acknowledgment of a job well-done.