From Cardinal Seán’s blog

Of course, this past Tuesday (Nov. 4) was Election Day. I voted in the gymnasium of the Cathedral High School and the line was around the block. It is very comforting to see so many people participate in the democratic process and many people -- who in the past would not have voted--this year felt compelled to exercise their rights and duties as citizens.

The election of an African-American as president certainly is a historic moment in our history. Hopefully, it indicates that the worst legacies of slavery and racism are behind us. It is also a sign to the world that the majority of Americans do believe in equality and want to promote racial equality in our country and in the world. Our prayer is that the new administration and the new Congress will work for a just and lasting peace and to protect the dignity of human life in all its stages, from the moment of conception until the moment of natural death.

Mass for young adults

On Halloween evening, the Office for the New Evangelization of Youth and Young Adults organized a Mass for young adults at St. Leonard’s Church in the North End.

Although it was Halloween, there was nothing really Halloween-ish about the night. The theme was all about the Feast of All Saints and the fraternity of bringing people together for socializing afterwards. Still, I didn’t really know what to expect. I thought some might show up in costumes.

In fact, some of the younger priests who attended told me that, as they walked through the North End, people kept asking them, “Are you a real priest? Is that a Halloween costume?”

The Mass started at 9 p.m. and afterwards there was a reception with coffee and pastries provided by the local merchants. The church was full for the event and it was quite an eclectic group. There were young adults from some of the ethnic ministries, the campus ministries of the various colleges and universities and from youth groups at some of the parishes.

This was the second event we had there. Last spring we had the Eucharistic Congress at St. Stephen’s, the Eucharistic Procession through the North End and the closing Mass at St. Leonard’s, which was a great success. It is a great venue to Our hope is to have an event in the North End every month. It is an area where young people tend to congregate. The inspiration came from what they have done in Rome at the Piazza Navona, at the Church of Santa Agnese. There they have Mass for young adults and Holy Hours and other activities, right in the heart of the night life for young people in Rome.

Carmelite sisters in Danvers

Saturday, we visited with the Carmelite Sisters in Danvers to help them celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of their Monastery of Discalced Carmelite Nuns. The sisters invited more than 1,200 people. I think all of them came and the weather was simply spectacular. Needless to say, the church was packed, and there was a large group of people outside.

Bishop Frank Irwin, who is very close to the community, concelebrated the Mass with me, as did many other priests. After the Mass, we all went through the cloister to the cemetery, where we prayed the litany at the graves of the founding sisters there.

The community is obviously very much loved and many of their benefactors, friends and relatives accompanied them on this very important day.

Also in this week’s blog:

> 2008 Humanitarian Award Dinner

> 50th anniversary of St. Clare’s in Braintree

> Cardinal Cushing awards

> Vocational dinner