Thursday, we held a luncheon for our ordination class of permanent deacons and their wives here at the Pastoral Center. Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy
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Sunday I visited Marian Manor in South Boston, where I celebrated the community Mass for the residents.
We have a large group of retired priests who are residents there. I was very happy that many of them were able to concelebrate the Mass with me, and afterward we had a nice visit.
Following the Mass, I had lunch with the community of Carmelite Sisters of the Aged and Infirm. Mother Mark, their superior, was visiting from New York, so it was an opportunity to reconnect with her, as well.
Office of Pastoral Support
Monday, I met with Vivian Soper and her staff at our Office for Pastoral Support and Outreach. With all the many different aspects of the sexual abuse crisis in the news, Vivian and her staff wanted to share with me what is happening in our outreach to survivors and talk about their ministry. Many people have contacted them during these days asking to speak to them, and they are always there to offer support.
They regularly make arrangements for me to meet with victims in an ongoing way. In this last week I have spoken to a number of victims over the phone to encourage them and to assure them that we are with them and want to support them, particularly in these very difficult times.
We are very grateful for all of the outstanding work the Office for Pastoral Support and Outreach does. They are the merciful face of the Church to people who have suffered so much but have had the courage to come forward. The Church's response to victims is extremely important and the work of Vivian Soper's office is crucial to the mission of the archdiocese. At times like this, it takes on an even greater relevance and we are very indebted to them for all they do.
Thursday, we held a luncheon for our ordination class of permanent deacons and their wives here at the Pastoral Center.
It was a chance to spend some time with them and also inform them of their future assignments.
We are very grateful for these men who have answered the call to orders and are available to serve God's people, both in the parishes and that the archdiocesan level. I wanted to express my gratitude, also, to their wives and families who have made so many sacrifices to allow them to be part of the diaconate program and now to embrace their ministry, in addition to all the responsibilities they have in their family and professional lives.
Mass of the Holy Spirit
Finally, throughout this week I have been celebrating the Mass of the Holy Spirit at our three seminaries in the Archdiocese of Boston to begin the academic year. Each year we have the Mass of the Holy Spirit on consecutive days at St. John's Seminary in Brighton, Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Brookline, and Pope St. John XXIII Seminary in Weston.
In my homily, I wanted to encourage the seminarians to face the fact that we are in difficult times, but also remain focused on their vocation and the ministry Christ is calling them to. At the same time, I wanted to speak to them about the importance of seminary formation, trying to visualize the seminary as the Cenacle and stress the importance of human formation which Pope John Paul II called for in his Apostolic Exhortation Pastores dabo vobis.