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From Cardinal Seán's blog


On Sunday, Jan. 24, Cardinal O'Malley went to South Boston to celebrate the dedication of St. Monica's Community Hall to Ed and Jean Shiflett. Pilot photo/CardinalSeansBlog.org

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On Sunday, I went to South Boston to celebrate the dedication of St. Monica's Community Hall to Ed and Jean Shiflett. Unfortunately, Ed was in the hospital and was unable to be there, but we unveiled the plaque with Jean and the pastor, Father Peter DeFazio. I gave them rosaries from the Holy Father.

Jean and her husband have been volunteers in the parish for over 50 years, particularly working with outreach to those in need. They have worked very hard in the distribution of food and the many other wonderful programs that are carried out at St. Monica's.

Funeral of Bishop Bill Fey

On Monday was the funeral of my friend Bishop Bill Fey who, as I mentioned last week, died recently of the coronavirus.

It took place at St. Augustine's Church in Pittsburgh at the end of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The timing seemed appropriate because he was always very concerned with ecumenism, particularly in Papua New Guinea.

He had an extraordinary education and put that to great use, teaching in our seminaries. He taught in Africa and then spent many years at the seminary in Papua New Guinea. He wrote his doctoral thesis at Oxford on Cardinal John Henry Newman.

The Mass was live-streamed, so people back in Kimbe, Papua New Guinea, were able to see it, and they had their own celebration there. Father Provincial Tom Betz was the celebrant of the Mass, and Father Tom Weinandy preached the homily.

Father Weinandy was a good friend of Bishop Bill, and the two had studied in England at the same time. At one point, we had three friars studying in England -- Father Bill and Father Morris at Oxford and Father Tom in London. Father Tom said that when Father Bill and Father Morris came down from Oxford for a visit and they would go out, Father Morris would always take his umbrella with him. Being in England, where it can rain at any time, that was certainly the pragmatic choice. But, he said, Father Bill would always bring his sunglasses. It was truly the gesture of a great optimist, and that was the kind of outlook on life Bishop Bill had. He was a true missionary and was just an extraordinary friar and priest. He will be sorely missed, but I was very happy to be able to participate, at least virtually, in his funeral Mass.

Father Andres Garcia

We were happy to learn this week that the Holy Father has appointed Father Andres Garcia to the very important and prestigious position as a member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, which is part of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He had studied at Harvard and worked at St. Mary's in Waltham. I last saw him when I visited his parish back in Spain last February on Candlemas Day.

We congratulate Father Andres on this great honor!

Sister Germana Santos

On Tuesday, I was happy to join our Delegate for Religious, Sister Germana Santos, for a virtual meeting with young adults from around the archdiocese, sponsored by our Vocations Office.

They asked me to give a talk, so I spoke to them about Pope Francis and his ministry. After the talk, we had a very engaging period of questions and answers and dialogue. Since it was a virtual event, the young people joined us from all over. In fact, one young woman was in Spain. It was 2 o'clock in the morning there, so I said to her, "Oh, you must've just gotten up from dinner!"

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