Thursday, August 2, 2012

Guests in the Courtyard

There were turkey sightings outside Saint John's Seminary this afternoon. Two of our favorite birds were lounging in the noonday shade outside the back door of the Seminary.

Perhaps they had arrived early for the annual Saint John Vianney Cookout, hoping to catch sight of one of the nearly one hundred Priests whom the Archdiocese of Boston was hosting in the Seminary Courtyard.

Cardinal O'Malley began the afternoon by introducing Father Miles Sheehan, S.J., New England Provincial of the Jesuits and a medical doctor as well, who spoke to the priests on the subject of Pastorally Addressing Physician Assisted Suicide.

The Cardinal then led the priests in Vespers, after which all adjourned to the Courtyard for a summertime cookout. The weather cooperated and it was so good seeing so many of the sons of Saint John's return and share stories, old and new!

Cardinal O'Malley was kind enough to give me a few minutes to welcome these good priests and to reflect with them on the work of Saint John's Seminary:

A work which will be blessed this fall by the largest number of new seminarians in more than a decade. A work which has given over three thousand Priests to the Church in 129 years, serving fifty dioceses in the United States, Europe, Africa, South America, and Asia. A work which produced Cardinals Cushing, Wright, and Aponte Martinez, the founders of Maryknoll, the Society of Saint James the Apostle, and the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity. A work which perdures in serving the dioceses of New England as the largest Seminary in the most Catholic State in the union.

A work which gives us hope. Hope because of the witness of the wide-eyed young seminarian who looks at you with tears in his eyes because “all I want to do, Father, is to give my lfie to the Church.”

A work which bears fruit because God continues to stir the hearts of men the same way he stirred yours not too many years ago.

So, welcome home, my brothers. Please pray for me and please pray for our beloved Saint John’s. You are always welcome here, and we are never quite completely ourselves until you are back home with us.