Cardinal O'Malley poses for a photo with Abbot Nicholas Zachariadis and Deacon Luke, who visited him at the cathedral on Friday, May 21. Pilot photo/CardinalSeansBlog.org
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Last Thursday, I was happy to participate in Catholic Charities' annual Spring Celebration.
Unlike other years, when we were able to gather at the John F. Kennedy Library, the Spring Celebration was held online this year and was very much focused on Catholic Charities' robust response to the crisis of food insecurity in our community.
The video presentation featured remarks by Catholic Charities President and CEO Kevin MacKenzie, as well as the inspiring testimony of a Catholic Charities volunteer and client, Donnette McManus, who shared her story of how Catholic Charities helped her at a very difficult time in her life.
This year, instead of honoring a single individual, they highlighted a number of volunteers, which they called "Catholic Charities Champions," throughout the program -- Eddie Mercado, Rod Powell, and the team from St. Cecilia's Parish, the Catholic Charities North's English as a Second Language volunteer teachers, and the 2020 Boston College football team.
The program also included a panel discussion, addressing the tremendous problem of food insecurity and what Catholic Charities is doing to overcome it.
Visit at the cathedral
On Friday, I was visited at the cathedral by Abbot Nicholas Zachariadis, who serves in the Romanian Catholic Eparchy of St. George of Canton, Ohio. He was born in Egypt but grew up in Melbourne, Australia, which, at the time, had the third largest Greeks population in the world (after Athens and Thessaloniki). His monastery is Holy Resurrection in St. Nazianz, Wisconsin, and he is also responsible for overseeing the nuns of Holy Theophany Monastery.
I have known the abbot for some time and have been happy to speak to him about his efforts to foster collaboration between the Orthodox communities and the Catholic Church.
He was accompanied by Deacon Luke from his monastery, who is going to be ordained this weekend. So, we want to offer him our prayers and congratulations.
Msgr. Kevin O'Leary's birthday
Friday was also Msgr. Kevin O'Leary's 70th birthday, so we had a little gathering for him at the cathedral rectory with cake -- and we even got him some balloons!
May is certainly the time for commencements, and on Monday, I attended two of them.
In the morning, we had the commencement at Boston College, where the speaker was New York Times columnist David Brooks, who gave a very beautiful reflection.
Among this year's honorary degree recipients was Lyndia Downie, the executive director of Pine Street Inn, where she has been working for three decades with the homeless. She has done amazing work there and is certainly very deserving of this honor from Boston College.
Then, in the afternoon, we had the Baccalaureate Mass and Commencement for our Master of Arts in Ministry and Master of Theological Studies programs at St. John's Seminary.
In addition to the members of the Class of 2021, the graduates from last year's class were also invited to be with us since they were unable to have a commencement because of the pandemic.
We are so grateful to Aldona Lingertat, Father Stephen Salocks, and the faculty and staff at St. John's Seminary for the fine work they do forming lay people for service to the Church. I was also pleased to see that we had two of our permanent deacons graduating this year, Deacon Peter Bujwid and Deacon Robert Horne.