On Sunday, Aug. 15, Cardinal O'Malley departed for the Franciscan Guest House and Retreat Center in Kennebunkport to attend the annual retreat for the bishops of Region I. Pilot photo/CardinalSeansBlog.org
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The earthquake and tropical storm that took place last week in Haiti have caused untold suffering and loss of life in that country that has already suffered so much. So, we have called for a special collection to be taken up in the Archdiocese of Boston to help Catholic Relief Services to bring much-needed aid and emergency supplies to the area.
We were also very sorry to hear that Cardinal Chibly Langlois, who visited us just weeks ago, was injured in the quake. His house collapsed in the tremor, and three other residents of the house were killed.
I have been following the situation there very closely, and I hope to be able to visit Haiti in the coming weeks to see the situation first-hand. In the meantime, I have been receiving reports from different people in Haiti as well as groups that are working to bring relief. David Murphy of the firm Tighe and Bond is one of those doing a great deal to get supplies and people into Haiti to help with search and rescue. They are working with Catholic Relief Services, which has its local headquarters in Les Cayes, a city severely affected by the earthquake.
David is a long-time friend of Father Bill Joy and a former parishioner at St. Angela Parish in Mattapan. For a number of years, his and other local construction and engineering companies, such as the Cashman Companies, have contributed significant equipment, expertise, and personnel for rebuilding and training projects in Haiti. We are so grateful for all they are doing and know that their experience in Haiti will be invaluable, both with the immediate relief efforts and with the rebuilding that will be needed going forward.
The feast of the Assumption
On Sunday, the feast of the Assumption, I went to St. Monica's in Methuen to join Father Darin Colarusso and Father Joseph D'Onofrio for Mass and the dedication of their new Gethsemane Chapel as an adoration chapel.
It was a wonderful occasion and great joy to be with the parish as they dedicated this special place for adoration during this Year of the Eucharist.
Sunday afternoon, I departed for the Franciscan Guest House and Retreat Center in Kennebunkport, where we had our annual retreat for the bishops of Region I, which is made up of the dioceses of the six New England states. In all, there were 17 bishops with us for the retreat.
Bishop Paul Loverde served as our retreat master for the week.
Though he retired as bishop of Arlington, Virginia, Bishop Loverde is originally from New England. He was born in Framingham and was a priest in the Diocese of Norwich before going on to serve as auxiliary bishop of Hartford, bishop of Ogdensburg, New York, and then Arlington.
He gave very beautiful conferences, which were very personal, practical and centered on the Eucharist and the interior life of the bishop. Everyone was very pleased with the retreat, and we had perfect weather for it, which was very nice because it allowed us to experience the beautiful natural setting of the retreat house.
As many times as I have been to the Franciscan Guest House, this was the first time I really had a chance to walk around the grounds. I discovered how large a piece of property it is and how many different shrines and places for reflection they have.
It's a lovely and prayerful spot, and it was wonderful for us to be able to gather there as bishops and have an opportunity to pray and be together as brothers.