On Wednesday, March 9th, I visited Saint John’s Seminary in Brighton to celebrate Mass and share a meal with the seminarians and faculty there. While the snow was falling and intensifying during the afternoon, I wondered if I could make it to the Seminary. The trip was challenging, but I finally made it. It was such a joy to celebrate Mass for the whole seminary community and to share dinner afterward with them.
Spending time with our seminarians—seeing and hearing the joy and enthusiasm of our four Deacons—Matthew F. Laird, William O’Donnell III, Gregory Quenneville, and Laurent M. Valliere as they anticipate their ordination to the priesthood on June 4th at our Cathedral here in Fall River—was a source of inspiration for me. It made me completely forget the challenge of driving in the snow to get there. I give thanks to God for these young men who have answered the call of the Lord to serve His church as future priests.
Besides the four deacons, in the photo below is another seminarian I enjoyed seeing during my visit. Lucas da Costa is studying for the priesthood for our Diocese and is in his first year of Theology.
Saint Patrick’s Day
The Church celebrates the Feast of Saint Patrick, Bishop from Ireland, tomorrow, March 17th. While many know of the cultural celebrations connected to St. Patrick, I recommend taking some time today to learn more about his saintly life of heroic virtue. For instance, St. Patrick used the three-leafed shamrock to illustrate the mystery of the Trinity, as three Persons, but One God.
When Pope Pius IX declared Saint Joseph the patron of the Universal Church 150 years ago— during times of challenge and difficulties in the Church—he entrusted the needs of the Catholic Church to the patronage, care, and protection of St. Joseph.
The connection between the Church as the body of Christ entrusted to Saint Joseph’s care and how he cared for Jesus as an infant, child, and adolescent is one that resonates with me. There probably were many times Jesus as a child needed the loving protection and care of Saint Joseph. Perhaps Joseph would pick him up, console him, hug him and take care of whatever he needed at that time. That little body of a child who needed the protection and care of a loving father is also the body of Christ, the Church, journeying in this world, surrounded by all kinds of difficulties, challenges, sufferings, oppositions, and threats. The body of Christ, the Church, remains entrusted to the care of St. Joseph to be defended, protected, and cared for by this great and loving Saint.
It is consoling, especially in the last few years, as members of the body of Christ, the Church, to know we have the protection of such a great and powerful intercessor watching over us as a loving father. The Solemnity of St. Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary, will be celebrated this Saturday, March 19th.
Pray for Peace
Please join me in continuing to pray for peace in Ukraine, and around the world. Let us, especially this week, call upon Saint Patrick and Saint Joseph for their intercession for all those suffering and for those working to restore peace in our world.
Yours in Christ,
Bishop da Cunha