Saturday, October 31, 2009

It's hard to believe that we are already at the end of October, Halloween, and that tomorrow is the Feast of All Saints!
At the Masses this afternoon, we will make reference to Cardinal Sean's instructions for the precautions that we should all take to prevent as much as possible the spreading of the H1N1 Flu (Swine flu). The priests, the lectors, and ministers of the Eucharist have been using a hand sanitizer immediately before leaving the sacristy to begin Mass for the past few weeks. Naturally, we will continue that in the future. The Cardinal has instructed us to refrain, as much as possible, from all unnecessary physical contact during Mass. therefore, we will change the sign of peace from a handshake to a wave of the hand, a nod of the head a pleasant smile, a whispered God's peace be with you. There are many ways that we can express our desire to share God's peace without a handshake.
Also, the Cardinal has suspended Communion under both species, i.e., consuming the Blessed Blood of the Lord from the chalice, during Mass. Although that has not been our practice here in the Chapel, we will suspend, for now, Communion from the chalice even for our Eucharistic Ministers.
Also we are going to change the Holy Water in the small fonts at the entrance to the Chapel before each Mass. And soon we will empty them completely I have ordered some one ounce Holy Water containers which will be available at the entrance to the Chapel for all who want them. That will eliminate completely the need for so many hands to be dipping into the Holy Water font on entering and leaving the Chapel.
By the way, you can keep up-to-date with all the pronouncements of Cardinal Sean by signing up for his weekly e-mail at:
Also, don't forget to turn your back your clocks one hour before retiring tonight as Daylight Saving time is brought to an end for this year.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Good morning to all. We had a really nice evening last night in the Chapel with the monthly Men's Night of Prayer and Reflection. (As you know the men get together every month on the third Tuesday of the month for adoration, instruction and reconciliation.) Frs. Herbert and Mario gave the talks. Attendance was down a bit last night with only about 30 men being present. However it was good to welcome a couple of new faces and to welcome back a couple who hadn't been with us for a few months. A special treat of the evening was a platter of freshly made brownies that Bro. Damien sent down for all to enjoy during the social hour that follows the prayer. They were delicious. Fr. Mario also brought down the remains of his birthday cake which was quickly devoured by all (it was a well saturated rum cake from d'Orsis Bakery in Peabody). Ssshhhhh, don't tell anyone, but Fr. Mario just turned 67.
Don't forget to keep Fr. Mario in your prayers today, because he will be undergoing surgery on his eyes at around noontime at the Lahey Clinic.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

This has been a busy day but very nice. I started off by celebrating the 8:00 A.M. Spanish Mass at St. Joseph's Parish in Lynn. That's always a great way to begin the Sunday. It's a vibrant community over there.
Then at 1:00 P.M. I went over to St. Thomas the Apostle parish hall for the 60th anniversary luncheon of the Lay Carmelite Community from our chapel-in-the-Mall. It was a very nice luncheon with a rather good attendance considering that it was a very cold and rainy day. About eight people attended representing the Lay Carmelite community in Hudson, N.H. I believe it's the community of Bl. Titus.
Elizabeth (Betty) Foote, a member of the first profession class of our Chapter was present and added a rather detailed account of the circumstances surrounding the beginning of the Chapter.
Following this anniversary luncheon, I went to a family birthday party in Methuen, MA for my grand-neice, Tess Regan who was born four years ago today in China. Her full name is Tess Ai Bei Regan. My nephew and his wife retained her chinese name as her second name. They adopted her three years ago this month. It was a joyful family event.
Would you believe that it is only October 18th and I had to drive home with the windshield wipers going full blast wiping SNOW off the windshield!!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Oooooh. Bad news. I was just told that the renovations are going to cost much more than we had anticipated. The Sprinkler system and the fire alarm systems will have to be replaced and that could come to about $35,000!!! Woooow. That was not expected.
Mother Ann's funeral Mass and burial were beautiful this morning. Cardinal Sean celebrated the Mass, Bishop Irwin concelebrated and preached, and there were about twenty other concelebrants. The Chapel was jammed. The music was taken care of by the Paul Madore choir.
I thought I would get to the chapel early so as not to have to walk very far after parking and even though I was thirty five minutes early I had to park down on the street and walk up the hill.
It was really cold. The concelebrants were the first to arrive at the grave side and we had to wait about ten or fifteen minutes before the nuns and the family arrived. It was extremely cold and windy. The hot coffee after Mass really felt good.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fr. Felix, Fr. Mario, Bro. Damien, Bro. John, and I just got back from the wake of Mother Ann at the Monastery of the Discalced Carmelite Nuns in Danvers. Her sudden death was a real shock to all of the Sisters. As I said to them, we are praying to Mother Ann for all of them.
The nuns have the custom of placing the original copy of the profession of first vows in the hands of the deceased in the casket. Mother Ann entered the convent in 1961 right here in Danvers. Her whole religious life was spent in this monastery.
The nuns have the custom of using a very simply casket. It is a simple wooden box and the body lies on a bed of straw. It is similar to the caskets made by the Trappist monks that have been used in the funerals of some of our priests in Florida.
I like the simplicity of it, and have left instructions that I would like that type of casket when the Lord calls me home.
We will all attend the funeral tomorrow with the exception of Fr. Felix who willbe offering the 12 noon Mass in the Mall Chapel.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I just came back from a meeting of the Hispanic Commission in Tucson, AZ last night and was very saddened to hear of the sudden death of the Prioress at the Carmelite Monastery in Danvers. I understand that her funeral will be celebrated by Cardinal Sean on Friday at 11:00 A.M. She was a wonderful woman, a great example of a deeply spiritual daughter of Carmel. She will be missed.

Friday, October 2, 2009

There was a good attendance at all of the Masses of the Triduum honoring St. Therese. After the 12:00 and 3:00 Masses it was nice to see people walking through the Mall with their long stem (articial) rose. Every one looked at them with some what of a puzzled look on their faces. "What's this all about", they seemed to say. Little did they realize that it was a reminder of St. Therese's promise to "spend her heaven doing good on earth and letting fall from heaven a shower of roses".

Brother Damien has designed a cube upstairs in the Mall in front of Dellaria's Salon with products from the Carmelite Gift Shop. He made a really good presentation (perhaps he should have been a Show Window Designer). Be sure to congratulate him on his work.

Of special note is a large and very beautiful Nativity Scene that will be given away to some lucky visitor to the Carmelite Gift Shop between now and Christmas. With just a visit to the Gift Shop (no purchase necessary) one's name can be entered into a drawing to see who will have this beautiful Nativity scene in their home this Christmas.