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Catholic Life | Tag Archive | Boston
Tag Archives: Boston

Relic of True Cross Returned

It is a happy day for Boston. The relic of the True Cross stolen from the Cathedral of the Holy Cross has been recovered.

I look forward to once again venerating it next time I am in Boston.

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Relic of the True Cross Stolen

It is not often that I regret not sinning. But right now I am regretting not stealing the relic of the true Cross from the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston. Because if I’d stolen it, then I could return it and all would be well. As it is, someone else has stolen it, and I doubt that they plan to return it soon.

On Thursday, July 1, staff from the Cathedral of the Holy Cross learned that the relic of the true Cross was stolen from the Cathedral’s Blessed Sacrament Chapel. Boston Police were immediately notified and an investigation was begun to determine who might be responsible. That investigation continues.

The relic of the true Cross is an important sacramental that helps Christians contemplate the crucified Savior and the great suffering he endured for the salvation of the world. The true Cross was discovered in the fourth century, and since then its particles have been diffused to the Church throughout the world. The Cathedral’s relic of the true Cross was brought from France in the Nineteenth Century and given to Bishop Cheverus, Boston’s first Bishop.

In the Christian faith, the Cross of Christ is an expression of the triumph of Christ over the powers of darkness. Fr. Kevin O’Leary, the Rector of the Cathedral, added: “We are deeply troubled that this sacred relic was stolen, and we pray for those responsible. We ask the faithful of the Archdiocese of Boston to join the Cathedral’s parishioners in praying every day for its return.” Source

I remember visiting the Cathedral of the Holy Cross for the first time with Josh and telling him about the relic. He did not believe me until the custodian who was cleaning the carpets pointed it out to him.

The great thing about Catholic cathedrals is that they are so open and easy to get into. The bad thing about them is that it is apparently easy to steal priceless relics.

I invite you to join me in praying the Stations of the Cross not only for the return of the relic, but for the conversion of whomever stole it and all those who take it into their possession.

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Fertility Awareness in the Archdiocese of Boston

Cardinal Seán announced on his blog that Boston’s new marriage preparation program will include training in fertility awareness.

“Transformed in Love” is a 16-hour program that consists of presentations, reflections, prayer, and Mass, and discusses various aspects of marriage like communications skills, fertility awareness, finances, and decision-making.

The Archdiocese of Boston already has a solid NFP program, so I have no doubt that they will do a great job of incorporating fertility awareness into their marriage preparation materials. Teaching fertility awareness is a very good approach for reaching those who know little about the practical side of the Church’s teaching on birth control. This is great news for those who will be getting married in the Archdiocese of Boston!

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Encountering Evil: What Do You Do?

I don’t mention the Catholic sex abuse scandal much on my blog for a very simple reason: I grew up in New England and went to college in the Archdiocese of Boston right after Cardinal Seán became archbishop. Everything that had to be processed had to be processed years ago, and there is little that could arise in the way of scandal that I have not already considered. I am saddened by further revelations of abuse, but I am not surprised and they do not require new thought or action on my part. I am sorry, and that is all. Mostly.

But the fact that I know what I think about scandal does not mean that I am somehow free from dealing with evil in the Church. As an active Catholic I cannot escape problems, and it is my job to do what I can to help eradicate evil in my little sphere.

On our way to Michigan a few weeks ago, Josh and I stopped at a Catholic bookstore to pick up a booklet. I pointed out the Liturgy of the Hours section to Josh since I was familiar with the store, and then left him to his favorite activity of book-browsing while I went to adoration. Once we were on our way Josh tiredly told me that he had seen a “Maciel” among the authors. Josh was not certain that it was Marcial Maciel since he had avoided looking at the book for confirmation so as to not be responsible for addressing the situation at the start of a long road trip.

On our way back we returned to the bookstore to make certain that our fears were unfounded. The store was still closed, so I went back a few days later. It turned out that it was not just any book by Maciel. There were two copies of Christ is My Life. From what I could tell it was intended to be more hagiography than biography.

I waited until I was the only customer in the store and approached the clerk. I asked her to bring the two books to the attention of the manager for removal. She informed me that she was the manager, and so I told her that the Vatican had clearly denounced Maciel as an evil man. She indicated that she would get rid of the books, but expressed surprise that I should find something wrong with a book published by Sophia.I pointed out that the book was published in 2003 when many still saw Maciel as a Saint, despite evidence to the contrary. I told her that I did not expect her to remove the books based on my request alone, but asked that she look into the matter for herself. She assured me that she would, and placed the books below the counter.

I went to adoration again but was upset enough about how hard it is to end the “good name” of an evil man that I knew I would need to read to focus on anything else. I turned to the adoration chapel bookshelves sparse contents and soon savored the irony of reading Saint Josemaria Escriva for respite from evil “conservatives.”

I have also stopped visiting a popular website funded by the Legionaries. The current atmosphere allows people to continue with their view of Maciel as morally ambiguous. “Yes, he did bad things, but that is because the devil always tempts those who do God’s work.” I am not concerned that my click-throughs will give them more than a penny or two in revenue, but it is important to me that I not contribute to an atmosphere of acting as if evil and manipulation through money are of minor importance and inconsequential in forming a group’s identity.

Talking to bookstore managers and not visiting certain websites are a few of the very small ways that I deal with Catholic scandal in my daily life.

What do you do when you encounter evil? If you’re Catholic, what suggestions do you have for me for helping to clean up our Church? If you’re not Catholic, what do you do when you find evil in your church or other organization in which you are deeply involved?

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