In the aftermath of a quick moving storm with heavy rains and unusually high winds, members and friends from the extended Boston Area made their way to the Pastoral Center at the Archdiocese of Boston for the Annual Mass and Fall Dinner. Most Rev. Arthur L. Kennedy, Ph.D. served as principal celebrant and homilist. The concelebrants included Fr. Jack Ahern and Fr. Paul Soper. Bishop Kennedy spoke about St. Ignatius of Antioch and his travels from Smyrna to Rome. In reflecting on the readings, he encouraged us to always strive to be faithful witnesses to Christ. Fr. Jack Ahern was recognized as a new Deputy Chaplain for the Order.
The Right Rev. Jack Ahern with Nancy Gibson and Jim Brett
After Mass, we all moved up to the second floor for the reception prior to dinner. Fr. Jack Ahern was congratulated by many of our members. Fr. Ahern has joined us for many liturgies and gatherings over the past three years. He currently serves as Pastor at St. Gregory Parish in Dorchester, MA after many prior parish assignments in the City of Boston. Cardinal O’Malley noted in his recommendation, that Fr. Ahern, as an inner-city Pastor, has been very active in curbing violence and caring for the safety of young people. He has also been a consistent advocate for the poor and marginalized. We are delighted that he has been approved by the American Association Board of Councillors, and by our Principal Chaplain, His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan. Congrats to Fr. Jack Ahern!
Jack MacKinnon, Stacey Reisman, Peter Kelly
Nancy Gibson, John Corcoran, Bishop Kennedy, Bob Conway
Joe Hagan, Pat Hagan, Fr. Paul Soper
Emery Maddocks, Jim Littleton, Charley Holden; seated Joan Maddocks, Cathy Holden
We were seated for dinner right on time. The serving team provided a tasty meal with a fresh mixed green salad, options for salmon or chicken piccata with a mix of rice and vegetables, and fruit tarts for dessert along with cookies, coffee and tea. The formal dining room was set up perfectly to accommodate our gathering.
After dinner, Bob Conway was presented with his fifth year anniversary pin by Nancy Gibson and Peter Kelly in recognition of his five years since investiture. Bob has spent time serving at Cor Unum in Lawrence, MA and was surprised that five years had already gone by!
Peter Kelly and Bob Conway
Our speaker was Fr. Paul Soper, who works at the Archdiocese of Boston. He serves Cardinal O’Malley as the as the Cabinet Secretary for Evangelization and Discipleship and the Director of the Office of Pastoral Planning. Fr. Soper provided a significant overview for the upcoming “Year of the Eucharist” taking place in the Archdiocese of Boston. He invited each one of us to think more deeply about the centrality of the Eucharist in our own lives, and the many ways we might bring others closer to the Eucharist. The Boston Area will be forming a new ad hoc “Year of the Eucharist” committee to promote Eucharistic Adoration and other activities among members and friends.
Fr. Paul Sharing his moving remarks
We’re all more aware than ever before about the lower Church attendance numbers, and, more importantly, about the remarkable statistics that demonstrate the shrinking number of Catholics that believe the Eucharist is really the real presence of our Lord. Among the priorities of the “Year of the Eucharist” will be a significant effort to promote the reality of Christ’s Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity truly present in the Eucharist. Fr. Soper invited each of us to consider ways of deepening our knowledge, understanding, and love of the Eucharist, and then to share that with family, friends, and neighbors.