Members of the extended Boston Area recently came together to attend four separate liturgies in celebration of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist. From Rhode Island to New Hampshire, the locations were chosen to provide opportunities for members throughout the Boston Area to attend. After each celebration, a reception was held for members and guests.
We were honored to be joined by American Association President Dr. Peter Kelly, and his wife, Linda, at the first of the liturgies, which took place Saturday, June 19, at Saint Paul’s Church in Cranston, Rhode Island. Our celebrant and homilist was Fr. Frank Sevola, OFM, ChM, a veteran Chaplain with the Order. Fr. Frank provided thoughtful insights on being the light of Christ in the world as we continue to fulfill our calling to serve the sick and the poor. Local coordinators Tim and Collette Maynard did a wonderful job organizing this event. At the end of Mass, President Kelly led us in reciting the Daily Prayer of the Order and provided updates on a range of activities and events for the American Association.
On Wednesday, June 23, we were in New London, New Hampshire, with Mass taking place at Our Lady of Fatima Parish. Our celebrant was Fr. Michael Sartori and the local coordinators were Paul Young and Julie McCarthy Brown. Julie also served as the cantor at the Mass. Fr. Michael touched on how John’s birth was a miraculous one. He pointed out how Jesus comes to each of us in a quiet way and brings about a gradual conversion of heart. He also reminded us that we are all called to point others to Christ. Just prior to dismissal, Boston Area Co-Chair Craig Gibson provided updates from President Kelly on a range of activities and events for the American Association. A lovely and lively reception followed at the home of Julie and Ken Brown.
His Excellency, Bishop Robert McManus, ChC, led our celebration on Cape Cod at Our Lady of the Assumption Parish in Osterville, Massachusetts. The late morning Mass on Thursday, June 24 was followed by a reception and luncheon at the Wianno Club. The local coordinators were Mary Jane and Marcel Poyant. Bishop McManus reminded us that the Church, in the course of the liturgical year, celebrates the birth of only three people: Jesus Christ, Mary the Mother of God, and John the Baptist. Bishop McManus talked about how the powerful and prophetic words, “he must increase; I must decrease,” of St. John the Baptist, should echo in our hearts every day. This message from St. John the Baptist is fundamental to our spirituality for the glory of God and salvation of souls. Finally, he urged all of us to become Ambassadors of the Holy Eucharist! After lunch, Craig and Nancy Gibson provided updates on a range of activities and events for the American Association. Msgr. James Moroney, ChM, presented a short talk and shared insights in lessons learned from the pandemic.
The evening of Thursday, June 24, found us at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston. Our celebrant and homilist was the Very Rev. Msgr. Kevin J. O’Leary. On this solemnity of the birth of John the Baptist, Msgr. O’Leary encouraged each of us to give thanks for the gift – not only of Jesus Christ – but for others, like St. John the Baptist, to whom the prophecy of Christ was given. For by their witness, and by their participation in God’s saving plan, we have been shown the way to Christ. As John always directed others’ gaze of him away from himself and toward Jesus, Msgr. O’Leary suggested that our own lives and witness might point the way to Christ for others! A lively reception followed in the conference room at the Cathedral. After attendees were settled in at the reception, American Association Chancellor Ed Delaney added words of welcome and introduced one of the guests, Justin Harkewicz, who serves as the Hospitaller for the Hong Kong Association. Ed also provided an update on a range of Order of Malta activities and upcoming events including important mention of notes shared previously by President Kelly.
“Our thanks go out to all the celebrants, local coordinators, members and guests for making these celebrations such joyous occasions,” said Boston Area Co-Chairs Craig and Nancy Gibson.