Summary of today’s show: On our usual Thursday news show, Scot Landry, Susan Abbott, and Greg Tracy reviewed the headlines of the week, including Tuesday’s election, discussing their personal recollections of the day and results; Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s gracious letter to President Obama congratulating him and praying he will work for the common good; the other social issues voted on across the country; 2012 Cheverus award winners; the Adopt-a-Priest program; and the passing of a priest of almost 60 years service.
Listen to the show:
Watch the show via live video streaming or a recording later: BostonCatholicLive.com
Today’s host(s): Scot Landry and Susan Abbott
Today’s guest(s): Gregory Tracy, managing editor of the Pilot, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Boston
Links from today’s show:
- The Anchor
- The Pilot
- Some of the stories discussed on this show will be available on The Pilot’s and The Anchor’s websites on Friday morning. Please check those sites for the latest links.
Today’s topics: Question 2; Dolan on Election; Cheverus awards; Serra Boston
1st segment: Scot Landry welcomed everyone to the show and said we’re returning to our usual Thursday topic, the news that affects us, and that will include just a bit of election news. Susan Abbott said it’s been a long week. She said she debuted as a photographer for the Pilot this week with a photo of Sr. Ignacio holding a “No on Question 2” sign outside the polls on Tuesday at 7:45am standing with her walker. Sister was at the polls for hours on Tuesday in the freezing cold. Scot said he was amazed at the number of people he saw tweeting and Facebooking photos of themselves with their No on 2 signs. Gregory Tracy said he went with Cardinal Seán to the cardinal’s polling place, which is conveniently across the street from the cathedral rectory. After he voted, the cardinal greeted the people standing outside with signs. Greg said if he saw a sign on a ballot question it was for No on Question 2. He never saw a Yes on Question 2 and none on any of the others.
Scot said he is curious whether Cardinal Seán drew attention when he went to vote. Greg said there was a number of media there, but mainly because of the location in Boston, but while they noticed him they didn’t pay too much attention to him. Some regular people from the neighborhood came up to say hello, but no other ruckus.
Susan said she’d never held a political sign before, but because it was for a life or death issue, not a candidate, she’s still processing the sights and sounds and people. She told the story of encountering some of the voters and the positive reaction she got. Then she talked about talking to a young man who asked why he should vote No. Scot said his sense is that there were more than 10,000 people who were part of the team to stop assisted suicide in Massachusetts.
Greg talked about how the Pilot had to hedge its story about Question 2 because the final, final count was not in as of press time. Scot noted the quotes in the story, including that from Fr. Matt Williams:
“I praise God for the results of today. I thank God for the leadership of Cardinal Seán, who has been nothing less than heroic in leading the fight to defeat Question 2. Our pastors need to be commended for the work they have done on the front lines in mobilizing their people and helping to get the word out, and also our young people who we have seen that when they are presented with the truth about life and love, they respond. They become tremendous advocates for life. They become protagonists for the New Evangelization,” Father Williams said.
Scot said Fr. Matt has said in recent weeks that even though this is a difficult ballot campaign, the Catholic Church mobilized in Massachusetts for the first time in a massive way all for the same cause. Greg said pro-life, anti-abortion efforts is universally unifying in the Church, and this turned out to be another example. He said most people who were early supporters did so out of an ignorance of the reality. Susan said you could always tell when someone hadn’t read the bill. The educational effort was a vital part, as was the spiritual effort.
- “Cardinal congratulates Obama, urges he give priority to most vulnerable”, Catholic News Service, 11/07/12
The other big story on Tuesday was the re-election of President Obama and Cardinal Timothy Dolan wrote a letter to him congratulating him.
Dear President Obama,
In my capacity as President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, I write to express my congratulations on your re-election as President of the United States.The people of our country have again entrusted you with a great responsibility.The Catholic Bishops of the United States offer our prayers that God will give you strength and wisdom to meet the difficult challenges that face America.
In particular, we pray that you will exercise your office to pursue the common good, especially in care of the most vulnerable among us, including the unborn, the poor, and the immigrant.We will continue to stand in defense of life, marriage, and our first, most cherished liberty, religious freedom.We pray, too, that you will help restore a sense of civility to the public order, so our public conversations may be imbued with respect and charity toward everyone.
May God bless you and Vice President Biden as you prepare for your second term in service to our country and its citizens.
Timothy Cardinal Dolan
Archbishop of New York
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Greg said Cardinal Dolan isn’t going to blast the president in this kind of letter. The cardinal recognizes that we’re all Americans and patriotic. We just want our rights to religious freedom and to life to be respected and he expresses that for us. He’s asking for the president to find common ground to end the divisiveness. A broad exemption is an easy accommodation, so do they want to compromise or continue to divide? Scot said Dolan wrote that Obama can restore a sense of civility and then demonstrated that with his letter. Susan said the cardinal isn’t strident, but also doesn’t mince words. He sets the tone for further conversation. Susan said she’s encouraged that Obama in his speech referred to the need for God’s grace.
Scot talked about teaching his children to pray for the newly elected or re-elected even though he didn’t support them or vote for them. Even if we’re concerned about particular candidates, never underestimate the power of prayer to move someone’s heart.
Scot said the Pilot has an article on the various social issues voted on coast to coast. He said he knows assisted suicide in Massachusetts was tracked nationally as well as some marriage votes. But there were others as well, including an attempt to repeal the death penalty in California. Scot explained that generally speaking the bishops oppose death penalty as not necessary in this day and age. The votes on marriage allowed same-sex marriage by close votes. In Florida, one initiative would have banned public funding for abortion, to allow public funds to go to religious agencies, to amend the Affordable Care Act. A referendum for parental notification of a minor getting an abortion did pass in Montana. Puerto Rico had a nonbinding referendum to request to become the 51st state. Greg talked about having gone to Guam a year ago and saying that it might be nice to bring in two new states, Atlantic and Pacific.
The panel talked about regional loyalties, which is especially true of Texas, and his sense is that Puerto Rico would be the same. He thinks it would add to the health and character of the US.
2nd segment: Scot said on November 18 at 3pm at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Cardinal Seán will present 121 Cheverus Award medals to recognize people who have served our parishes over a number of years. Most are nominated by pastors, approved by regional bishops, and given to Cardinal Seán. The cardinal also selects a few personally. Scot said it’s like a lifetime achievement award, not just for someone who leads on thing.
The celebration is a week earlier this year, not on Feast of Christ the King, because the Cardinal will be in Rome on that Sunday for the Consistory of the College of Cardinals. Susan said she loves to see these awards and there’s always people she knows. She named the people from the list that she knows. Scot and Greg also discussed the people they know on the list. This is the complete list:
Mrs. Anna Abbruzzese, Cohasset
Mrs. Deborah Albano, Tewksbury
Deacon John Alexander, Merritt Island
Ms. Mary Beth Ammann, Somerville
Dr. Angelica Avcikurt, Chestnut Hill
Ms. Judith Bell, Dorchester
Mrs. Cecile Benotti, Weston
Sister Kathleen Bettencourt, OCarm/P, Peabody
Mrs. Donna Biggins, Sudbury
Mr. George & Mrs. Joan Bishop, Somerville
Mr. James Bocelli, Malden
Mr. Charles Braid, Revere
Sister Mary Braley, S.C.N., Newburyport
Deacon Robert Breen, Medford
Mrs. Madelyn Brown, Medford
Mr. Timothy Buckley, Waltham
Ms. Kathleen Callagy, Lawrence
Mr. Stephen Cavanaugh, Brockton
Mr. Peter & Mrs. Laura Chan, Stoneham
Mrs. Mary Frances Chisholm, Tyngsboro
Dr. Henry (Hang Rok) Cho, Canton
Sister Maureen Clark, CSJ, Watertown
Mr. John Collier, Braintree
Ms. Margaret Costa, Boston
Ms. Olga de los Santos, Lynn
Mr. Lawrence Destefano, Lexington
Mr. David & Mrs. Anne DeVoe, Salem
Ms. Shirley Di Iorio, Jamaica Plain
Mrs. Felicia DiFeo, East Boston
Mr. John DiMasi, Billerica
Ms. Patricia Dineen, Belmont
Ms. Marijane Dosdall, Wellesley
Ms. Joyce Durst, Mattapan
Mr. John Dwyer, Duxbury
Mr. John Ellis, Jr., Brighton
Mrs. Mary Fagan, South Boston
Ms. Anne Farmer, Danvers
Ms. Madeline Feldmann, Braintree
Ms. Herondina Ferreira, Watertown
Ms. Elizabeth Folloni, Bridgewater
Mrs. Iwona Gajczak, Quincy
Mr. Joseph Galluzzo, Andover
Mrs. Elaine Garcia, Marlborough
Ms. Kathleen Garon, North Andover
Ms. Ann Garvey, Natick
Mrs. Anna Gaudet, Newton
Mrs. Patricia Gavin, Norwood
Mr. Craig Gibson, Winchester
Mr. James Gregory, Stoneham
Mr. Meynardo Gutierrez, Medford
Mrs. Loretta Haley, Newburyport
Ms. Katherine Harless, Malden
Mr. John Harrington, Reading
Mrs. Lois Harrington, Stoneham
Mr. Michael Hatch, Sr., Avon
Mr. Walter Hunt, Boston
Mrs. Mary Hurley, Hingham
Mrs. Justine Hyppolite, Waltham
Miss Clare Joyce, Milton
Ms. Margaret Keefe, Lowell
Ms. Jean Kelley, Boston
Mr. Donald Kelly, Halifax
Mrs. Theresa Kiernan, Dorchester
Mr. Fred Klingmeyer, Wellesley
Deacon William Koffel, Framingham
Mrs. Paulette Lacoursiere, Hingham
Ms. Mary Laverdure, Groveland
Deacon Roland Leduc, Lowell
Mrs. Janice Leonard, North Reading
Ms. Eveline Lima, Marlboro
Brother James Lucas, O.M.I., Tewksbury
Dr. Aloysius Lugira, Woburn
Attorney Henry Luthin, Brighton
Mrs. Raye Mahoney, Peabody
Mr. Charles Mangine, Needham
Mrs. Carmella McCourt, Brockton
Mr. Gerard McGrath, Quincy
Mr. John McNeice, Canton
Mr. Charles J. Murphy, Sudbury
Ms. Joan Nelson, Boston
Mr. Peter Thong Nguyen, Saugus
Deacon John Nicholson, Marlborough
Ms. Bernadette Obas, Mattapan
Mr. William O’Halloran, Watham
Mr. Richard Paquette, Haverhill
Ms. Carol Parillo, Dedham
Mrs. Edith Pedro, Cambridge
Mr. Phong Pham, Lawrence
Dr. Wilfrid Pilette, Framingham
Ms. Judith Pinard, Ayer
Mrs. Angiolina Pizzicannella, East Boston
Ms. Janet Platt, West Newton
Mrs. Mary Plourde, Brockton
Ms. Jacqueline Proctor, Beverly
Ms. Charlotte Quealey, Lowell
Mrs. Maureen Rodino, Wellesley
Ms. Mary Romano, Boston
Mr. Mario Rosa, Cambridge
Mr. Francis Russell, Readville
Ms. Jan Sandberg, Lowell
Ms. Frances Shawcross, Winchester
Mr. Walter Shea, Kingston
Mrs. Josephine Silva, Somerville
Mr. Alvaro Soares, Nashua
Dr. Robert Sperber, Brookline
Mr. Ernest St. Laurent, Foxborough
Deacon Daniel Sullivan, Milton
Mrs. Barbara Suojanen, Medfield
Mrs. Janet Swenson, Braintree
Ms. Jennie Swenson, Hanover
Mr. Charles Tautkus, Abington
Mrs. Malida Thelusme, Brockton
Mrs. Susan Tocci, Townsend
Mrs. Donna Vaira, Ayer
Mr. Raoul Vincent, Newton
Mr. Thomas Walsh, Beverly
Sister Mary K. Walsh, CSJ, Milton
Sister Mary Jude Waters, OP, Watertown
Ms. Virginia Williams, Duxbury
Mr. Lee & Mrs. Eleanor Wright, Medford
Sister Peggy Youngclaus, SND, Boston
Scot pointed out in particular that John McNeice would be a unanimous inductee in any Hall of Fame for benefactors to the Catholic Church in Boston, along with Tom Flatley and Jack Shaughnessy. Everyone is invited to the liturgy and CatholicTV will be broadcasting this Mass live as well.
Also in the Pilot is the Dorchester-based St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children in the former St. Margaret’s hospital. They provide a number of programs for kids recovering from trauma, a radio broadcast program for young teen girls, a shelter for homeless families, a home for pregnant and parenting teens, a jobs program for women re-entering the workforce, and an education center for women earning their GED. Scot said there’s some moving testimonies in this story. Greg said he was stunned to find out about all these programs and the number of families they’re helping. He noted their history goes back to the late 1800s. It grew out of a ministry of the Daughters of Charity for abandoned children. Susan said there was lots of talk during the election about women’s issues, but this is really about women’s issues, training them to be self-sufficient and raising them up out of poverty.
Scot said the Serra Apostolate is offering it’s fourth annual Adopt-A-Priest apostolate. Volunteers are sent a sealed envelope with the name of a priest for people to pray for daily. For more information, go to their website or call 978-462-1057.
In other news, Fr. John P. Kelly passed away last week. He was 95 years old and ordained in 1945. He served in Boston, Cambridge, Braintree, and Somerville. At St. Joseph’s in Somerville he was part of the first team ministry in the Archdiocese. Greg said at the time it was a brand new idea. He served the parish for 35 years and more, living there after retirement.
Scot encouraged listeners to visit the Archdiocese of Boston’s Year of Faith website.