Summary of today’s show: Our Thursday panel of Scot Landry, Susan Abbott, and Gregory Tracy discussed the news headlines of the week, including the pilgrimage by Cardinal Seán and 29 Boston priests to the Holy Land; a burst in vocations from MIT; final appointment of pastors for Phase 1 parishes in the Disciples in Mission pastoral plan; Congress for Catechesis and Evangelization for Hispanic Catholics; unique hot dog street ministry by St. Clement’s Shrine on Red Sox opening day; opening of a time capsule from the former St. Joseph church in Salem; and a judge’s decision to allow abortifacient pills for any girl without prescription.
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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: Holy Land pilgrimage; Vocations at MIT; Final Phase 1 Pastors; Hot dog ministry; Time capsule; Abortion pills
1st segment: Scot Landry welcomed Susan Abbott to the show and he said things are getting back to normal after the conclave and Easter, but Susan said she’s still very busy with so much still going on, including the Co-Workers in the Vineyard gathering for pastoral associates tomorrow at Our Lady Help of Christians Parish in Newton. Susan talked about the various speakers and the title which comes from a USCCB document about the role of the lay ecclesial ministers in the life of the Church.
Scot welcomed Gregory Tracy and noted that the Pilot is working shorthanded this week with editor Antonio Enrique traveling in the Holy Land this week. Greg said while he doesn’t have someone to bounce ideas of off, that makes things go faster because you don’t have anyone to consult with. He also said that he’s been experimenting with multimedia journalism for the Pilot like many of the other newspapers are doing with video to accompany printed stories.
Speaking of the Holy Land, George Martell is there with Cardinal Seán taking photos and video and reporting back. Scot has a couple of favorite photos from today, including Fr. Mark O’Connell and Fr. Stephen Zukas riding camels and a photo of a George with Cardinal Seán wearing a headwrap.
- BostonCatholic videos on YouTube.com
- Read the blogs from the pilgrims at The Good Catholic Life website
2nd segment: Scot said in the Pilot this week is a story about the growth in vocations coming from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, some of them for Boston and others for their home dioceses. Greg said they were able to do many more local stories this week now that the conclave and Easter are in the past. He said the campus chaplain, Fr. Richard Clancy, said in the story that the type of student who attends MIT tends to be intense and the more they study something the closer to it they get. A photo with the story shows Deacon Joseph Laracy who is now studying in Rome and is preparing for ordination next month.
Christopher Bae is a native of Korea who graduated from MIT and is now at St. John’s Seminary. Susan said she touched by his insight that his studies led him to ask what it is that he lives for.
“It was a question of what do I ultimately live for? Do I live for money? Do I live for honor? Do I live for some kind of material success? Because that would determine how I chose my next step,” he said.
Scot said Fr. Kwang Lee is parochial vicar at Sacred Heart in Weymouth and graduated from MIT. He said had he known he was becoming a priest he would have studied boiler repair, which would have been more applicable than his degree in naval engineering. Greg said having men coming from such varied backgrounds is helpful because it shows that they are like everyone else and that many of them started out wanting to do something and then they discerned God’s plan for their lives.
Also in local news, there was a Congress for Catechesis and Evangelization for Hispanic Catholics in the Archdiocese. Susan said they have a catechetical congress each year and they usually have it at least bilingual. This year, they decided rather than having the people come to Congress, the office went out to regional gatherings for English-speaking people, but for the Spanish-speaking community, they held an archdiocesan-wide event for 350 people. Susan said the joy cold not be contained in the room.
For the official news this week, Cardinal Seán appointed the final three pastors in the Phase 1 parishes under the Disciples in Mission plan. Fr. Joseph M. Rossi will lead Immaculate Conception and St. Jerome Parishes in Weymouth, Fr. John Sassani will become Pastor of Sacred Heart in Newton and remain Pastor of Our Lady Help of Christians, and Fr. Brian Clary will remain Pastor of St. Mary of the Assumption in Brookline. Scot asked for prayer for the priests who are still living in those parishes and awaiting their next assignment, and the members of those parishes. The panel discussed how parishes and priests are dealing with the changes, where priests who have been in parishes a little while stay, and longstanding pastors move.
Scot said a timely story came from St. Clement Eucharistic Shrine in the Back Bay, was to provide a hot dog and a drink to people who are walking by on their way to the Red Sox home opener at Fenway Park on Monday. Greg said it’s a great story about the seminarians coming up with the idea last year on seeing the crowds. Many people stopped to have a hot dog and chat and even get a tour of the shrine. By giving out something to eat rather than just a flyer, people are more likely to engage and they got a sense that many people didn’t know anything about this building they walked by each day.
Greg had mentioned that Pope Francis when he was archbishop in Buenos Aires encouraged his pastors to go out from the churches to where the people are and engage them in the streets and he thinks this will become more common. Susan said the Church has a long tradition of feeding people, right back to the multiplication of loves and fishes.
In Salem, a time capsule was opened at the former St. Joseph’s church that was demolished. It was given to St. James Parish in Salem. Fr. Lawrence Rondeau, the last pastor at St. Joseph’s opened it. The capsule was put in place in 1949 when the church was built. There wasn’t anything deeply profound but there were newspapers from the day, including a French-language newspaper that served the French-Canadian population in Salem. The opening of the time capsule provides a bit of closure for those for whom the closing and demolition of the church was painful.
The panel discussed time capsules and how there should have been a time capsule when Central Ministries moved from Brighton to Braintree during the 200th anniversary year.
Also in the Pilot is a disturbing story about a federal judge requiring over-the-counter distribution of abortifacient drugs to girls of any age without prescription. Scot asked what kind of country do we live in where the kids have to get a doctor’s note to receive an aspirin in school, but they can get this?
Greg said the background is that previously it was only available without prescription for women over 18 and with prescription under. He said the larger concern, in addition to the abortion issue, is also that we’re also talking about sex by young women, at an age when it is technically illegal and so the question of coercion comes up. He added that it completely removes the right and authority of parents over their children. Scot and Susan agreed that it shows disrespect for the role of parents.
Scot said another disturbing aspect is that such a decision was made by one judge, not by legislators in open debate and accountable to voters. What can you do when one judge with certain opinions legislates from the bench?