National Catholic Reporter

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10 Years Ago Today

It is one of the more bothersome effects of old age that I can't remember to get what I need at the grocery store unless I make a list. Some days, I can't remember what I had for dinner the night before. But, I can remember exactly where I was ten years ago this morning. I was sitting in a pew in the Cathedral of the Holy Cross as then-Archbishop Sean O'Malley was installed as the Archbishop of Boston. It was a painful day for all concerned, given the circumstances. But, it was made less painful when O'Malley took to the pulpit and introduced himself to his new flock. Halfway through, the elderly women in the pew next to me were in tears. It was a powerful sermon. I had then every confidence that if there was anyone who could turn the situation in Boston around, it was +Sean. Ten years on, school enrollment is up, vocations are up, priests are no longer despondent, the lay faithful have found their voice within the Church, not outside it, inter-religious dialogue is on-going and productive. He remains a man of great humility, close to the poor, deeply rooted in prayer, and often hilarious despite all the travails. I have always counted myself blest to consider him a friend. The Church of Boston is blest to have him as their shepherd.  

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