Category Archives: Archdiocese of Boston

Updated Directives and Important Information

As you know, the Cardinal has temporarily suspended all daily and Sunday Masses and religious services in the Archdiocese of Boston until further notice. We will be able to open our churches in order that the Catholic faithful can have the opportunity to visit the church for times of prayer, and will let you know as soon as we have a schedule.  We are also working on ways we can engage in our faith, and with each other, during this difficult time. Please join our email list to receive important updates as well as information about faith opportunities and ways we can help those who are most vulnerable in our community. Join Our Email List

We ask that you please continue to support your parish during this troubling time.

Weekly donations may be mailed to the Parish (St. John the Evangelist Parish 39 Washington St. Wellesley, MA 02481)

Please consider switching to online giving, which supports your parish even when Mass attendance is disrupted. You can also use online giving to make a one-time donation.

Link to Online Giving at St. John

Other Events at the St. John-St. Paul Collaborative

In keeping with directives from the Archdiocese of Boston and the recommendations from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the St. John-St. Paul Collaborative is cancelling or postponing all gatherings and non-essential activities until further notice. 

This includes Religious Education classes and eventsYouth Ministry eventssmall groups, and other meetings.

We must also suspend the use of all Collaborative facilities by outside groups, in support of the guidance of the Commonwealth and the Town of Wellesley. This includes all facilities and buildings of St. Paul Parish, St. John the Evangelist Parish, and Saint John School.

We understand that these decisions and restrictions have a significant impact and far-reaching ramifications for our community, and understand the frustration and uncertainty that is created. Please know that the practices that are being put in place, while disappointing and disruptive, are being done for the common good. We all must do our part to slow down this epidemic.

May God bless our efforts; may Christ be our model of care for others and may Mary intercede for all the sick and suffering.  – Cardinal Seán

Please continue to keep all those affected by the coronavirus, their families, and our health care workers in your prayers.

Liturgical Directives from the Archdiocese of Boston Regarding COVID-19

The Archdiocese of Boston  Office of Worship, in consultation with local health authorities and the Archdiocesan Office of Risk Management, continues to encourage the clergy and faithful to observe necessary standard precautions to protect the health of others during this time. The best way to prevent the spread of contagious disease is to practice good hygiene, such as frequent handwashing (using hand sanitizers with 60% alcohol when soap and water are unavailable); protecting your coughs and sneezes with tissues disposed of immediately, or coughing into your elbow if tissues are not available; cleaning and disinfecting commonly used surfaces often; avoiding contact with people who are ill, if possible; and following other healthy practices of good diet, sleep and exercise.

In addition to practicing good hygiene, the Archbishop directs the following for the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy and for flu prevention:

  • The Holy Water fonts are to be drained and cleaned.
  • The distribution of the Precious Blood for the faithful is suspended, save for those who must receive from the cup due to severe cases of celiac disease. The faith of the Church teaches that Christ, whole and entire, is received even under only one species.
  • The exchange of the sign of peace is to be offered without any physical contact.

These directives will be in effect until determined otherwise by the Archbishop.

For further information, we suggest that you frequently consult these websites where up-to-the-minute authoritative information is readily available:

Center for Disease Control
MA Department of Public Health
Boston Children’s Hospital

2020 Catholic Appeal: “Let’s Live Our Faith Together”

This month, in every parish across the Archdiocese, Cardinal Seán calls on us to support the annual Catholic Appeal. The success of the Appeal is vital in funding the 51 central ministries that provide assistance to our parishes, schools, and communities in a variety of ways. This is our Church, and when you support the Appeal, you support us. Every gift, regardless of the size, is meaningful – please take a moment to watch the 2020 Catholic Appeal video to see how your gift can make an impact.  Thank you for your generosity and support of the 2020 Catholic Appeal.

January 25/26: An Important Message from Cardinal Seán

When the Church raises a prophetic cry, “Choose Life”, we are performing a great service to all society. Life is sacred. Life is a mystery. Life must be protected, nurtured, respected. The Gospel of Life is the center piece of the Church’s social teaching.

When the value of life is compromised or diminished, all life is at risk. When we give the State the power to determine which human beings are worthy of living and which should be eliminated, what we are doing is opening a Pandora’s Box that unleashes every kind of injustice and violation of human dignity and jeopardizes the very meaning of democratic coexistence. Rather than societies of people living together, we create a society where people are rejected, marginalized, uprooted and oppressed…

Full Text

August 5, 2019: Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley Statement Following El Paso and Dayton Shootings

“The mass murder of 31 innocent people in a 24 hour period, fueled by hate and disregard for human life, is unacceptable in any society. We offer our prayers and support for the communities of El Paso and Dayton in the midst of this time of immense pain…”

Click here to read the full statement…

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley Statement On Massachusetts Legislation Expanding Access to Abortion

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Our Commonwealth is facing an issue that holds significant moral implications for all citizens. At this time there are two bills (HB 3320 and SB 1209) proposed in the Massachusetts legislature which have extreme consequences for the protection of life. These bills have been described as a means of protecting the provisions of the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, but they go far beyond that decision and take us in dangerous directions. The bills are threatening to human life and dignity and should, in my judgement, be opposed even by those who support the Roe v. Wade decision.

The citizens of Massachusetts and their elected officials represent many faiths and also a secular position that does not embrace any particular religious tradition. I do not address the proposed legislation from a religious perspective but as an issue of human rights, in this case the right to life, as I also speak to other human rights issues such as welcoming immigrants to our country, supporting a strong social safety net for the poor and the call for racial justice. I do not seek to impose the Catholic Church’s teachings on a diverse society but wish to help build a society which protects human life from its inception to natural death.

The purpose of the proposed legislation is clear: in a time when state law may become a central focus in the larger debate about abortion, these bills seek to extend current Massachusetts law in unnecessary and unjustified ways. Specifically, the proposed legislation would produce the following consequences:

  • Allow abortion in Massachusetts during all nine months of pregnancy.
  • Eliminate any requirement that even late-term abortions be performed in hospitals.
  • Eliminate the requirement to make efforts to care for a child who survives an attempted abortion.
  • Eliminate any requirement that a pregnant minor (under 18) have any adult consent (parental or through the courts) before undergoing an abortion.

Collectively these changes have radical consequences for society. In the proposed legislation abortion is described as “any medical treatment intended to induce termination of a clinically diagnosable pregnancy except for the purpose of producing a live birth”. There are many clinical procedures which can satisfactorily be described in purely medical terms. Abortion is not one of them. While the procedure has significant clinical dimensions, there is also a human reality that deserves more adequate recognition at any stage of development. By depersonalizing the reality, the legislation dehumanizes the decision faced by women, their families and physicians.

Prior to and following the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision the Church has tried to provide care, compassion and assistance to women in crisis pregnancies. The Archdiocese of Boston today sponsors Pregnancy Help to provide spiritual and material assistance to women facing difficult choices about abortion. We also sponsor Project Rachel, a retreat program for women seeking counsel and healing after abortion.

We do not seek to judge or blame individuals, particularly women and families faced with excruciatingly difficult pregnancies. Our objective is to consider the implications of the proposed legislation, which among its provisions removes any limits to abortion in the third trimester of pregnancy. The legislation is being advocated on the basis of complex and emotionally wrenching medical cases, but the implications of these laws without limits can lead far beyond the hard cases.

The proposed legislation (HB 3320 and SB 1209) presents all citizens of the Commonwealth with a serious moral question concerning the protection of human life. Legislators, I hope, will not presume that broad support in Massachusetts for legal abortion automatically translates into willingness on the part of the public to embrace the extreme provisions of these bills. These realities deserve our serious consideration with the highest convictions of what is right and our full compassion. And the unborn children who will be most directly impacted by the proposals deserve to have their lives protected.

Lenten Letter from Cardinal Seán

This week, Cardinal Seán released a Lenten Letter to the Catholic community in the Archdiocese of Boston. The letter offers a reflection on the just completed Rome Summit to Protect Children and Minors, and includes an action the Archdiocese is implementing regarding reporting misconduct related to bishops.

Please click this link to read the Cardinal’s letter: Lenten Letter from Cardinal Seán

2019 Boston Catholic Appeal Video

Please click here to watch this video to see the impact of your gift to the 2019 Catholic Appeal.

Bishops Ask for Prayers on the Eve of the Summit in Rome

Click here to read an important letter from the Bishops of Massachusetts to the Catholics of the Commonwealth.

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley Statement on Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting

“Today, we stand in solidarity with our Jewish brothers and sisters who are experiencing the bitter pain of suffering and loss inflicted on them by a senseless shooting in their holy place of worship at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.

On this Sabbath day, a day that is sacred to the Jewish people, we embrace them in their anguish. I join my own prayers with many throughout the Archdiocese of Boston who offer consolation and support to the loved ones of those who have been killed and wounded, and we ask God to bring comfort in this hour of need. We are especially mindful of the first responders who bravely ran towards danger in order to defend others.

I have spent many joyful times with our Jewish friends in my more than forty years as a priest. Our two faiths – Catholic and Jewish – are committed to building a civilization of love to combat the hatred, violence and anti-Semitism in our world. Today’s tragedy will not defeat us in pursuing this commitment, it will not defeat people of good will and it will not defeat the Jewish people.

I have always valued and respected the Jewish concept of Tikkun Olam, Repairing the World. It is time for all of us to stand in unison with the Jewish people to repair our world, affirming our love of neighbor as ourselves and working to root out hatred across the world.”