In his ministry in service of Boston’s faithful, Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley, OFM Cap., echoes the ideals of St. Ignatius.
The Jesuit tradition of service to the Archdiocese of Boston dates back to 1825, when Jesuit Father Benedict Fenwick was appointed the second bishop of Boston. In 1827, he began planning for a college in Boston. His dream was realized in 1863 with the founding of Boston College. In 1843, he founded the College of the Holy Cross in the City of Worcester, then within the borders of his diocese. From these ambitious first steps, Jesuits joined the efforts of the priests of the diocese in parishes, hospitals, seminaries, and schools to fuel the fire of faith in generations of Boston’s Catholics.
In honoring Cardinal Seán O’Malley, we gratefully acknowledge his leadership not only in his important work as the current Archbishop of Boston, but also for his role in advising our brother Jesuit, Pope Francis, in his care for the universal Church. With deep respect and fraternal affection, we are honored to present him this year’s Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam Award at the 2015 Jesuit GALA.
He and the Holy Father are kindred spirits. Cardinal Seán has a deep concern for the poor, the neglected, those on the fringes, for life at the peripheries. He regularly celebrates Mass at local prisons, visits shelters for the homeless and he has even distributed Communion through a wall at the Mexican border.
Pope Francis chose to live not in the Vatican palace, but in a simpler style guest house. Like Pope Francis, Cardinal Seán does not live in the Italianate palazzo where all of Boston’s 20th-century cardinals have lived. Instead he moved to a simple suite in the inner city’s Cathedral Rectory. Preferring to be called Cardinal Seán, he wears the simple brown habit of a Capuchin Franciscan. When it is necessary to wear his more formal robes, he claims he is “disguised as a cardinal.”
Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley, OFM Cap., born on June 29, 1944, in Lakewood, Ohio, and was raised in Western Pennsylvania, where he entered a Franciscan seminary. At 21,he was professed into the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, and, at 26, he was ordained a priest. After earning a master’s degree in religious education and a PhD in Spanish and Portuguese literature from the Catholic University of America, he taught at the institution and founded the Hispanic Catholic Center in Washington, D.C., an organization which provided educational, medical and legal help to immigrants.
Since his ordination to the episcopacy on Aug. 2, 1984, Cardinal O’Malley has served as the bishop of the dioceses of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands; Fall River, Mass.; and Palm Beach, Fl. Pope John Paul II appointed him Archbishop of Boston in July 2003. Pope Benedict XVI named him a Cardinal in 2006.
For his motto, the Cardinal has chosen the phrase Quodcumque dixerit facite, which is taken from Saint John’s Gospel and comes from the Blessed Virgin’s statement at the wedding feast at Cana: “Do whatever He tells you.” Certainly Cardinal Seán has tried to live that motto... with much success!
Please join us as we honor Cardinal Seán with the Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam Award at the 2015 Jesuit GALA, Tuesday, April 7, 2015. Click here for more information and to register.