Archbishop O’Malley hospitalized

Archbishop O’Malley hospitalized

Boston’s Archbishop Sean O’Malley has been hospitalized with an ear infection. It doesn’t seem too serious and they expect him to be back in the office by Monday.

The hospitalization forced him to cancel an appearance in Lawence, a city with a high poverty level, to give $500,000 from the archdiocese to a new soup kitchen that will serve 197,000 meals per year. I’m astounded that the total amount needed for this ... soup kitchen seems an inadequate description… is $2 million. The pastor there has already raised $900,000, including donations from Conan O’Brien who is a high school buddy of Fr. Paul O’Brien (no relation). They will need another $400,000 to open next year.

Wow! Our parish’s food pantry, which is not a small operation by any means having won an award as best food pantry in Boston last year, didn’t spend even a small fraction of that in the past year, including uprooting from their closing parish and moving to ours and redecorating the space!

  • I heard on the radio that it will feed up to 750 people per day.  This comes out to about 267M.  The other stat I heard on the radio is that 3 of 4 kids in Lawrence go hungry.  I live about 8 miles from Lawrence, and believe me, the poverty level there is staggering, and the violence between the Dominican’s and the Cambodian’s is devastating.

    Does the IC Salem one which operates on a fraction of this money feed this many?

    Dom, you are coming off more “hardened” then ever.  I thought married life would have had a little “softening” effect on you.  Let’s give them a break.  They are doing a good thing, of their own initiative, and we are picking apart how much they are spending.  (there must be some Salem/Lawrence rivalry here that we don’t know about)

    And once again, the visitors to the site comment on the secondary point and miss the main one.  The main point here(while not presented first)is the food pantry and how much is being spent.  NOT the RCAB’s ear-infection.

    Bravo St. Patrick’s!!! Keep up the good work.

  • Joe, we always comment on the headline, not the article.  wink

    Kudos to St. Patrick’s for feeding a large number of people.  It appears that they are doing this without any money from the government!  Wow!

  • Joe,

    Don’t overthink what I wrote. I’m not “hardened.” I simply wondered at the size of the operation they’re running. Don’t mistake amazement for skepticism or disdain. Try to give me the benefit of the doubt.

  • Of course a food-service operation has expenses that a food pantry doesn’t.  A soup kitchen should be meeting the same health standards as a restaurant, and that requires trained full-time staff. 

  • I remember reading about the CFR in NY built a homeless shelter for men next door to their friary.  They wanted the place to be as homely and as nice as possible.  The shelter is better than the friary: better food, beds, decorations.

    In Boston, it is not unusual to spend 2 million dollars for a condo, apartment building, or a pent house.  I think we can spend $2 million for 197,000 meals or 750 people a day.

    I have known Archbishop O’Malley for many years and the first people on his mind from morning until bedtime are the poor.  He is a true Capuchine.

  • OK,

    I will say it then.  Father Ethan, they should not spend $2 Million.  They should not spend $2,000.  Soup kitchens never work.  They did not work in Ireland in 1845, they did not work in the Great Depression and they don’t work in the USA in 2005.  Building a pleasant $2 Million structure is a waste of time and money.


  • OK, Dom, you are not heartless.

    John Powers:  How old are you?  160 years?  You are the one suffering from “Hard Heartedness”.  They raised almost $1MILLION on their own, and the RCAB only forked over $0.5Million.

    So, JBP, what would you do with the money?  Say, the $900,000 raised on their own?

    Pray, do tell.

    See Dom, I am an equal opportunity attack dog!

    God Bless You, Father Ethan!

  • So Joe,

    Do you actually think Soup Kitchens work? 

    I understand that there are a lot of old Churches in the Boston Archdiocese that need maintenance.  How about some $ for the liturgy?


  • For the liturgy?  How do you put $ into the liturgy?

    New Chalices?  New Monstrances?

    Do you really think those bleeding hearts who give money to a “soup kitchen” would give money to the church if it wasn’t going to the poor.  Whether or not soup kitchens “work” is irrelavant.  People need to feel like they are doing something.

    Money for the “liturgy” comes from the Knights of Columbus and other organizations sworn to defend the faith.

    Soup kitchens work for you if you are starving and desparate.  They are not looking to raise people out of poverty…  They are looking to feed the hungry!

    Who said that anyway?  ” I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me”.

    I know I’ve heard it somewhere.  Wasn’t that the same Guy who had compassion on the crowd, and said: 
    “I am unwilling to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.”

    Oh yeah: I know now.  Someone named Jesus in Mat 25:35 and Mat 15:32.

  • Hi Joe,

    You are narrowly defining the liturgy.  The physical Church is a major component of the Catholic Liturgy.

    You logic is bewildering.  You state that people need to feel like they are doing something.  So why not make it clear, do something that actually works, and that is not building a $2 Milion soup kitchen.

    I think Jesus was in favor of actually feeding people, not making feel-good gestures.  Who feeds more people McDonalds or a Soup Kitchen?  Quaker Oats or a Soup Kitchen?  And most importantly feeding yourself is much more effective than going to a soup kitchen.

    As an emergency measure or being a gracious host, feeding the hungry is a great mission.  Building an long term structure billed as a Soup Kitchen seems to me to be designed to torment rather than feed the hungry.


  • So, we could go to McDonald’s and buy 2million small French Fry gift certificates, and drop them from a helicopter.  That would be a very effective way to feed alot of people!

    As to my logic, in the words, the words of Vasilli, in The Princess Bride:


  • Joe,

    Simple example.  In Chicago, WalMart is prohibitted from opening food stores by a variety of measures, including those supported by the Catholic Church.  We have a group of activist Priests that will protest any potential opening of a WalMart in the city limits.

    Wouldn’t the city be better off with lower priced food for consumers, rather than the rip-off convenience stores in poor neighborhoods?  I have noticed a 1:1 correlation between the Clergy protesting WalMart and promoting Soup Kitchens in Chicago.

    Not exactly sure about Boston, but I bet the correlation is similar.