[quote=Joe Kelley]In the 60’s, I had the pleasure of attending the consecration of an Eastern rite Bishop by Cardinal Cushing as the Cardinal’s guest. Regret that I don’t remember the Bishop’s name. It was a most impressive ceremony. I received Communion “Eastern” fashion for the first time under the eye of a TV camera.
It can have been only one of two occasions, I believe.
On 28 April 1962, Right Reverend Archimandrite John Bassoul, BSO, of blessed memory, then-pastor of Our Lady of the Annunciation in Boston’s South End, was ordained to the Melkite episcopacy at the (Latin) Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston. Archbishop John was consecrated to serve the Melkite Archeparchy of Homs (Syria).
On 29 May 1966, Right Reverend Archimandrite Justin Najmy, BAO, also of blessed memory, then-pastor of Saint Basil the Great in Central Falls, RI, was ordained to be first bishop of the newly-created Apostolic Exarchate for the Melkites in the US. His episcopal ordination was also served at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. A week later, he was enthroned at the newly-constructed Our Lady of the Annunciation (Melkite) Cathedral in Roslindale.
Cardinal Cushing, of thrice-blessed memory, wasn’t the principal consecrator on either occasion, but presided at both, as was his right as the ordinary to whom Melkites in Boston were subject prior to Bishop Justin’s installation. Both times, the Cardinal vested in full Byzantine pontifical regalia.
To the best of my knowledge, these two occasions were the only times during his tenure on which Eastern Catholic hierarchs were consecrated in Boston. The only similar event that I remember would have been the enthronement of our beloved Archbishop Joseph (Tawil), of blessed memory, as successor to Bishop Justin in the position of Apostolic Exarch. That, however, occurred in 1970 and I seem to recollect that the Cardinal, who reposed shortly thereafter, was not well enough to attend, to his dismay.
He was very good to Eastern Catholics, in an era when Latin hierarchs didn’t pay us a lot of attention. He was instrumental in procuring the prime real estate parcels on which both our Basilian Salvatorian Seminary in Methuen and our Cathedral in Roslindale are situated and donated significant sums, from his personal funds, toward the purchases and construction of both. A large mosaic iconic portrait of the Cardinal hangs in a place of prominence in the vestibule of our Cathedral, above a plaque that, rightfully describes him as “our beloved benefactor”.
Archbishop Joseph, in his first Pastoral Letter, at Christmas 1970, a few months after the Cardinal’s repose, said of him:
We cannot be grateful enough to those Roman Catholic bishops of this country who took the steps necessary to preserve our heritage while we had no hierarchy of our own on these shores. We think most of all of the late Cardinal Richard Cushing, of thrice-blessed memory, undoubtedly the greatest benefactor of our church in the United States. Thanks to his apostolic openness and love, he worked for the establishment of our Exarchate and generously endowed it with his psychological and financial support once it had been erected. For this reason we have directed that a solemn Liturgy be celebrated annually in our cathedral to perpetuate his memory.