Cardinal Sean O’Malley visited the Pine Street Inn Monday morning and offered a message of peace and love for all people this Christmas.
O’Malley arrived at the Harrison Avenue shelter at 11:30 a.m. and visited both the men’s and women’s sections of the building, said Boston Archdiocese spokesman Terry Donilon.
“He served dinner and offered his prayers for them at Christmas,” Donilon said.
The cardinal was set to celebrate Christmas Eve midnight Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, he said.
“He prays we welcome the newborn Savior with joy in our hearts,” Donilon said.
On Christmas morning, O’Malley plans to visit St. Francis House, a Boylston Street shelter, to offer a blessing.
He will then celebrate Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross at 11:30 a.m.
In the cardinal’s Christmas message, O’Malley recalled “a starry night on a hillside outside Bethlehem.”
“We can barely imagine how much less our lives would be if those who heard of Jesus’ birth that first Christmas night did not believe, or if they did not share the joyous news with their families, friends, and communities,” O’Malley said.
“The light of Christ shines through all darkness and guides us, it strengthens and sustains us in our most difficult moments, it assures us of the promise of eternal life,” he said.
O’Malley said people must work together, as brothers and sisters, to dispel the world’s darkness, oppression, persecution, and lack of respect for human dignity.
“By doing so we give the greatest and most enduring gift; the gift of life in Jesus Christ,” O’Malley said.
Melissa Werthmann can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.