Hello and welcome!
Thursday, I had dinner with Father Antonio Nardoianni from St. Leonard’s Parish in the North End, who announced in December that he would be leaving St. Leonard’s and will move on to minister in Canada.
In his 15 years as pastor, he did extraordinary work at St. Leonard’s — renovating the church, helping to bring new life to the parish and providing wonderful pastoral service to the people of the North End. We wish him all the best in his future ministry. He will be fondly remembered and sorely missed by many!
The Carmelite Chapel was the first mall chapel in the United States and was an initiative of Cardinal Richard Cushing, who is well known for having established several “workers chapels” around the Boston area. This was a very important initiative to bring the sacraments close to the people where they live and work.
Besides the chapel in the Northshore Mall, he established chapels in the Prudential Center Mall in Boston and the Westgate Mall in Brockton. In addition to that, there are, of course, the Seaport Chapel in South Boston and Our Lady of the Airways Chapel in Logan Airport, which was also the first of its kind.
We are very grateful for the Carmelite Friars’ long ministry at the Northshore Mall, and now a new group of Carmelites from India is continuing the wonderful ministry that Father Herb and the American Carmelites carried on for so many years.
The chapel is a great spiritual oasis. So many people go there for Mass, confession or just to spend time in front of the Blessed Sacrament. We are very grateful to Father Jilson George and the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate who are now staffing the Chapel.
The Carmelites of Mary Immaculate belong to the Syro-Malabar Rite, which, after the Ukrainian Catholic Rite, is the largest Eastern Rite in the Catholic Church and traces its roots back to St. Thomas the Apostle. In fact, when the Portuguese explorers arrived in India, they were very surprised to find that there were already Catholics there, thanks to those who had passed on the faith for many centuries.
Their presence at the chapel is a reminder of the catholicity of the Church and that the Latin Rite is not the only rite of the Church.
It was a lovely dinner attended by many priests. As he does every year, Father Paul Rouse provided wonderful music for the evening and led us all in singing Christmas carols.
With Father Amlesom and Olga, one of the leaders of the local Ge’ez community whose brother happens to be the provincial of the Capuchins in Ethiopia
They have a very interesting liturgy. When they distribute Communion, three people follow the priest — one holding an umbrella, another with a candle and another with a bell. (We would need a lot of extraordinary ministers to do that in our Latin Rite Masses!)
The staffs in their hands represent the staffs of the shepherds of Bethlehem.
Sunday, I went to St. Joseph Church in Somerville, for the 150th anniversary of the St. Joseph’s community. The Mass was originally scheduled to be held in October but, unfortunately, I was unable to attend because of the Synod on the Amazon.
St. Joseph Church, along with St. Ann’s and St. Catherine’s, is now part of the recently formed St. Louis and Zelie Martin Parish.
Of course, the pastor Father Brian McHugh and leaders of the parish were there with us for the celebration. The Haitian community was also there in very large numbers, so the celebration was bilingual.
Afterwards, there was a very lovely reception for the parishioners.
Candidacy is one of the steps leading up to ordination and replaces what was formerly tonsure, the shaving of a man’s hair by the bishop and marking his entrance into the clerical state. Today, the Rite of Candidacy is a public declaration by the men that they are going to continue preparing themselves spiritually, academically, and humanly for ordination.
There was great excitement, and it was just a fabulous time!
Until next week,