Category Archives: History

The Fate of St. Elizabeth’s Center

The following article is from Village 14 and has not been modified. It is reproduced under the Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike:

SaintEs

Upper Falls is getting a community center!
by Jerry Reilly

Fabulous news in Upper Falls tonight.

The historic St. Elizabeths Center building on Elliot St is a 19th century Greek Revival style house owned by the Mary Immaculate church on Elliot St. In recent years it has been vacant and its fallen into serious disrepair.

The property has been on the market recently and there’s been lots of worries in the neighborhood that it would get condo-ized, knocked down, or otherwise broken up or destroyed.

At tonight’s Upper Falls Area Council meeting, local resident Christopher Osborne turned up and announced his family’s plans for the building. He and his sister Karen have an agreement to purchase of the building from the Catholic Church. They’ve got a wonderful plan to set up a non-profit to run the property and use the first and second floor as a community center for Upper Falls. They’ve got plans for the top floor and the basement being used for some combination of residential or commercial rental to fund the center on an ongoing basis.

The Osborne family is very well known here in Upper Falls. Karen is a lifelong Upper Falls booster who funds and works on all sorts of neighborhood projects – most notably the annual summertime neighborhood cookout/concert in Hemlock Gorge. Local hero Christopher Osborne is one of the founders and the master chef of the annual Feast of the Falls. Like his sister, Christopher is another longtime pillar of the neighborhood.

They’ve got a long road ahead of them with all the various regulatory, zoning, etc challenges but the train has just left the station on this great neighborhood project and from what I heard, the neighborhood Area Council was thrilled at the news tonight.

Over the last year, our Newton Nomadic Theater has performed at the Waban Library Center, the Auburndale Community Library and the Hyde Center. Seeing each of these community centers in action made me totally envious of those neighborhoods. Each of those institutions function as the heart of their neighborhoods – with all sorts of groups and activities coming and going on a day to day basis. It’s something I sorely missed here in Upper Falls.

I’m thrilled to hear that we may have something comparable here in Upper Falls thanks to the Osborne family.

The Feast of Corpus Christi

Article reproduced from here.

To piously and joyously pay tribute to the Feast of Corpus Christi, the Latin Mass community celebrated a High Mass, which was followed by a Eucharistic Procession and Benediction. Members of the Schola Amicorum ended the day with the chanting of The Office of Sext at 2:00 p.m., The Office of None at 3:00 p.m., and The Office of Vespers at 4:00 p.m.

The pictures below are pictures taken during the Eucharistic Procession.

The Feast of Corpus Christi, Sunday, June 18, 2006, Holy Trinity
The Feast of Corpus Christi, Sunday, June 18, 2006, Holy Trinity, Boston
Father Charles Higgins processing from the church.

 

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Cross Bearer, Acoyltes and Master of Ceremonies processing from the church.

 

Cross Bearer, Acoyltes, and Holy Name Society Banner
Cross Bearer, Acoyltes, and Holy Name Society Banner

 

The canopy bearers shelter the Blessed Sacrament
The canopy bearers shelter the Blessed Sacrament

 

The Procession makes its way through the South End
The Procession makes its way through the South End

 

Cross Bearer, Acoyltes, and Holy Name Society Banner
Cross Bearer, Acoyltes, and Holy Name Society Banner

 

The Schola Amicorum
The Schola Amicorum

 

 Torch Bearers, Canopy Bearers Shelter the Blessed Sacrament

Torch Bearers, Canopy Bearers Shelter the Blessed Sacrament

 

Torch Bearers and Thurifer
Torch Bearers and Thurifer

 

 "Angels"
“Angels”

 

 More "Angels"
More “Angels”

 

"Angels" Processing Down Shawmut Avenue
“Angels” Processing Down Shawmut Avenue

 

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The Feast of Corpus Christi

Article reproduced from here.

Even before its universal promotion in 1314, Corpus Christi was one of the grandest feasts of the Roman rite. By request of Pope Urban IV, the hymns, Mass propers, and divine office were composed by St. Thomas Aquinas (d. 1274), whose teaching on the Real Presence was so profound that the figure of Jesus Christ once descended from a crucifix and declared to him, “Thou hast written well of me, Thomas.” The mastery with which Aquinas weaves together the scriptural, poetic, and theological texts of this feast amply corroborates this conclusion.

Though Maundy Thursday is in a sense the primary feast of the Blessed Sacrament, Corpus Christi allows the faithful to specially reflect on and give thanks for the Eucharist. Hence there arose a number of observances centered on Eucharistic adoration. The most conspicuous of these is the Corpus Christi procession, for which Holy Mother the Church grants a plenary indulgence to all those who take part in it.

This public profession of the Catholic teaching on the Real Presence in the Blessed Sacrament, which was solemnly encouraged by the Council of Trent, is traditionally accompanied by ornate pageantry. One of the most popular processional customs is having children dress as angels to represent the heavenly hosts who ever adore the Panis Angelicus. So too is having the various parish groups march together in a body. (Both of these customs are mentioned, significantly enough, in an eyewitness account of Holy Trinity German Church’s elaborate Corpus Christi procession of 1851 (A Way of Life, p. 49)).

Another part of the Roman tradition is the recitation of the Divine Office. Required for the clergy and encouraged for the laity, the “liturgical hours” are part of the Church’s way of sanctifying time. Of these hours, Solemn Vespers of Sundays and Feast days are a well-known feature of Catholic piety, so much so that in Europe the Sunday dinner was in some places called the “Vesper meal.” With its heart felt prayer and symbolic use of incense, Solemn Vespers offers the “evening sacrifice” of Psalm 140.2.

To piously and joyously pay tribute to the Feast of Corpus Christi, the Traditional Latin Mass community at Holy Trinity German Church celebrated a High Mass, which was followed by Benediction, a procession of the Blessed Sacrament through the streets of Boston’s South-end, the recitation of the Divine Office in Latin including None, Sext, and Vespers, and ended with Benediction. Pictures are below.

Feast of Corpus Christi, Holy Trinity Church, 2000 A. D.

Introibo
Introibo ad altare Dei

 

Epistle
The Epistle

 

Gospel
The Holy Gospel

 

Feast of Corpus Christi, Holy Trinity Church, 2000 A. D.
Hoc Est Enim Corpus Meum

 

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Eucharistic Procession

 

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Members of the Societas Sancti Nominis

 

Procession
Procession through the South-end of Boston

 

Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament
Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament

 

Fr. Higgins
Our Visiting Celebrant Rev. Father Charles J. Higgins of St. Theresa of Avila Parish West Roxbury, Massachusetts

 

St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church

The following article is extracted from The Makers of the Mold by Kenneth W. Newcomb. The section in question may be found here.

About 1843 or 1844 the first Catholic Mass celebrated in Newton was at Newton Upper Falls, conducted by Reverend Father Strain of Waltham.

Home of Edward Cahill where the first Mass in Newton was said in 1843

Others had come before him to attend the sick as well as render other services, but he appears to have been the first to hold religious services here. His chapel was a room in the mill house of Edward Cahill near the northwest corner of Chestnut and Elliot Streets. It was located on the property of Otis Pettee’s Elliot Mills, a fact verified by his granddaughter, the late Mrs. Grace Carey of Newtonville. Her father, James Cahill, was a prominent contractor and later one of the leaders in the church. Mrs. Carey leaves us with an amusing anecdote concerning her father:

“When he was sixteen years of age he worked as a water boy in the mills behind his home, carrying water from the well at the northerly end of the mill yard to the ‘bobbin’ girls in the factory. One hot and sultry day in August, 1862 he was drawing water from the well when he heard a fife playing the lilting tune of ‘The Girl I Left Behind Me.’ Rumbling down Chestnut Street was a horse-drawn dray with ‘old’ Flagg in the driver’s seat trying to sign up recruits for the Civil War. With out a moment’s hesitation Jimmie Cahill threw his bucket into the weeds and went off to war. He was to go through many battles unscathed, re-enlisting in January 1864 and finally being mustered out on June 29, 1865. His father had died in 1863 so when he came home he went to live with a tentmate of the war on the Needham side of Upper Falls.

The bodies of Edward Cahill and his wife, Margot, were moved from the cemetery at Piety Corners, Waltham to St. Mary’s Cemetery in Needham in April, 1877.”

Father Strain was succeeded by Father Patrick Flood who also held services in the same room as his predecessor. However, by 1860 the congregation had grown to about 300 and was meeting in Elliot Hall, the former Universalist Church on High Street. Prominent among the leaders of the congregation were James Cahill, Patrick Hurley, Michael Begley and Michael Daley. In 1867, with church funds amounting to about $7,000 and $3,000 raised by mortgage, a church, 40 X 76 feet in size, was built on an acre of land on Chestnut Street which had been purchased during the pastorate of Father Bernard Flood. It was the first Catholic church in Newton and was dedicated November 17, 1867.

 St. Mary's Church and Rectory, c. 1905, the first Roman Catholic Church in Newton, MA.

In 1875 a transept, 40 X 80 feet, having a gallery at each end was added to the church, increasing the seating capacity to 1,000. A basement was also extended under the whole church. The average attendance of the church at that time was about 750 and the parish, embracing Needham, Upper and Lower Falls and Newton Centre as far as Beacon Street included about 1,000 to 1,200 Catholics.

The Sanctuary of St. Mary's Church

During this time land was purchased on Hale Street for possible use as a site for a convent and school, a plan later abandoned and the land sold. Also acquired by the church was a pasture on Chestnut where a carriage shed and barn for a cow and horses was built. In 1872, about 30 acres of land, bounded by Wellesley Avenue, Cedar and Hunnewell Streets, and located in the towns of Needham and Wellesley were purchased to become what is now known as St. Mary’s Cemetery.

St. Mary's Cemetery

After the turn of the century the property on Chestnut Street was sold and the present site on Elliot Street, then occupied by the home of Dr. McOwen, was purchased. The house was moved further down Elliot Street and the corner stone of the new church, to be known as Mary Immaculate of Lourdes, was laid October 3, 1909. The cost of the building was $150,000.

Mary Immaculate of Lourdes

The new rectory beside the church was built about 1940, and the Dr. McOwen house adjacent to it was made into a parish center. Later it was remodeled and named the St. Elizabeth Center. St. Joseph’s Church in Needham, St. John’s the Evangelist in Wellesley Lower Falls, Sacred Heart in Newton Centre and St. Philip Neri Church in Waban all sprang from Mary Immaculate of Lourdes, and these newer parishes have greatly reduced the once wide scope of the mother church.

The contents of this article extract are Copyright 1997, 1998 Kenneth W. Newcomb and The Friends of Hemlock Gorge. All rights reserved.

First Communion Procession

May, 1967 A.D.—Parish May Procession with the First Holy Communion  children, Mary Immaculate of Lourdes.  This and  other photos may be viewed in the Newton Upper Falls photo gallery within City of Newton’s website.

Parish May Procession with the First Holy Communion children; May, 1967

May, 1967 A.D.—Parish May Procession with the First Holy Communion children, Mary Immaculate of Lourdes, passing in front of the St. Elizabeth Center.

Parish May Procession passing in front of the St. Elizabeth Center

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Mary Immaculate Fair in the parking lot behind St. Elizabeth’s Center; 1967 (exact date unkown)

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Visible on the left is the parish rectory and the back of the St. Elizabeth Center on the right.

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Mary Immaculate clock tower behind the trees.

All photos on this page are by A. Kalicki and originally posted here.

Splendid Romanesque Edifice

Mary Immaculate of Lourdes
Mary Immaculate of Lourdes’ Splendid Romanesque Edifice

“The city of Newton wellnigh doubled its population during the period 1907-1940, having by 1940 about seventy thousand inhabitants. In its oldest parish, St. Mary’s, Newton Upper Falls, Father Timothy J. Danahy replaced the old wooden church on Chestnut Street with the present splendid Romanesque edifice on Elliot Street, which was dedicated by Archbishop O’Connell on November 24, 1910.  The new Church of Mary Immaculate of Lourdes, as it was called, with its impressive exterior, its graceful campanile, and its unusually fine interior decorations, represented an immense achievement for a congregation of only fifteen hundred people.”

— Excerpted from The History of the Archdiocese of Boston, vol. III: 1866-1943, p. 698  © February 29, 1944