Please be sure to visit the new Mary Immaculate of Lourdes Parish website at maryimmaculateoflourdes.org
Many thanks to all concerned for this beautiful new parish website!
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:
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.
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.
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.
About 1843 or 1844 the first Catholic Mass celebrated in Newton was at Newton Upper Falls, conducted by Reverend Father Strain of Waltham.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Parish May Procession with the First Holy Communion children; May, 1967
Parish May Procession passing in front of the St. Elizabeth Center
Mary Immaculate Fair in the parking lot behind St. Elizabeth’s Center; 1967 (exact date unkown)
Visible on the left is the parish rectory and the back of the St. Elizabeth Center on the right.
Mary Immaculate clock tower behind the trees.
All photos on this page are by A. Kalicki and originally posted here.
“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