The Peace of Christ

(Pastor’s Note from the Mary Immaculate of Lourdes Bulletin for December 6, 2009)

One of the Messianic titles of Our Lord is “Prince of Peace”.  Wherever Christ’s spirit reigns there is an atmosphere of true peace.  This should be especially true of an individual Christian’s own inner state.  No matter what his circumstances he finds himself with peace of heart.

Unfortunately, as we know, this is often not the case.  A person can have faith and be staying out of mortal sin, and still be experiencing anxiety, sadness, and various other morbid preoccupations.  Partly this is due to the weakness of our human nature.  In other part it is aggravated by the inhumanly fast-paced, technology-driven life we lead.

In the “Providence of books” there is one book, in particular, I can highly recommend to people who are seeking to learn how to recover or maintain their peace of heart under adverse conditions.  This book was written by a Spanish Jesuit priest, Fr. Narciso Irala, in 1944. Its title in English translation is: Achieving Peace of Heart.  It has been recently reprinted by Roman Catholic Books in a hardcover edition and it is also readily available on the used books market.

Fr. Irala himself had experienced a nervous breakdown in his youth and was helped back to mental health by the Jesuit psychologist Fr. Laburu.  Not only did he personally benefit from Fr. Laburu’s skill and insight, but he also developed a deep interest in how to devise methods for dealing with human problems.  Later on in his life, he spent ten years as a Catholic missionary priest in China and gained an extensive knowledge of Oriental psychology.

One of his key insights is that so much of our mental stress problems come from an imbalance between our subjective inner world and the objective world of reality.  The practice of simple, straightforward methods to direct our thoughts to concrete outer reality (for example, focusing the mind on what our senses are perceiving in our immediate environment) has a marvelous effect of relieving us of obsessive thoughts and that tearing-ourselves-apart-inside. He writes:

Although intellectual error brings many to the precipice of evil and disgrace, wanton feelings and emotions are responsible for many more physical tragedies.

To my knowledge this is the best and most generally suitable self-help book that is out there for people who are striving to realize that peace which Christ promises in their personal emotional lives.

Your thoughts are the limit of your activities.  No one takes a single step further than his convictions.  If you imagine to yourself that you cannot do this or that, you will never do it.  “Posse quia posse videntur,” the old Romans used to say.  “They can because they think they can.”  Aside from the times when you need the ministrations or advice of a professional physician, your six best doctors are sun, water, air, exercise, diet and joy.  They are always there waiting for you. They cure your ills and do not cost you a cent.

Sacred Heart
Meditations
(link added by webmaster)

Fr. Higgins
(Fr. Higgins)

Advent Customs: St. Nicholas Day

ADVENT CUSTOMS:  ST. NICHOLAS DAY

The von Trapp children
In 1926, Maria Kutschera, a postulant at Nonnberg Abbey in Salzburg, Austria was sent to the home of a retired navy Captain Von Trapp, a widower with seven children—pictured here in the photo—to teach one of his daughters Maria, who was recuperating from an illness. Here Maria describes her first Advent at the Villa Trapp.

Saint Nikolaus was a saintly bishop of the fourth century, and being always very kind and helpful to children and young people, God granted every year that on his feastday he might come down to the children.  He comes dressed in bishop’s vestments, with a mitre on his head and his bishop’s staff in his hand…The excitement was great on [December] the fifth.

Soon after dark we assembled in the hall, looking out through the large window into the driveway…Suddenly one could see the little flicker of candlelight through the bare bushes. A tall figure bearing a lantern and high staff turned into our driveway, followed by a little black fellow [the “Krampus”].

The heavy double-door opened wide, and in came the Holy Bishop, reverently greeted by young and old.  The white beard which cascaded down below his waist showed his old age.  Nobody could see that half an hour before, it had been plastered on Hans’s face with the help of the white of a raw egg…After he had sat down, he gave the Captain his lantern to hold, and then he produced from under his white cloak a large package with a big golden Cross…In this magic book were written down all the many crimes, big and little, which had been committed by the children of this house.  It was quite incredible how well-informed Saint Nikolaus was…

Saint Nikolaus shook his finger and frowned at the sinners as they were called to his feet.  They all felt very uncomfortable, and promised fervently to reform.  The Holy Bishop rose and waved his hand towards the door; a big sack was pushed in, which Saint Nikolaus opened.  There was a bag with fruit and candies for everybody…

(Maria Augusta Trapp: The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, A.D. 1949.  Reproduced from the Mary Immaculate of Lourdes Bulletin for June 12, 2009)

N.B.  The von Trapp family sang at Holy Trinity, the former home of the Boston area Latin Mass Community.

In The Lord’s Service

(Pastor’s Note from the Mary Immaculate of Lourdes Bulletin for June 1, 2008)

“Carthusian Monks in Meditation”, Etienne Jeaurat, 1699-1789
“Carthusian Monks in Meditation”, Etienne Jeaurat, 1699-1789

We are very pleased to be able to welcome our Cardinal Archbishop Sean O’Malley to our parish of Mary Immaculate of Lourdes this coming Wednesday, June 4th.  The occasion is the celebration of a Mass of Consecration for a man who wishes to take perpetual vows as a religious hermit for the Archdiocese of Boston.  That man is Brother Benedict Joseph Connelly.

Brother Benedict Joseph (his religious name, in honor of St. Benedict Joseph Labré) has been accepted to take on a special vocation of solitary prayer for the good of the whole Church, while continuing to support himself by working “in the world”. One of Brother’s jobs is to help with the cleaning and maintenance of our church properties, particularly the church building. In his private life, Brother Benedict Joseph will live a Rule, which has been approved by Cardinal Sean, in the spirit of the Carthusian religious order, founded by St. Bruno in the 12th century A.D., in addition to making promises to live the Evangelical Counsels of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience for the rest of his life.

It is a great blessing for the Church, and in particular now for our parish, to have people like brother Benedict Joseph dedicated to a hidden life of prayer and sacrifice.  We live in a world so hectic and fast-paced, and so unrealistically demanding of immediate results in things which cannot be achieved outside of patience.  In so many ways we bury the seed and dig it up the next day in exasperation to see if it’s growing!

The vocation of contemplative prayer in the Church helps to remind us that the good things of God are not to be had like a commodity.  They are rather to be won by patient prayer, and since very few Christians, relatively speaking, are able to dedicate themselves to prayer in this degree, we rely on the support being given us by the prayers of contemplative men and women.  As the superabundant treasury of merits of the saints in Heaven comes continually to our aid, so the superabundant graces of the prayers of contemplatives are also distributed by the Divine Will to where they are needed most in the Church and the world.

May Brother Benedict Joseph find the peace and joy of Christ as he lives out his vocation.  In turn we pledge him the support of our prayers for his perseverance on his chosen path.

We welcome also this weekend Father Robert Shaldone, SOLT, a priest of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Blessed Trinity, as our new assistant priest here at Mary Immaculate. Although Fr. Shaldone’s Community is based in Texas, his origins are close by in Needham, where he grew up.  For the past two years he has been working as a Catholic chaplain at Our Lady of Fatima Hospital in Providence, RI.  I am very grateful to Fr. Shaldone (and to his Religious Superiors for their permission) for coming here to help me with the sacramental and pastoral ministry of our parish.  I know that he will receive from you a warm-hearted welcome.

Fr. Higgins
(Fr. Higgins)

Mary Immaculate of Lourdes Bulletin for June 1, 2008

Ninth Sunday of the Year and the Third after Pentecost – This week’s bulletin for Mary Immaculate of Lourdes, Newton:

Mary Immaculate of Lourdes Bulletin for the week of June 1, 2008 Mary Immaculate of Lourdes Bulletin for the week of June 1, 2008

MaryImmaculate-2008-06-01.pdf

Pastor’s Note:  IN THE LORD’S SERVICE

Calendar of Masses; Photos from Procession and Crowning of Mary; Latin Mass Texts; Music Programs for this Sunday’s Masses; Latin Mass Community Announcements; Repair Work Update on the Bell Tower; Parish and General Announcements

Catechetical Corner: RELIGIOUS LIFE IN THE CHURCH

Please visit the Mary Immaculate of Lourdes website and
facebook page for more information.

Mary Immaculate bulletins are available at miol.net.nu.

Religious Life in the Church


(from “Evangelica Testificatio,” the Apostolic Exhortation on the Renewal of Religious Life, June 29th, A.D. 1971.  Reproduced from the Mary Immaculate of Lourdes Bulletin for June 1, 2008)

From the beginning, the tradition of the Church—is it perhaps necessary to recall it?— presents us with this privileged witness of a constant seeking for God, of an undivided love for Christ alone, and of an absolute dedication to the growth of His Kingdom.  Without this concrete sign there would be a danger that the charity which animates the entire Church would grow cold, that the salvific paradox of the Gospel would be blunted, and that the “salt” of faith would lose its savor in a world undergoing secularization.  From the first centuries, the Holy Spirit has stirred up, side by side with the heroic confession of the martyrs, the wonderful strength of disciples and virgins, of hermits and anchorites.

Religious life already existed in germ, and progressively it felt the growing need of developing and of taking on different forms of community or solitary life in order to respond to the pressing invitation of Christ:  “There is no-one who has left house, wife, brothers, parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God who will not be given repayment many times over in this present time, and in the world to come, eternal life” (Luke 18:29-30).

Who would venture to hold that such a calling today no longer has the same value and vigor?  That the world could do without these exceptional witnesses of the transcendence of the love of Christ?  Or that the world without damage to itself could allow these lights to go out?  They are lights which announce the Kingdom of God with a liberty which knows no obstacles and is daily lived by thousands of sons and daughters of the Church.

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

 

Angels-40001

Angels-50001

Angels-60001

Angels-70001

Angels-80001

Angels-90001

Angels-100001

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

 

Procession2
Eucharistic Procession

 

HNS_march
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

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