Culture

Fri

28

Jun

2019

Kudzu Catholics: A Thriving Southern Diocese

by Adriana Watkins

 

In her novel Death Comes for the Archbishop, Willa Cather tells the story of a fictional 19th-century missionary sent to New Mexico—an expansive, under-served, and rather dangerous diocese. Despite the many obstacles to his work, Fr. Latour nourishes the impossible dream of one day building a cathedral. 

            

His companion exclaims, “Time brings many things to pass, certainly. I had no idea you were taking all this so much to heart.”

            

Fr. Latour laughs and replies, “Is a cathedral something to be taken lightly, after all?” 

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Wed

01

May

2019

Crucifixes of Boston College

by Ethan Starr

 

Rarely does a day pass for a Boston College student where he or she does not see a crucifix around campus—whether in one of the chapels, some of the dining halls, or most of the classrooms. The symbol of Christ’s suffering is largely ubiquitous around campus today, perhaps to a degree that they remain unnoticed by many students. However, as important symbols of the university’s Catholic identity, their substantial presence on campus is worth considering.

 

Conversation surrounding the campus crucifixes reached a peak a decade ago during the 2008-2009 school year, when, over winter break, crucifixes were placed in almost all classrooms in North and South Stokes Halls, as well as in some of the other buildings. The episode drew intense attention from both students and faculty upon the resumption of the school year, with several outspoken professors complaining of the measure’s “insensitivity.” Others complained about a lack of campus-wide notification preceding the installation of the crosses. These few disgruntled professors attracted widespread media attention, as their quotes appeared in the Boston Globe and Herald, in Catholic media outlets across the country, and in publications as distant as the St. Louis Dispatch.

 

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Wed

01

May

2019

Unplanned: One Woman’s Story

by Annemarie Arnold

 

Unplanned opened in select theaters around the US on March 29. The movie is based on the 2009 memoir by the same name by Abby Johnson. In her book, she tells of her experiences with Planned Parenthood, where she was a promising employee. In the opening scene, she watches the dilation and evacuation abortion of a 13-week-old child. She sees the baby in the ultrasound moving away from the tools, the woman squirms in pain, the doctor says, “Beam me up, Scottie,” and the fetal tissue whirls in a blender-like contraption. In her book, Johnson compares the baby to “a dishcloth, twirled and squeezed,” continuing, “The last thing I saw was the tiny, perfectly formed backbone sucked into the tube, and then it was gone.”

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Wed

01

May

2019

A Pilgrim’s Progress: The Mission Church

Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help
The Altar of Our Lady of Perpetual Help

by David O'Neill

 

 

Pilgrim's Progress is a new feature highlighting sites of interest for Catholics in the Boston area. 

 

A few weekends ago, I found myself near Fenway with no plans. After making an unsuccessful trip to a very busy Isabella Steward Gardener Museum, I opened up Google Maps in an attempt to discover something else nearby—and I noticed how close I was to Mission Hill. The neighborhood is named for the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help­­, also known as The Mission Church. Seeing that they had Saturday Confessions (which I needed) and a vigil Mass, I made it my mission to set out towards the basilica.

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Wed

27

Mar

2019

Pilgrim's Progress: St. Clement Eucharistic Shrine

by Quentin Bet

 

A gray stone building stands proudly on the corner of Boylston and Ipswich, its beautiful Gothic architecture capturing the eye of many passers-by. This structure is Saint Clement Eucharistic Shrine, one of Boston’s most breathtaking places of worship. The building, which was constructed in 1925 by the Second Universalist Society of Boston, has a striking exterior with tall narrow windows and graceful tracery. A sculpture of the Virgin Mary holding the baby Jesus is perched above the portal, welcoming all who enter the Roman Catholic shrine.

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Wed

27

Mar

2019

Praying with Boston College: Stations of the Cross

by Ethan Starr

 

Adorning the walls of nearly every Catholic church in America are 14 representations of Jesus along the Way of the Cross. Varying in their proportions and modes of depiction, hidden behind pilasters or above a person’s eye level, they are easily forgotten during much of the liturgical year. The Stations of the Cross were originally designed as a method of retracing the last moments of Jesus before and during His crucifixion—this was done in place of actually travelling along Jerusalem’s Via Dolorosa. Today, praying the Stations endures as a popular practice during Lent. Boston College is home to a few different sets of Ways of the Cross around campus, and the Lenten season provides opportunities to pray with them in community.

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Wed

27

Mar

2019

The Mystery of the Catholic Chapel Veil

by Olivia Colombo

 

It is easy to picture Our Lady or any religious sister wearing a veil on her head, but much less often do we picture laywomen of the Catholic Church veiling. The practice of Catholic veiling is one that has faded from our culture in many settings, but the tradition and mystery surrounding the veil is ever present in the witness of women who continue this practice. 

 

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Thu

28

Feb

2019

Pilgrim’s Progress: St. Francis Chapel

by Justin Schnebelen

 

Pilgrim's Progress is a new feature highlighting sites of interest for Catholics in the Boston Area.

 

Long before Pope Francis urged Catholics to engage and serve the “peripheries” of society, the late Richard Cardinal Cushing, Archbishop of Boston, took a very similar sentiment to heart. For one must travel to the heart of Boston to stumble upon the gloriously humble nook where the St. Francis Chapel is lodged. Flanked by Ben & Jerry’s and Dunkin’ Donuts, one could have trouble identifying the space as a likely home for the Church. But that’s exactly how it was intended to be: “the heart of Christ in the heart of Boston.” The church is immersed in the bustle of daily life, where convention attendees, lawyers, baristas, and priests share a common space.

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