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12 Days in Boston, Special Commemorative Edition – Boston City Paper

DAY FIVE.  SUNDAY

“Sunday was the big, busy day,” said Higgins.  “Fr. Sean Connors was the new pastor of St. Ann’s Parish in Dorchester, another huge Irish community just outside of South Boston.  Fr. Connors was very accommodating, going over all the details before the 9:30 a.m. Mass with Tracey.  Again, the church was packed and the Pastor commented on how wonderful it was to see a packed house, when in reality attendance at Sunday Mass by Catholics is at a depressing low point in church history,” said Higgins.

Then, so quickly it seemed, the choir was off to nearby Milton, home of St. Agatha’s Parish and their beautiful suburban church.  I attended Mass at St. Ann’s and I have to say I was very jealous of this parish, as my parish Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, would experience no such joy.  If they come again to Boston, I’m going to make sure Blessed Mother Teresa is on the agenda.  After all, our music director Ms. McCourt is truly one of the world’s best.  In fact, Tracy Fitzgerald and her are almost one and the same.  Not only do they sing, play and direct, but they do other great things.  My daughter Denise got to sing with a Symphony Orchestra as part of the combined youth choir put together by Ms. McCourt.  Her brother by the way, a native Bostonian, is the owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers professional baseball team and her choir kids went all the way out there to California to sing the national anthem.

“It was standing room only at St. Agatha’s said Higgins.” Fr. Casey, the Pastor, said the Mass and the church was air-conditioned.  Boston was very hot place for their entire stay and that air conditioning was very, very welcomed,” he added.  Of course, hunger set in after the second Mass of the day and after the performance they retired to the downstairs hall for lunch.

The Deacon at the Mass was none other than Dan Sullivan, owner of the famous Sullivan’s concession stand at Castle Island in South Boston.

Then it was off to the North Shore of Boston and the Immaculate Conception Church of Everett, MA.  At one time in our history, Everett was half Italian and half Irish.  Fr.  Gerry Osterman, the Pastor greeted the visitors from Ireland for the 5:30 Mass.  “This was a different experience for Holy Trinity members,” said Higgins.  Again the church was full, but this time the Choir members got to experience the diversity of America in the presence of Haitians, Dominicans and other Hispanic people, as well as Irish and Italians.  Lots of Irish in fact.  “We were treated to a huge supper cooked by the parishioners and featuring the favorite foods of the various ethnic groups.  About twenty people cooked and served the meal and in appreciation, our Limerick representatives gathered around them and sang “The Wind In The Willow”, a song about Mary and Joseph which everyone seemed to enjoy – something more universal,” added Billy.

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