Each year on Thanksgiving Day we celebrate the Anniversary of the Dedication of our parish church of Mary Immaculate of Lourdes. This year, the 106th Anniversary, has the happy co-incidence of corresponding exactly with the calendar date (November 24th) and the civic holiday (Thanksgiving Day) of the Dedication in 1910. On Thanksgiving Day this week I will offer two parish Masses. The first, at 7:30 AM, will be the Mass of Thanksgiving Day in the United States. The second, at 9:00 AM, will be the Mass on the Anniversary of a Church’s Dedication. On the day of the Dedication in 1910, the Post-Communion Prayer read as follows: We pray Thee, almighty God, that in this place which we, though unworthy, have dedicated unto Thy name, Thou wouldst incline the ears of Thy loving kindness unto all who call upon Thee. Through our Lord.

Each year on the Anniversary Mass of the Dedication this Post-Communion Prayer is read: O God, from living and chosen stones Thou preparest an eternal dwelling-place for Thy majesty; assist Thy suppliant people, that Thy Church, whilst  benefiting by material enlargement, may also expand by spiritual increase. Through our Lord.

  Note the clear theological thoughts of these prayers. The material building, however beautiful it may be, is not the primary blessing. In the Dedication  Post-Communion the primary blessing is that this place, especially dedicated to God, may be a place wherein people’s prayers will find favor and that the people may experience God’s loving kindness towards them. In the Anniversary Post-Communion, the primary blessing recalled is that human souls have grown closer to God and found their way to Heaven by means of this church building (from living and chosen stones Thou preparest an eternal dwelling-place for Thy majesty). The Church’s success is measured by the “spiritual increase” in the parishioners’ souls. Let us give heartfelt thanks to God for our parish church of Mary Immaculate of Lourdes on the Anniversary of its Dedication because it is the domus Dei (the House of God) and the porta caeli (the Gate of Heaven).

To read more about the 1910 Church Dedication, click here.

(Fr. Higggins)

About Our Parish

Mary Immaculate of Lourdes is Newton and Needham Massachusetts's oldest Roman Catholic Parish. Founded as Saint Mary's Parish in 1870 it was renamed "Mary Immaculate of Lourdes" when the new Church was dedicated on Thanksgiving Day, 1910. In addition to being a regular territorial parish of the Archdiocese of Boston it is also a "Mission Parish" since 2007 with a special apostolate for the Traditional Latin Mass (1962 Missal).

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"If you are willing to serenely bear the trial of being displeasing to yourself, then you will be for Jesus a pleasant place of shelter."
- St. Therese of Lisieux (+1897)

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