REMEMBERING THE CONSECRATION OF THE "NEW" ST. MARY'S CHURCH: APRIL 30th, 1876
This year is the 150th Jubilee of our Parish which was founded in 1870 as St. Mary’s. Our parish church of Mary Immaculate of Lourdes is actually the third one for St. Mary’s. When it was consecrated on Thanksgiving Day, 1910, it received the new name of Mary Immaculate of Lourdes. (This is the reason for the discrepancy in the names of the parish church and the parish cemetery: the parish cemetery retained its original name of St. Mary’s.)
Our parish archivist Martha Phillips has discovered the newspaper account of the dedication of the second parish church of St. Mary’s after extensive renovations were made. This consecration took place on April 30th, 1876.
(Monday, May 1st, 1876, “Boston Globe”)
The enlargement and improvement of the Catholic Church at Newton Upper Falls having been completed, the edifice was re-dedicated Sunday morning. The work was begun in August last, and has been done under the supervision of the pastor Rev. Michael Dolan, at a cost estimated at $15,000. The addition is on the east end of the church building being about eighty feet in length and forty feet in width, thus shaping the form of the edifice like the letter T. The dimensions of the old portion of the building are about 115x40 feet. The building inside and out presents the appearance of a new edifice so thorough and substantial are the repairs and improvements upon it. Its seating capacity has been increased to about 1200, the galleries in the T extension accommodating about 100 each. The gallery in the rear of the audience room, where the organ is located, is to be occupied by the choir. The fronts of the galleries, the pews and in fact all the interior wood finish of the building is of ash the walls being sheaved to several feet. The chancel railing is of ash with handsome black walnut trimmings, and the altar, which is from the establishment of Joseph F. Paul & Co. of Boston, is in keeping with its surroundings. On one side is a statue representing the Blessed Virgin Mary and Child, and on the other one representing St. Joseph. On either side of the chancel is a small vestry or retiring room. The walls and ceiling of the audience room have been frescoed in bright tints, and the general effect is very fine. There are three entrances to the building—one in each end of the T extension and one in front of the building, all the doors opening into a small vestibule which has direct communication with the main apartment. All the windows in the new portion of the building are of ground glass excepting the one over the chancel, which is of stained of a handsome pattern. The basement now extends under the entire building, and is to be occupied by the Sunday School. The carpenter’s work was done by J. H. Sweeney of Cambridge, and the frescoing by Herbert Steffin of Boston. The dedicatory services, which commenced at 10 A.M. yesterday, were very numerously attended by the Catholics of Newton and vicinity, and were those prescribed by the church ritual. The Right Reverend Archbishop Williams of Boston conducted the services, and was assisted by the pastor, the Rev. Michael Dolan, and a large number of the Catholic clergy hereabouts. After the ceremony of blessing the walls inside and out, Stockton’s Mass was celebrated. The Rev. Hugh Mulligan of St. Charles College, Maryland, was master of ceremonies, the Rev. Bernard Flood of Waltham celebrant, the Rev. William Byrne of Charlestown deacon, and the Rev. Laurence J. Morris of Brookline sub-deacon.
The sermon was preached by the Right Reverend Bishop Healy of Portland. Miss Lizzie McDonough of Boston presided at the organ, and the choir, which has recently re-organized, sang under the direction of Miss Maggie Cahill. Among other clergymen who participated were the Rev. W. A. Blinkensop of South Boston, the Rev. P.J. Rogers of Brighton, the Rev. Father McManus of West Newton and the Rev. Father Farren of Stoneham. In the afternoon the rite of confirmation was administered to 155 persons.