The photo to the right is an example of the custom of the “Barbara Branch.” On December 4th, St. Barbara’s Day, a cherry branch is taken into the house and placed in water in the expectation that it will bloom on Christmas Eve. My sister Anne took this cherry twig from a tree in our yard on St. Barbara’s Day. When she returned home from Mass at Mary Immaculate of Lourdes on Christmas Eve this bud had opened as you see it in the picture here. “And there shall come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse: and a flower shall rise up out of his root” (Isaias 11:1). 

This “rod” of Isaias’ prophecy is Jesus Christ Our Lord, whom we have expectantly awaited during Advent and who blossoms forth as a flower at Christmas, beautifully represented by the “Barbara Branch.”





















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).

Privacy Policy
Return Policy

Christian Life

"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)

Contact Us