As he celebrated the Mass marking St. Agatha Church’s 100 years in East Milton, Cardinal Seán O’Malley encouraged parishioners to continue to be like a magnet, drawing others in by the way they love each other, forgive each other, and care for the poor, the sick, and the elderly.
“That’s what you’ve been doing for 100 years here. If we do that, 100 years from now, another group of people will be sitting in these pews praying for us, thankful to God for what we have done and still carrying on the beautiful mission,” he said.
The Cardinal said that he had pondered what it would have been like to be a Catholic here 100 years ago.
“I’m sure there were many challenges. I always say that being a Catholic in Massachusetts is a contact sport,” he said. “A hundred years ago, it was probably even more difficult.”
“So today in this Mass we want to lift up in prayer all those who went before us,” the Cardinal told the full crowd that included parishioners up to the age of 100.
Built as a mission church of St. Gregory Parish in Dorchester, St. Agatha’s was founded to meet the needs of a growing number of Catholics during a period in history when Boston’s population was also rapidly expanding outward into surrounding communities.
The stately church on Adams Street is mid-year in its centennial celebrations designed to help the parish look back on its history, look around at its community, look up to God, and look forward to the future.
Irish tenor Ronan Tynan is set to round out the times of enjoying each other’s company with a concert on Oct. 7.
“One hundred years is a pretty big deal. St. Agatha’s is the oldest Catholic parish in Milton,” said the Rev. William Palardy, a Milton native who is in his seventh year as pastor. “We have a lot going on here so it’s nice to be able to pause and reflect upon what the parish has been all about for these 100 years.”
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