125th Anniversary

 

Sacred Heart Roslindale Celebrates 125 Years


Our Sacred Heart Parish was established in 1893. That means we are 125 years old this year. This is a time to look back and remember the people who built Sacred Heart and the legacy this parish has created in our community. It is also a time to look forward and ask ourselves what we want our parish to be and do in the future and what we can do to help this future come to be.

Over the next year, there will be many occasions to celebrate Sacred Heart Parish, to strengthen our fellowship, to build our spirituality, and to contribute to the future of this faith community. We will have opportunities to strengthen our bonds with each other, to support our neighbors in Roslindale and beyond, and to enrich our faith. Watch the bulletin and the Sacred Heart website for announcements of events, projects, and services. And make plans to participate in our celebration!


The Hispanic Ministry . . .

Another demographic change that affected Roslindale also had an impact on Sacred Heart during the decade of the 80s. The Hispanic population of the neighborhood grew by 225% over the course of the decade. Father Vartzelis recognized the need to create a welcoming home for this new population at Sacred Heart, and began to work toward that end in the late 80s. On Christmas Day in 1989 the first Mass in Spanish was celebrated by Father Timothy Gallagher, an Oblate of Saint Mary, living on Brown Avenue.

And in 1990, Father Terrence Moran, newly ordained, fluent in Spanish, and newly assigned to Sacred Heart, was given the responsibility to organize the Hispanic community at Sacred Heart. He began by holding a meeting with some of the most active members of the community: Mrs. America Velasquez from Guatemala, Mr. Jesus Quiles, deacon at Blessed Sacrament in Jamaica Plain, Mr. Francisco Quiles, his brother, Mr. Alfredo Torrejon, then director of the Spanish language Cursillo program for the Archdiocese, and the Quiles and Torrejon families. This group, in consultation with the pastor and the representatives of the Archdiocese, studied the needs of the community and ways to address them.

The first response was to offer a Spanish language Sunday Mass. Music was organized, lectors, Eucharistic Ministers, and altar boys appointed and trained, flyers were posted around the neighborhood, and on October 11, 1990, Sacred Heart’s Hispanic Community celebrated their first regular weekly Mass. A small song sheet and bulletin were published each week, and a coffee hour in the Murray Room after Mass was established so that individuals could get to know each other.

Other activities soon followed. In addition to multiplying requests for marriages, baptisms, and religious education in their own language, the Hispanic community organized Posadas at Christmas, re=enacting Mary and Joseph’s search for lodging in Bethlehem beginning in 1990. They celebrated their first anniversary in 1991 with a fiesta at the school and their second anniversary with a procession of flags from all of the countries represented by the community. They joined neighboring parishes in the pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Holliston and hosted field days in Hopkinton. And on November 5, 1991, they organized the charismatic prayer group which has been meeting on Tuesday nights ever since.

As Father Moran said, “As it was for the Irish, as it was for the Italians, so Sacred Heart continues to be an open and welcoming community to God’s People regardless of their language, color or nationality. May Sacred Heart ever remain faithful to this mission she received from the Lord.”

*Based on The Centennial History of Sacred Heart Parish by Neil J. Savage.



  Click here to see prior posts

Prior Topics Include:

  • Before the Beginning

  • Two Lots, One Tent and Christmas

  • We receive a name, boundaries . . . and a Priest

  • Lawn Parties, Lectures, Fund-Raisers Galore 

  • The Ultimate Fund-Raiser--the Ox Roast

  • The Golf Tournament—Still Raising Funds

  • Father Cummins is a Popular Man

  • Father Cummins Moves In

  • Dedication and Dedications

  • The Church Finished

  • The Windows

  • Integrated into the Fabric of Boston

  • Out of Debt . . . What Next?

  • The Cardinal and the Pastor 

  • The End of the Road

  • Transitions: New Priest, New Sisters, New Property 

  • Father McGarry 

  • St. Theresa House

  • The Italian Society of Sacred Heart . . .

  • Sacred Heart at War. . .

  • A New Archbishop, A New Era, New Problems . . .

  • Who Is the Murray Room Named For . . .

  • Monsignor Murray’s To-Do List . . .

  • At Last – the New School . . .

  • Renovating the Church . . .

  • The Sixties: Growth and Changes . . .

  • The New Pastor: Francis J. Lally. . .

  • The Sixth Pastor: William R. Coen. . .

  • Two Pastors, In Quick Succession . . .

  • The Eighties: A Busy Parish . . .

  • Father Vartzelis, The First Administrator, The Ninth Pastor . . .

 


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