Boston Shrine Dedicates Food Center, New Chapel

Jocelyn Thomas In the Headlines

BOSTON — The community of St. Anthony Shrine here dedicated a commercial freezer for its food center and blessed its chapel at ceremonies recently that included Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, and the mayor of Boston. Both projects were made possible by gifts from the community.

On Sept. 26, the new freezer at the Franciscan Food Center was dedicated. Mayor Thomas Menino and his wife, Angela, cut the freezer’s ceremonial ribbon during the 10 a.m. Mass, with David Convertino, OFM, director of St. Anthony Shrine, presiding.

The dedication concluded a fundraising campaign that raised more than $180,000 to build the commercial walk-in freezer and a teaching kitchen area, said Diane Monaghan, director of development at St. Anthony Shrine.

Blessings and Tours
A reception and tour of the Franciscan Food Center followed the dedication.

Four days later, a rededication Mass and blessing was held at the friars’ chapel at 100 Arch St. John celebrated the Sept. 30 Mass and David concelebrated. Other participants were Frank McHugh, OFM, master of ceremonies;Christopher Coccia, OFM, of Western New York, deacon of the liturgy; staff member Jackie Stewart as lector;John Maganzini, OFM, and Richard Flaherty, OFM, Eucharistic ministers; Thomas Donovan, OFM, sacristan and Eucharistic minister. The Arch Street Band, including music director Jennifer Galea, Mark Emery, and Peter Struyk, provided music, while Nicole Aucoin designed the program, and Antonio Nascimento provided flowers and décor.

Guests included Mayor Menino and his wife; Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Convertino, who donated the candle stands in memory of loved ones; Jane Daly and family, who donated a major portion of the chapel renovations in memory of her parents; Jed Dolan Sr. and Jed Dolan Jr. of Dolan Funeral Homes, who are strong supporters of the Shrine’s Lazarus Program; Gordon Daugherty, commissioned artist; and Douglas Castro, master carpenter.

Everyone gathered outside the chapel for the welcoming, blessing of water, and blessing of the chapel doors, then entered singing “Here I Am To Worship.” The Mass included the blessing by John O’Connor of the new San Damiano Cross, the ambo, the altar, and the stations of the cross. The Provincial Minister gave the homily and “thanked everyone who made this evening and this sacred space possible,” Monaghan said.

Words of Gratitude
David recognized his parents for “their kind donation of the candle stands, and Jane Daly with a plaque remembering her parents, which will remain outside the chapel,” Monaghan said. To applause, he also recognized master carpenter Douglas Castro and Gordon Daugherty, who provided all of the original artwork for the chapel walls, including the San Damiano cross and portraits of St. Clare and St. Francis.

After a final blessing by John O’Connor, the assembly sang “Be Thou My Vision” and the evening ended with a celebratory meal, according to Monaghan.

John Maganzini said, “This evening, our chapel is blessed in the presence of our extended Franciscan family.” Daugherty added: “Working on these paintings and meeting the Franciscan friars has been a life-changing experience I will never forget. The welcome, warmth and true humanity of the friars has touched my life and enriched my art. The San Damiano Cross was the first religious piece I have done, and working on this piece, as well as all the works in the chapel, has brought me a deeper sense of God in my life.”

Stewart and Daugherty offered tours of the chapel throughout the week. Several hundred members of the public took advantage of this opportunity to see the newly renovated chapel and to hear the artist speak of his works, Monaghan said. On Sept. 29, Daugherty gave a presentation about the chapel to the “Seniors on Arch Street.”

These celebrations were a few of the many special events that were held at St. Anthony Shrine during Francis Week 2010.

— Jocelyn Thomas is director of communications for the Province.