St. Anthony Shrine Celebrates Mass on Boston Harbor

Diane Monaghan Around the Province

BOSTON, Mass — David Convertino and several friars from St. Anthony Shrine here welcomed members of Boston’s waterfront community  on June 10 to a liturgy aboard “Secret Love,” a commercial yacht owned by Cheri and Terry Kirkman, friends of the Shrine.

Periodically the friars of Arch Street offer Boston waterfront residents creative ways of gathering together socially and spiritually in an effort to build community and a spiritual home.  Last year a home Mass was celebrated in the high-rise apartment of Bette and Bill Hoskins, longtime supporters of the Shrine.

This year’s liturgy took place on the upper deck of the “Secret Love” with more than 50 people in attendance.  Music ministry was provided by Victor Jannett, a longtime Shrine cantor, and David Wade, the Shrine’s lead guitarist.  Strands of Alleluia could be heard on the harbor as participants enthusiastically joined in the singing.

The Kirkmans’ yacht replaced a similar vessel, which was destroyed by fire a year ago on Boston Harbor.  David, the director of St. Anthony Shrine, blessed the new boat and all worshippers participated in a moving blessing of the couple.  A prayer of thanksgiving for their generosity was also offered.

After the Mass, worshippers  enjoyed a brunch and a cruise on Boston Harbor on this “picture-perfect” day.  “What a beautiful experience,”  remarked  one of the worshippers.  “Let’s do this every Sunday,” said another.  “You’ve won me over!” said another who had not been to Mass in years.

The  event, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m  was particularly interesting to Hugh McSherry and Daniel Horan, who marked their first day of the summer in Boston by attending the Mass on the Harbor.  “This sure is a fun way to begin my time in Boston,” said Hugh.  “What a great experience of faith sharing and community building,” said Dan.  Hugh and Dan are members of the Province’s formation program.  Also joining the group were Brian Smail, John Maganzini, Chris Van Haight, and Mathias Doyle.

Shrine staff distributed surveys to participants to determine interest in future events for waterfront residents throughout the year.  In addition, other neighborhoods will be invited to similar programs with the goal of reaching and building social and spiritual homes among Shrine worshippers.

— Diane Monaghan is director of development at St. Anthony Shrine.