Ways To Give Back To Boston

Throughout the year, and especially during the holiday season, whatever that holiday season maybe, there are always people who are impoverished or are homeless that need help. There are many different ways that you can help out in Boston, and other cities as well of course, during this time of year where it is cold, and everybody who is homeless is hungry.

Are you looking to donate used goods, such as clothes or other things? What about giving away some money to a local charity organization, so that you can help fund the protection, health care, and food services for these homeless or impoverished people? How about donating a lot of your food that you are keeping in your pantry or basement that you will never use, and could likely go expired? What about giving out the most valuable of all things; your own free time?

You can always volunteer in a soup kitchen or in a homeless shelter to help out and make the holiday season as welcoming as possible for the homeless and the impoverished.

1. The Ways To Give Back
However, it is not just a poor in the impoverished that need help. There are many boys and girls, men and women, that need help with their education as well as animals that need help with their health. You can always donate or volunteer at homeless shelters, animal shelters, or even go so far as to become a tutor or teacher, or at least a benefactor to a local school.

Volunteering to do street cleaning work as well as donating to education and the local homeless shelters are some of the best ways that you can give back to Boston, or whatever city that you may reside in, during this holiday season.

2. Homeless Shelters
Your local homeless shelter and soup kitchen will undoubtedly be grateful if you were to offer your services, and that of your fellow friends and family, to help out once a week or once every two weeks during the holiday season. This is a time where food and warm clothes are needed the absolute most, and it is always a busy time of year for the people that try to run soup kitchens.

For a little inspiration, watch:


3. Animal Shelters
The overwhelming majority of the sick kittens and dogs that get left in the streets are either hit by a car and are killed or are taken to a veterinary hospital or an adoption center where they are left and put up for adoption. If they are not claimed in a certain amount of time, and somebody has not come to claim them, they are usually euthanized. This is the sad and unfortunate end too many or animals today.

However, you can help out by adopting these animals when they are in their most significant time of need. You never know where your next best friend could come from; a cat that is nine years old and is missing one eye, or a brand new puppy that merely needs a friend.

All in all, there are many ways for you to help out this holiday season, and all times during the year. You can adopt a pet, clean the streets, become a tutor or fund a school or a local education program, or donate to those in need.

What is the RCIA Program in the Catholic Church 

The RCIA program contains classes that are intended for those who are not members of the Catholic church and would like to be. Folks enter into a formation process to 
receive the sacraments of initiation; these are Confirmation, Baptism, and 
Eucharist and usually takes place on the Easter Vigil. The person is gradually introduced to various aspects of 
Catholic practices and beliefs.

are four key periods in the initiation process, and they are separated by various 
rituals, which celebrate and express what occurs at each stage.

  • Evangelization 
and pre-catechumenate
  • Period 
Of Catechumenate
  • Purification 
and Enlightenment
  • Period 
of Mystagogy.

Of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults
you try to figure out how the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) 
came into existence, you may have to go back to the early church when the 12 
Apostles were directly in charge of it. These would go through the countries 
and towns spreading the Good News, and they usually came across small 
communities where people would come together in small groups to study the works 
of Jesus and meditate on the word of God. They would work communally on the 
call to convert. It was done at a time when persecution had become very common, and most of the people who participated in this knew what they would face: that their 
conversion would demand possible martyrdom.

educational and transformational process began to have some form 
after the first 100 years of the church. This was the initial establishment of the Catechumenate – a process that is used even to this day. The conversion process 
was very comprehensive as to make sure that each person clearly understood the 
Christian culture, the teachings, and history.

we went on to the third and fourth centuries, this process had developed into a 
3-year program. However, it was not fully developed and had very little 
structure. By the fifth century, the Catechumenate had begun to experience 
challenges. Some thought that the need for a lengthy initiation process was no longer necessary because 
children were being baptized as infants. The 
lack of the Catechumenate caused both the Augustinians and the Dominican Order to 
start the process of re-establishing the Catechumenate.
They didn’t like how 
the practice of baptisms was occurring during mass. However, the process of 
re-establishment was unsuccessful, and it remained unchanged to the 
early 20th century.

was a movement in the early 1900s that wanted to re-add the Catechumenate in 
the process of conversion. This too was faced with many problems due to the 
number of nonpracticing Catholics. From those early days to the present this 
process has evolved immensely. Catholic bishops have refused to change the program to date. 
They feel that it is important to the society in the process of conversion.

Catholic Shrines Near Boston

Virgin Mary is a very prominent figure in the Catholic church. Many Christians 
go to Catholic shrines, as a way of showing their devotion to the Blessed 
Virgin Mary. These include different places where the apparitions of the 
Blessed Mother are said to have occurred. These shrines even draw fascination 
from even the non-devotees because of the mysticism that surrounds them. Most people 
have attested that these sites are miraculous because they have been touched by 
the presence of a supernatural and holy being. Let us at some of the most 
popular Catholic shrines near Boston.

Salette Shrine
Salette Shrine located Attleboro, was first opened in 1953 in commemoration of 
Blessed Mary’s apparition in 1846, in La Salette, France. During Christmas, 
this shrine is graced by more than 750,000 visitors from all over the world who 
come to see more than 300,000 lights that decorate one of that region’s largest 
holiday displays. All year-round this shrine is worth visiting due its many 
flowering gardens, stations of the cross and Holy Stairs. There are 11 ethnic 
groups who observe their special days here at this shrine. There are all kinds 
of retreats, services, daily Masses, and as well as a cafeteria and a gift 

Madonna Queen Shrine
Shrine was first established by the Don Orione Fathers in the year 1954, and it 
overlooks Logan Airport. The shrine was built to fulfill the desires 
of Don Orione, for works of charity and there would be works of faith. The 
statue of Blessed Mary which is 35-foot-high was built by an Italian-Jewish 
sculptor by the name Arrigo Minerbi free of charge, as a way of thanking Don 
Orione Fathers for protection against persecution by the Nazis.

Anne’s Shrine
can think of this as a pilgrimage. This Shrine located on Isle La Motte, Vt, 
sits picturesquely on the Lake Champlain and is a place of peace and 
tranquility. Rustic grottos and stations of the cross dot the pine-laden ground 
, and for outdoors folks, they have a camping area for pilgrims.

Joseph the Worker Shrine
shrine in Lowell was the first parish to be established in the city in the hope 
of serving French-speaking Canadian immigrants who worked in the city’s mills. 
The shrine is graced by many people all year round with approximately 100,000 
people a year.

Lady of Fatima Shrine
Shrine in Holliston is said to have the biggest rosary in the world, being 900-foot-long, 
with a blessed string of boulders, well fastened by a marine chain and then 
tethered to an anchor.The shrine also includes 
Calvary Hill, stations of the cross, Madonna Hill, a grotto, a peace 
angel and a cemetery,

to Catholic shrines is not a new concept altogether. Many people have been 
going to these shrines for a very long time. Previously, those who wanted to go 
went in a group with the view of making their spiritual journey secure and 
safe. As of today, you may wish to go alone or in a group. If you want to go to 
a Catholic shrine, find an agency or a 
tour operator that will help you in every way they can to make a meaningful trip for you.

What is the Oldest Catholic Parish in Boston?


Founded and built by Italian immigrants, St 
Leonard’s Church was the first Roman Catholic Church to be established in New England 
in 1873. Occupying the historic North End of Boston, St Leonard’s church 
building sits at the corner of Prince and Hanover streets on Boston’s Freedom 

There were few Italians living in Boston 
city before 1870. However, the number started increasing dramatically in 
succeeding years as most of them migrated to this city in search of material 
success. Though they had left their home country, these people were loyal to 
their Catholic Church doctrines and could not abandon their spiritual beliefs. 
Hence, a spiritual nourishment was necessary for these people, who were total strangers 
to the customs and language of dwellers of the city of Boston.

In the year 1873, Archbishop Williams of 
Boston requested the Franciscans of the Immaculate Conception Province to 
meet the spiritual needs of the rising Italian immigrants’ population in 
the city of Boston.

Fr. Angelo Conterno, OFM, became the first 
pastor of the newly founded parish. He was preceded a year later by Fr. Joachin 
Guerrini, OFM.

Two years later, in November, a piece of 
land situated on Prince Street was purchased for a total sum of $9,000.00. It 
was dedicated by Archbishop Williams, and the foundation was laid for the first 
Catholic Church in the United States.

However, because of the growing population 
of Italian immigrants searching for a better life and fortune in America, the 
need for a larger church became apparent as the small church had reached its 
limit regarding accommodation. In 1885, the church set out a mission to build 
a larger church. While the upper church was being built, the basement of the 
new church was used to serve close to 20,000 Italian Christians. The upper 
church was planned and built at the cost of about $160,000.00 and, alongside the 
famed St. Antony Shrine, they were dedicated in November 1899. At that time, 
the friary was also built on the North Bennet Street.

From 1910 the refurbishment of the upper 
church was done, and the Franciscan Sisters relocated to the monastery on 31 
Prince Street.

In 1917-1919, there was an outbreak of 
influenza epidemic that left many Italian kids in the city of Boston orphaned. 
The then pastor of Saint Leonard, Fr. Antony Sousa, established the Home for 
Italian Children in Jamaican Plain; it remains to date.

Because of the reconfiguration that took 
place in 2004, St. Leonard’s became a parish encompassing Saint Stephen’s 
Church and Sacred Heart Italian Church.








What is the Communion of Saints in Catholicism?

The word “communion” means “an instance or 
act of sharing.” When the Apostles’ Creed talks of the “Communion of the 
saints,” it doesn’t restrict that to the Lord’s Supper or the Holy Communion where 
believers come together to commemorate Jesus’s sacrifice through the wine and 
the bread. The communion of the saints is deeper than this ordinance.

The communion of the saints incorporates 
the believers in the past, believers in this present era, and believers in the 
years to come. The believers share a common salvation in the Savior, the Lord 
Jesus Christ. Believers who have passed on from this world with their faith in 
Christ, are termed to have the same salvation as the present believers who are 
alive today. Also, those who will come after the current believers will have 
the same salvation that we have.

The communion of saints is what every 
believer of Christ share in common. Together, they believe that through his 
death and resurrection they have been forgiven and saved by Jesus’s life, set 
from death and law of sin, and will pass the spiritual death to eternal life. 
The death and resurrection of Christ made them permanent children of God. They 
also believe that they are God’s tools and workers to do the good deeds as 
those of Christ the Lord. After good service on earth, believers know that they 
will be given an eternal home in the New Jerusalem where they will live with 
the Lord. These are just but a few blessings that believers have in common.

Here are five communions:

Communions in the faith
This is the faith 
of Catholic Church that they received from the apostles.

Communion of charisms
These refer to the 
”manifestations given by the Holy Spirit for the common good of 

Communion of the Sacraments
link all the faithful believers to each other, and together they remember the 
body of Christ that was presented as a form of salvation.

Communion of common goods
All Christians 
share in the belief that they should be agents of good deeds. It is their 
responsibility to be the salt of the world.

Communion in Charity
The communion of 
saints believes in oneness. In that, if one member suffers, everyone suffers 
because all believers are just but parts of the same body. In the same way, if 
one member is honored, all believers rejoice together.

The concept and idea of 
the communion of saints are linked with Apostle Paul’s teaching that all 
Christians form a single body. You can find these teachings in 1st Corinthians 
12 and Romans 12;4-13.

For an in-depth look, watch the following course:








Who is Sean Patrick O’Malley?

Sean Patrick O’Malley is an American cardinal 
serving as the Archbishop of Boston under the Catholic Church and is a member 
of the Capuchins. He was considered to be Pope Benedict XVI’s successor before 
Pope Francis was chosen.

He was born on June 29th, 1944 
in Lakewood, Ohio but grew up in Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania. He joined St. 
Fidelis Minor Seminary, a boarding school at age 12 where he graduated and went 
on to attend Capuchin College and the Catholic University of America where he 
graduated with a master’s degree in Religious Education and a doctorate in 
Spanish and Portuguese literature. O’ Malley was ordained priest in 1970 and consecrated in 
1984 by Bishop Harper.

Some of his work include:
O’Malley started the first Spanish newspaper 
in D.C. called El Pregonero, and also opened a 
Spanish bookstore in the same area.

He was made the Episcopal vicar of the 
Portuguese and Haitian communities in 1978. The vicar was later knighted in the 
Order of Infante D. Henrique by Portugal in 1985 for his service to the 
Portuguese. In 1985, O’Malley succeeded Bishop Edward John Harper as the Bishop 
of Saint Thomas after Harper resigned. The Sovereign Military Order of Malta 
named him an honorary chaplain due to his service to the homeless people and 
people living with AIDS.

In June 1992 he was appointed Bishop of 
Fall River, Massachusetts. The bishop was later appointed Bishop of Palm Beach, 
Florida. In both places, Bishop O’Malley tried to settle sexual abuse scandals, 
thus earning the name “fixer.” He succeeded Cardinal Bernal Law, the Archbishop 
of Boston in 2003, who resigned following sexual abuse scandals.

O’Malley is the cardinal-priest of Santa 
Maria Della Vitoria. He is also a member of both the Congregation for 
Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life and Congregation 
for the Clergy. Also, he is a member of the Presidential Council of the 
Pontifical Council for the Family.

He is the first cardinal to have his 
 blog and offers regular podcasts. O’Malley can participate in 
future papal conclaves up until his 80th birthday.

His views
O’Malley received criticism from conservative Catholics 
when he participated in the funeral of Senator Ted Kennedy who was a supporter 
of legal abortions. He has settled over 101 sexual abuse cases and has a zero-tolerance policy on sexual abuse. In 2006, O’Malley and leaders of Catholic 
charities of Boston, a charity that offered adoption services program, ended 
their adoption program after failing to get exempted from the state’s anti-discrimination statute that required them to place children in the care of 
homosexual couples.

In 2016, he was awarded the Grand Cross of 
the Order of Prince Henry, Portugal.

Catholic Universities Near Boston

As you might know, Boston is one of the places in the US with a massive Irish-American population. In addition to that, it plays host to a wide range of cultures and religious beliefs. A goodly number of residents in this place are Catholics, which is why you should not be surprised if you find the city to have a large number of Catholic churches. The lean of the locals towards Catholicism has led to the introduction of affiliated institutions of higher learning. Such institutions pay strict adherence to the Catholic faith
and are known to go out of their way to protect it.

If you are looking for Catholic universities around or near Boston, here is a rundown;

Regis College
If you live near Weston, Massachusetts, then you know this one. The privately funded and run college is a host to scores of students from around the globe. The institution started out in 1927 and had evolved over the years to become one of the leading institutions of higher learning in the northeast. In early 2015, it had around 2000 students undertaking studies in various disciplines. Their turnover rate is pretty good; for instance, the graduating class of 2014 had a 45% professional employment rate at the time of graduation. Subsequent classes have also shown the same level of efficacy. This could be due to the ever-rising popularity of the school’s programs and teaching fraternity. For 80 years, Regis offered opportunities to women, only admitting the first male bunch in 2007.

Emmanuel College
Emmanuel College is known for its ability to absorb large groups of learners. It has a wide range of programs under its wing, both at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Most recently, Emanuel accepted 4,463 students into its various programs. The dropout rate is quite low, and the institution has 58% of its students graduate obtain a bachelor’s degree four years after registration.

Laboure College
This small college has been around for quite some time as well. While a small number of students live within the school, there is a growing student body that prefers to attend school part-time. This is due to the fact that students want to be able to work and study at the same time. At the moment, there are 747 part-time students and a little over 100 students who live on the institution’s premises.

What To Expect When Going To Catholic Mass

If you are not familiar with the practices and traditions of the Catholic Church, then going to Catholic Mass for the first time will undoubtedly be an awkward and somewhat out of the comfort zone experience for you. Fortunately for you, the Catholic Church has and always has and always will be extremely open and will always interested in potential converts. There are a lot of things that you can expect by going to a Catholic Mass for the first time, so let’s dive right on into the matter, starting with the most important things!

1. Communion
Baptized and confirmed as well as practicing Catholics will not only be attending Mass every week but will also be taking the Holy Eucharist at every mass that they attend. As you are not Catholic, it is obviously not right for you to receive Communion if you have not been baptized in the church and have not received the proper sacraments.

During this time, everyone in the church beginning with the back row will go forward to receive communion from the priest. As you will not be receiving communion, there are two options that are laid out for you.

The first is to either continue sitting or kneeling in the pew and not go forward whatsoever. This is easier and less stressful, as well as more familiar and generally more proper, for new converts (or considering converts, that is to say) to do. Your second option would be to go up and cross your arms in the shape of an “X” to indicate that you are not intending to receive communion, but are instead willing to accept a blessing. Upon seeing this, the priest or deacon will bless you, and you can follow the line of people and go back to your seat.

2. Activeness
Because practicing Catholics have most likely been going to Mass daily since their childhood, or at least for multiple years, you will notice how active and focused they are with the responses and the prayers that go on in the Mass. They will usually have these reactions and prayers memorized after years or decades of attending Mass, so you do not need to feel left out or feel like you are not doing enough if you are not saying these same responses. This also goes for Catholics, whether practicing or not, who are not affluent with all of the prayers.

3. The Sign Of Peace
During the Consecration of the Blessed Sacrament, the priest or deacon that is celebrating mass will most likely say a prayer and then ask the congregation to share the sign of peace with each other. In this case, you will most likely see people to your left, right, and all around you saying a few words of peace or blessing as well as shaking their hand in greeting.

It is your choice to either abstain from this peaceful ceremony or to engage yourself in partake in it. It is generally encouraged, but it will not offend anyone or, more importantly, God, if you decide not to do it. This is not as big as the section about receiving communion, but it is something that you will want to be on the lookout for.

How to Worship in the Catholic Church

If you are interested to see what types of worship are available at the Catholic Church, check the “bulletin”, a weekly pamphlet given out by the parish detailing the various worshiping activities.

Some of the most common of these activities are the following:

The Eucharist: This is the most common activity at parishes, and in it, Catholics participate in the Last Supper, when Jesus offered his body as a sacrifice of atonement for sins.

Eucharistic Adoration: Often, Catholics will pray in front of the Holy Eucharist, simply speaking to Christ non-verbally or quietly. There is a short set of communal prayers at the beginning and end, but even if you don’t know them, you can still participate easily.

The Rosary: In this prayer, Catholics say a number of prayers while meditating on the important moments of the lives of both Jesus and Mary. There will usually be “how to pray the rosary” pamphlets at the back of the church, and people will usually be happy to help. If you don’t have a rosary, someone may be willing to lend you one and the priest will have some extras if you ask.

The Stations of the Cross: In this prayer, people follow the fourteen stations detailing components of Jesus’ trial and death and pray a selection of prayers and meditations. If you can’t find a “how to pray the stations of the cross” book in the church (they’re less common than the rosary ones), just Google it before you go or ask someone once you’re there.

Pilgrimages: Pilgrimages are trips that people take to holy sites, sometimes in the same city and sometimes as far away as Israel. They will often include trips to shrines, which honor particular saints, relics, or other places of religious significance.

As you can see, even non-Catholics have a wide range of worshiping options in the Catholic Church. The one thing the Church asks is that non-Catholics not receive the sacraments, meaning that, in the case of Eucharist, that they not eat the bread or drink the wine. In order to participate in worship in this way, speak to the priest about the “RCIA” or “Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults” program.