The complete rededication Mass and blessing of the new altar at Saint Leonard Church in Boston’s North End was captured on the video shown above, created by videographer Norman Lang. The video is also been shown on Catholic TV this week.
Cardinal Seán O’Malley said the following on his blog:
“I was so happy to preside at the rededication of St. Leonard’s and the blessing of the altar. The Franciscan provincial, Father Robert Campagna, was there, as well as a number of friars who had served at St. Leonard’s in the past. It was a beautiful celebration, and I was particularly moved by the remarks delivered by the head of the St. Joseph Society, Mark Ravensi, at the end of Mass before presenting their check for $1 million towards the cost of the renovations.
“He spoke about the Franciscan Friars who ministered to the Italian immigrants over 100 years ago who were coming mainly from southern Italy and Sicily, at a time when there was so much poverty in that part of the world. As people fled their homeland, the Franciscan friars at St. Leonard’s helped to make a spiritual home for them and built the parish school and high school to educate their children. Then, after the terrible influenza outbreak of 1917, which caused so many deaths, the friars were instrumental in setting up the Italian Home for Children to care for the orphans. They expressed their great love and gratitude to the Italian Franciscan Friars who had served the people in the North End in so many ways for over hundred years. They said that was the reason that they wanted to make this extraordinary donation to help in the renovations of St. Leonard’s. It was a very moving presentation.”
“Everyone, of course, is so grateful to Father Antonio who gives such outstanding leadership in the community and is beloved by all of his parishioners.”
Donations are still being accepted for the continuing restoration effort at RestoreStLeonards.com.