Last month I had the opportunity to travel to the greater Boston area. My goal was to get a better feeling for places that would have been very important in Lizzie’s life. My first priority was Sacred Hearts Church–a place that she would spent much time attending weekly Mass and celebrating family milestones such as weddings, baptisms and unfortunately, funerals.
Designed by Irish architect, Patrick C. Keely and built in 1896, its Gothic Romanesque style lets a visitor know that they’ve stepped into a very special place. The nave’s rectilinear floorplan draws one into a long aisle that leads to the sanctuary. A white marble altar sits in front of a gold trimmed retablo. Twelve Renaissance Corinthian columns, symbolically representing the 12 apostles that the Church was built upon, reach toward a vaulted ceiling through arches. Stained glass windows tell Christian stories through the only art form that requires light to shine through as opposed to reflect off of.
I sat in a pew labelled “92” and thought, “Lizzie would have visited this building hundreds of times for the last fifty-eight years of her life.” I wondered where she liked to sit for Sunday Mass. I imagined the joy that she experienced here, from all of the weddings, baptisms, First Communions and Confirmations that she would have attended. I also imagined the tears that she probably shed on these pews as she buried her only son in 1935, and all of the tears that her family shed on them at her funeral in 1962. I envisioned her casket, sitting in the aisle, surrounded by family & friends who loved her.
And so I sat there quietly, soaking it all in.
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