Sunday, February 23, 2014

CT Mass Mob: Waterbury

The time has come for the vote for the location of the first pilgrimage of CT Mass Mob!  On Sunday, March 23rd we will be worshiping together at one of the following churches is Waterbury: Saints Peter and Paul, the Shrine of Saint Anne, and Our Lady of Lourdes.  Please find some info and links about the churches below, and then vote in the poll to the left!

Saints Peter and Paul is the parish where I grew up, and I have a mountain of fond memories associated with it.  Click here to visit the website for the church; most of the links on this page contain information about the school, but if you click on SSPP photos and then scroll down and click on Christmas Concert, you can find a few images of the interior of the Church.  Among the notable elements of the church interior are a beautiful stained glass windows, including one depicting the patrons of the parish above the choir loft, and the wonderful pipe organ.  The organ can be played from the choir loft and from a keyboard behind the altar, and the pipes behind the tabernacle are not just for decoration; they work!  Saints Peter and Paul Church is one of the great landmarks of the East End of Waterbury, and also is one of the landmarks of my heart.

The Shrine of Saint Anne for Mothers is a historically French-Canadian church that stands a stone's throw from Sacred Heart High School, my alma mater.  The Shrine's website has numerous photos of the beautiful interior; click on Restorations and scroll down to read about the architectural and artistic work that is going on in the church.  St. Anne's is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Waterbury.  When traveling on Route 8 or I-84, it dominates the field of view with its beautiful Gothic spires.  Radiant with exterior and interior beauty, this nearly one hundred-year-old church (it was finished in 1922, but the groundbreaking was in 1906!) is well worth visiting.

Our Lady of Lourdes is just down the street from St. Anne's, and it nearly abuts I-84.  It is the historically Italian church of downtown Waterbury (it is somewhat ironic that the Italian church is named for a French apparition of the Blessed Mother, yes, but, well, forget about it!), and, as the parish website says, it was modeled after the church of Santa Francesca Romana in Rome, and it was dedicated in February of 1909, making the church 105 years old!  Perhaps the most unique feature of Our Lady of Lourdes is the grotto under the altar, where generations have prayed together for the intercession of Our Lady.  I served as a cantor at Our Lady of Lourdes when I was in high school, and I fondly recall the voices of Italian grandmothers praying the rosary before Mass.

All of these churches are beautiful, and they all are worthy of pilgrimage.  But it is your task to vote for the one you most want to visit.  Remember, the poll closes on March 2nd, so be sure to vote now!