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Mass marks opening of bicentennial year

The choir of the Korean Catholic Community was one of several choirs representing the ethnic diversity of the archdiocese. Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy

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SOUTH END -- Clergy and laity, young and old, native-born and immigrant all came together at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross Dec. 2 to celebrate the opening Mass of the yearlong bicentennial celebration of the Archdiocese of Boston.

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley presided at the Mass which was concelebrated with over 100 priests from the archdiocese, and six bishops including visiting Ugandan Bishop Robert Muhiirwa. Representatives from each parish in the archdiocese were invited to attend.

Singing at the Mass were members of the Cathedral Brass Ensemble, the Cathedral Hispanic Choir, the Cathedral Festival Choir and various parish choirs representing the Brazilian, Haitian, Kenyan, Korean and Vietnamese communities, underscoring the multicultural nature of the archdiocese.

“As we begin our bicentennial, we too, look back with a sense of profound gratitude and look forward with hope,” Cardinal O’Malley said in his homily.

“Sometimes we rhapsodize about the past, glamorize history and remember only what is pleasant. As a Catholic community in New England, we should know that our beginnings as a local Church were fraught with hardship and hostility and with enormous sacrifices,” the cardinal said.

“Priests were not allowed into this colony. If a priest were to be found, he was to be banished. If he returned, he would be executed,” he continued.

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