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Priests bring ashes 'to the streets' in Boston's Seaport District


  • Father Gerald Souza distributes ashes on Ash Wednesday, March 1, outside the new Our Lady of Good Voyage Chapel in Boston's Seaport District. Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy
  • Father Gerald Souza distributes ashes outside the new Our Lady of Good Voyage Chapel. (Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy)
  • After receiving their ashes, people were invited to view the progress of the chapelís construction. (Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy)

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Following the now famous call of Pope Francis, priests from the South Boston Catholic Collaborative took to the streets of Boston's Seaport District to distribute ashes on Ash Wednesday, March 1.

Following the noontime Mass at the current Our Lady of Good Voyage Chapel on Northern Avenue, a group of about 50 people gathered outside the new Our Lady of Good Voyage Chapel, still under construction on the corner of Sleeper Street and Seaport Blvd., for the blessing and distribution of ashes.

"We wanted to go where the people are. Pope Francis told us to go to the streets, and here we are on the corner of two streets right here," said Father Gerald Souza, parochial vicar in the collaborative which includes the chapel.

Father Souza said that the response of people both at the current and new chapel was "tremendous," noting that many office and construction workers in the area had come to receive their ashes.

He said even police "have been pulling their cruisers over to the side and coming to see us."

The sidewalk distribution of ashes was also a way to raise awareness among area residents and workers that the new church will be opening in April. Doors of the new chapel remained open during the afternoon and, after receiving their ashes, people were invited to take a glimpse inside.

"We want to get people excited about the new chapel, which will open just a week after Easter," said Father Souza.

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