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Mass celebrates parish collaboration in Roxbury, Jamaica Plain

byCristina Rosa NelsonSpecial to The Pilot
6/28/2013

Father Carlos Flor, pastor of three parishes in Roxbury and Jamaica Plain delivers the homily at a June 22 outdoor Mass at English High School to celebrate the collaboration of the three parishes. Pilot photo/courtesy Tomas Soto

JAMAICA PLAIN -- Hundreds of parishioners and guests attended a bilingual, tri-parish outdoor Mass, in Jamaica Plain on Saturday, June 22 at English High School. The celebrant was Father Carlos Flor, pastor of St. Mary of the Angels in Roxbury, and Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Thomas Aquinas Parishes in Jamaica Plain. Concelebrating the Mass was parochial vicar, Father Miguel Angel Bravo.

The lively, evangelizing Mass, celebrated the union of the three individual parishes as one administrative and spiritual unit. It also proclaimed the historic presence, community and spiritual services, and multicultural nature of the three parishes.

Earlier this year the Archdiocese of Boston brought together St. Mary of the Angels, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Our Lady of Lourdes to collaborate as part of the first phase of the new pastoral plan Disciples in Mission. With a common pastor and sharing administrative and pastoral resources, the three parishes have retained their individual locations, congregations, and traditions.

The theme of the Mass, "Open Doors / Puertas Abiertas," reflected what Father Flor called "a loving God who welcomes all people into His fold."

Father Flor also noted that the Mass "celebrates our union and strengthens our spiritual mission."

Many attendees, some under umbrellas to shade them from a bright sun, clapped in time to the live music, rooted in the African American and Latin American traditions.

St. Mary of the Angels parishioner and Dorchester resident Ann Grady noted that this Mass, "shows the long and good journey that our three parishes have taken in our collaboration, with a great spirit of cooperation in bringing the day to fruition."

Carmen Quinonez, a member of St. Thomas Aquinas, added that "our Mass is the personification of what the archdiocese has intended for our churches: to collaborate together as one. United we all stand in the name of The Lord. We are one Universal Church."

"The administrative and spiritual union of the three parishes has made each stronger, more innovative, and more creative," noted Father Flor, "while retaining, embracing, and supporting each parish's proud traditions."