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Boston streets clear enough for cathedral St. Patrick's Mass to go on


St. Patrick holds a shamrock in this detail of a stained glass window in the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston. Pilot file photo/ Gregory L. Tracy

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BOSTON -- As spring attempts a comeback from a Boston winter of record-breaking snows, the streets around the Cathedral of the Holy Cross have just in time for a tradition at the core of the community's heritage -- the St. Patrick's Day Mass.

The Rite of Election, a liturgy for those becoming Catholic this year, had to be cancelled because the streets of Boston's South End were still snow-choked and the MBTA was suffering from daily disruptions in late February.

"We're thrilled that the streets around the Cathedral have been plowed and that the snow is melting, making parking around the Cathedral much easier than it was a few weeks ago," said Father Jonathan Gaspar, director of the Office of Divine Worship.

The St. Patrick's Day Mass at the cathedral scheduled for noon, March 17, will be celebrated by Bishop Robert F. Hennessey and include a homily from Msgr. Liam Bergin, a professor of theology at Boston College and a native of County Laois, Ireland.

"The Archdiocese looks forward to celebrating the Patron Saint of this local Church every year. St. Patrick is a great intercessor, a model of evangelization, and held dear especially by the Irish Catholic community in Boston and beyond," Father Gaspar said.

Currently, the parking lot behind the cathedral is under construction, but the cathedral is currently working to identify other parking lots in the neighborhood that will be open for those wishing to drive to the Cathedral on St. Patrick's Day. Parking meters in the city will also be free that due to the Evacuation Day holiday.

"The Silver Line of the MBTA stops directly in front of the Cathedral, and there are a number of train stations within walking distance, so we would encourage those who are able to take advantage of public transportation. Please check the Cathedral's website for updated parking garage information and any discounts that will be offered to those visiting the Cathedral for the Feast of St. Patrick," Father Gaspar said.

Contributing to this story was Gregory L. Tracy

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