Senior community hosts Cardinal O'Malley for Special Mass

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The seniors at New Horizons at Marlborough enjoyed a rare treat on Friday, April 26: Cardinal Seán Patrick O'Malley visited the MetroWest retirement campus to celebrate Mass and meet with community members.

About 150 congregants gathered at New Horizons' on-site chapel for the special service. Dozens more convened in the main lobby to watch the cardinal's Mass via livestream and await the public reception that followed.

"There's been a lot of excitement around our campus these past few weeks," said Executive Director Betsy Connolly. "We have a robust Catholic population, and a visit from a revered local leader is a pretty significant event."

The April service was Cardinal O'Malley's second visit to New Horizons. He previously celebrated Mass at the not-for-profit senior living community in 2015.

"We were so honored by the cardinal's return," said Peg Keeler, a New Horizons resident since 2003. "An advocate for the poor and disadvantaged, he is an awesome presence and incredibly kind."

Following the service, Cardinal O'Malley spent another hour welcoming an assembly of more than 200 congregants, other New Horizons residents, and Marlborough community members in the central atrium of the sprawling Hemenway Street campus. He also took time with the 32 Sisters of St. Anne and Sisters of the Good Shepherd, who live on the campus and oversee the chapel's daily operations.

"The cardinal was incredibly gracious," said Connolly. "He traversed the room to personally greet everyone who attended the reception, and extended his visit with the Sisters, making time to forge connections and hear their personal stories."

According to Connolly, Cardinal O'Malley's Mass focused on the importance of community, and particularly people helping, listening to, and supporting each other.

"He certainly lives by example," said Connolly. "Our residents and guests will long remember the time and attention he shared with them."

Although it has no religious affiliation, New Horizons' many Catholic residents participate in daily Mass at the large on-site chapel as celebrants as well as lectors, greeters, eucharistic ministers, and sacristans. In addition, regular prayer and communion services provide residents with multiple opportunities each week to practice their faith as part of a community, without leaving home.

About New Horizons

Located on a heavily wooded 40-acre campus at 400 Hemenway Street, New Horizons at Marlborough offers a continuum of care, including independent living, assisted living, memory care, and geri-psych programs. It is just off US Route 20, about 13 miles west of I-95 and Route 128, and is owned by Woburn-based Cummings Foundation, one of the largest private foundations in New England.

New Horizons residents choose from a full schedule of group activities, including regular fitness programs, educational presentations, movies and book club, watercise classes in the well-heated indoor lap swimming pool, musical entertainment, farm animal visits, and off-site excursions.

Popular on-campus conveniences include a four-seat hair salon as well as an apothecary and general store. Additionally, on-site Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish religious services are offered.

The strictly not-for-profit New Horizons at Marlborough is currently welcoming new residents to its MetroWest senior living community. Thanks to a unique rate-lock policy, incoming new residents are guaranteed no increases to their rent and board fees for at least their first six years. These fees include all charges for lodging, gourmet meals, water, heat, air conditioning, basic cable TV, local telephone service, parking, and regular maintenance.

Residences for a single person, including three homecooked, gourmet meals daily, are available from $2,430 per month. Prospective residents and their families are encouraged to contact New Horizons at Marlborough at 508-460-5200 to arrange a time to tour the campus, meet current residents and staff, and sample a homecooked meal. More information about New Horizons is available at