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Bell for new South Boston Seaport Chapel blessed

By Mark Labbe
Posted: 1/29/2016

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Vicar general Bishop Peter J. Uglietto sprinkles holy water on the bell that will hang in the new Our Lady of Good Voyage Chapel currently under construction in the South Boston Seaport District. Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy

BRAINTREE -- The bell that will one day ring out from the new Our Lady of Good Voyage Chapel under construction in South Boston was blessed at the archdiocese's Pastoral Center in Braintree, Jan. 21.

Vicar general Bishop Peter J. Uglietto blessed the newly cast bell during a brief ceremony following the Pastoral Center's noon Mass, while a number of onlookers stood by.

"Bells have a special place in the life of God's people. The peal of bells marks the hours for prayer and calls us to the celebration of the liturgy," Bishop Uglietto said during the blessing.

"Let us then praise God's name, so that whenever we hear the ringing of this bell, we will remember that we are one family coming together to show our unity in Christ," he continued.

Bishop Uglietto used incense and sprinkled the bell with holy water as he pronounced the blessing.

Speaking with The Pilot Jan. 26, Deborah Dillon, director of property management for the archdiocese, said the bell was made by The Verdin Company of Ohio, the same company that restored the bells recently installed at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. The bell, which weighs around 500 pounds, was shipped to the archdiocese only a few weeks ago, and was kept in storage until it was blessed.

The bell is expected to be installed this month on the frame of Our Lady of Good Voyage Chapel, which is currently under construction at the intersection of Seaport Boulevard and Sleeper Street and will be the first Catholic church to be built in the city of Boston in more than 50 years.

Cardinal O'Malley joined city and state officials for the groundbreaking of the new chapel in November 2014. When completed, the 5,000 square-foot structure will feature a choir loft and a steeple.

The new chapel will replace the present one-story red brick chapel that has stood for over 60 years on Northern Avenue, as taller buildings sprung up as a wave of development has come to the neighborhood.

Established as one of several workers' chapels under Cardinal Richard J. Cushing, the original Chapel of Our Lady of Good voyage served the dockworkers, seamen, fishermen, and other workers in the area where it earned the monikers Fish Pier Chapel, Waterfront Chapel, and most commonly the Seaport Chapel.

As the character of the area has changed from industrial to a growing commercial and residential center, the new chapel is seen as being ideally positioned to serve the new workers and residents in the area, many of whom are young professionals.