Cardinal O’Malley to preside over Saint Agnes Mass marking 150 years
A 150th anniversary celebration of the pre-Saint Agnes church is scheduled for Sunday, October 23.
The faithful plan to gather for midday mass at St. Agnes. The ceremony will be presided over by Cardinal Séan Patrick O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston, followed by a reception at Arlington Catholic High School.
The anniversary recognizes the contributions of all parishes that have served Arlington over the years – St. Malachy, St. Agnes, St. Camillus, St. James, St. Jerome and Immaculate Conception.
As Father Marc Bishop, the pastor, wrote: “A faith that has seen much growth and good works over the past century and a half: a faith that has grown in response to new trends and a community that never forgot the importance of worship and service.”
History of the local church
Catholic worshipers found a home in Arlington with St. Malachy’s Church, now St. Agnes. Prior to the establishment of St. Malachy in Arlington, in 1872, Catholics in Arlington visited St. Peter’s in Cambridge. When the parish began, it included territory in Belmont and Lexington, which later became their own parishes.
In 1900, Saint-Malachie was renamed in honor of Saint Agnes, in reference to Agnes of Rome (c. 291 – c. 304), a virgin martyr.
Since those early days in Arlington, parishioners have made many personal sacrifices to support their church. Through their generosity, Catholicism flourished in Arlington, and St. Agnes Parish provided a strong foundation for Catholics here.
As the needs of the parish grew, funds were raised to build many facilities including St. Agnes Elementary School, St. Agnes Convent (now the parish center); Fidelity House, with its Monsignor Flaherty Gymnasium, and Arlington Catholic High School, with the addition of Monsignor Linnehan Library.
According to the sources cited below, each establishment has touched the lives of parishioners, enriched the education of our children, served in the accomplishment of charitable works and united many people in the spirit of Christian community.
For more information on Arlington’s Catholic Parishes (St. Agnes and St. Camille), click here >>
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This announcement was posted on Wednesday, October 12, 2022, based on information provided by Chris Doyle and Marianne Comeau of Arlington. Sources include cparl.org/stories, cparl.org/bulletins and this historical source.