Cardinal Sean’s Blog: Celebrates Mass in Lowell’s Immaculate Conception Parish and Lauds D’Youville Anniversary

Cardinal Sean O’Malley commented on his blog this week about his visit to Lowell last Saturday evening. First he celebrated the 4 o’clock Mass at the Immaculate Conception Parish. The Immaculate  happens to be my parish –  Bill and I attended the Mass and the D’Youville event.

The Cardinal writes:

I spent Saturday evening in Lowell, where I celebrated Mass at Immaculate Conception Parish.

The vigil Mass at Immaculate Conception was in the lower church, since they are in the process of renovating the upper church.

Father Nick Sannella is doing an extraordinary job in that parish.

The church is a cathedral-like structure, a real monument and landmark in Lowell, and he has been working very hard to restore the church.

We look forward to going back for the rededication of the upper church.

They had a wonderful children’s choir at Saturday’s Mass made up of children from the parish school as well as the CCD program. They sang beautifully.

We had a very full church with a lot of enthusiasm. The people have obvious great affection for their pastor and the wonderful job he is doing.

The photo of the Immaculate was taken by Corey Scuito in the Spring of 2008 – passers-by will note the scaffolding surrounding the ediface these days as part of the restoration project. The roots of Immaculate Conception Parish go back to the arrival of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate in Lowell in 1868. Read more Parish history here.

The Cardinal later attended the 50th anniversary celebration of D’Youville Senior Care – originally known as D’Youville Manor – at the UML Inn & Conference Center along with over 400 other celebrants.  In his remarks he noted not only the D’Youville anniversary but the national Blue Ribbon education award given to Ste. Jeanne d’Arc School in Lowell whose prinicpal Sr. Priscille Malo is also a driving force with D’Youville and  Lowell native Sr. Pauline LeBlanc, Provincial of the Sisters of Charity of Ottawa and her work in both the Lowell community and in Papaua New Guinea. It was certainly “hats off” to the Grey Nuns serving Lowell in so many ways for over 125 years.