Memorial Day at St Patrick’s Cemetery

Dave McKeon posts on the Lowell Irish blog his memories of Memorial Day from decades ago. The city’s celebration then was centered around a major downtown parade but then everyone would travel to the various cemeteries around the city to pay respects to deceased family members. There were also important visitors, especially to St. Patrick’s Cemetery. Here is a part of Dave’s account including info about his upcoming tour of St Patrick’s on Saturday, June 8, 2013:


ne annual visitor to St Patrick’s Cemetery was Cardinal O’Connell. He was a regular celebrant of the annual Mass at Saint Bridget Chapel in the 1920s. His first act would be to visit his parents’ grave near the office area where his limo would drop him off. He’d kneel at the gravesite where he’d say a silent prayer and then proceed to the Chapel. Some locals recalled that as soon as Mass was over he would be whisked out of town back to Boston and the “palace” he had built for himself.

Our NEW CEMETERY TOUR on JUNE 8th at 10 a.m. will tell you more about the Cardinal and the interesting story of his family’s plot. (Why were they moved?) The Office area has some of Lowell’s most notable politicians and businessmen of Irish decent. Lowell’s first Irish mayor. Undertakers. Liquor dealers. A rubber heel maker. And a local legend remembered for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in an unusual way. This new Spring tour will focus on the front Office area. Our Fall tour will remain focused on Yard One and the Chapel area. Let us know if you think you might attend. Invite your friends.