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February 14, 2014     Post-Gazette
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February 14, 2014

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POST-GAZETTE, FEBRUARY 14, 2014 Page 5 The History Of Saint Leonard Church A Frank De Pasquale Venture Boston Welcomes the Catholics PART I by Christian A. Guarino Boston at the midway point of the 19 a Century was developing into a thriving metropolis. Many of the landmarks we still hold dear today were being built across the city. Such institutions as the Boston Public Library, the oldest library system in the country, the world renowned Parker House Hotel and the Charles Street Jail, known to have housed among its' inmates, Boston Mayoral legend James Michael Curley, Nicola Sacco and Bartolommeo Vanzetti. During this time, Boston was growing in population as well. The "old" Boston fami- lies, better known as the Brahmin, were Interne Della Chiesa Di S. Leonardo giving way to a large influx of immigrants (Photo by from Western Europe. The long dominant MonteBoston13 Productions, Inc.) Protestant stronghold was beginning to relinquish its reign to Catholicism, as it was define the areas of the neighborhood the overwhelming religion of these new that they congregated. The Avellinesi, immigrants. The city boasted the second people from the province of Avellino near largest population of Catholics in the United Naples settled along Endicott and Thacher States after Baltimore, Maryland. Out of its' Streets, some making Sheafe Street home. 748,000 citizens, 450,000 identified them- The Sicilian fishermen in the community selves as members of the Catholic faith. The settled around the wharves, mainly along first Catholics to come to the city were Fleet and North Streets. the Irish immigrants, then the French- From the decade between 1880-1890, the Canadians followed by Italians, Polish and Italian population grew so rapidly that Portuguese. the immigrants began to occupy various The recorded history of Catholicism in the sections of the city. By 1910, the Italian city dates back to Reverend Claude Florent immigrants had invaded much of New Bouchard de la Poterie, who was the first England. Catholic priest to be officially stationed in The always-growing Catholic presence in Boston. A French missionary, he celebrated Boston was the result of this immigration. the first Catholic Mass on November 2, 1788 Italians can take great pride in this and the Cathedral of the Holy Cross is growth of Catholicism in Boston aided by named partly in his honor due to a piece of Italian priests, in particular, the compas- the true cross having been among his pos- sionate Franciscan Friars, many of whom sessions and which still resides today in devoted their entire lives and energy to the Cathedral. The city had been a breed- revive the faith in the hearts of the ing ground for anti-Catholic sentiments, population. reaching its' climax with the burning of a The most beautiful and impressive accom- Charlestown convent on the evening of plishment of the Italians and Franciscans August 11, 1834 by a Protestant mob. in Boston was the magnificent Church of The first Italian immigrants that settled Saint Leonard of Port Maurice and it's par- in Boston came between 1867-70 and were ish school dedicated in honor of popular mainly from Genoa and Tuscany. These Franciscan Saint, Anthony of Padua. immigrants settled along the various sec- Next week: The evolution of Saint Leonard tions of the city's North End. As more and Parish and the early Franciscans that nur- more immigrants arrived, they began to tured a growing Italian community. www.depasc The Massachusetts De- partment of Transportation (MassDOT) conducted a study, "The Grounding McGrath Study" to deter- mine the future of the Route 28 corridor. The study took into account several factors including the upcoming Green Line expansion which will affect the areas of Medford and Somerville. The project will extend MBTA Green Line service from a relocated Lechmere Station in East Cambridge to Union Square in Somerville and College Avenue in Medford. It also considered the fact that the McCarthey over- pass, built in the 1950s, re- quires significant repairs. The final report of the study is now available and it establishes that the most c}mvenient course of action is to remove.the McCarthey Grounding McGrath Study Determines Overpass Should Come Down by Ivanha Paz overpass, which is the el- evated structure that car- ries Route 28 (McGrath Highway) over Washington Street in Somerville and re- place it with a six lane at grade urban boulevard. It has been determined that instead of conducting re- pairs, the construction of a new boulevard will be more efficient. The study considered four different options before reaching its conclusion that the overpass is better off coming down. According to the Boston Globe, Ralph Denisco, a planner at Nelson/Nygaard, the com- pany commissioned by MassDOT to study the road- way, said that the removal of the underpass and the construction of a street level boulevard will increase traf- fic. due .t-o.-the "fPP cross- street intersections that would be added. Supporters of the plan say that it will help reconnect the neighborhoods, East Somerville, Union Square and the Brickbottom section. That coupled with the up- coming green line exten- sion to Somerville and Medford should greatly in- crease accessibility to and within these Boston neigh- borhoods. The Massachusetts Transportation Authority (MBTA) and MassDOT have partnered for the green line extension project, which be- gan with Phase 1 in March "2013. The goals for this phase are the reconstruc- tion of the Harvard Street Railroad Bridge in Medford and the Medford Street Rail- road Bridge in Somerville and the demolition of the MBTA facility at 21 Water Street in Cambridge. So far the demolition of 21 Water Street has been accom- plished and the bridges are still in progress. The comple- tion date for the project has been pushed back several times since the current project's inception in 2005. Currently the last phase of the project is scheduled to be fnished by 2019 ....... Bricco Boutique ItalianCuisine 241 Hanover St. * 617.248.6800 Trafforia II Panino Boston's ] st Original Trattoria 11 Parmenter St. * 617.720.1336 Quattro Grill, Rosticceria & Pizzeria 266 Hanover St. 617.720,0444 GiGi Gelateria 50 Flavors of Homemade Gelato 272 Hanover St. 64 Cross St. 617.720.4243 N.E. Scene Boston Magazine A Magazine of Food, Wine, Tradition, Travel & Culture 256 Hanover St. * 617.570.9199 Mar6 Seafood & Oyster Bar 135 Richmond St. * 617.723.MARE Bricco Panetteria Homemade Artisan Breads 241 Hanover St. * 617.248.9859 Umbria Prime 5 Stow Steakhouse Oyster Bar & Night Club 295 Franldin St. * 617.338.1000 DePasquale's 5 Homemade Pasta Shoppe Over 50 Varieties 66A Cross St. * 617.248.9629 Eagle Design Commercial & Residential Construction 256 Hanover St. Suite 8 617.201.7951 The Ocean Club at Marina Bay 62,000 Square Feet of Outdoor Nightlife 333 Victory Rd. * 617.689.0600 Sigma Alpha Epsilon Chapter at Suffolk University to Replace Stolen Firefighters' Boot by Matt Conti The SAE fraternity at Suf- folk University is working with Metal Tronics Inc., to make a new Firefighters' Boot as a replacement for the one that was stolen last year from the Hanover Street Engine 8 /Ladder 1 station. The long- standing "Fill the Boot" collec- tion supports the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). The fire boot and empty lock box were found floating in the Boston Fire Station - water fountain on the Prado/ Engine No. 8 on Hanover Paul Revere Mall. The newly Street. fabricated boot and donations (Photo by Matt Conti] were presented at the 392 Hanover Street firehouse on February 13 th at 1:30 pm. Italian Festa IN WALTHAM WANTED: VENDORS (Food and others) and CRAFTERS for Italian Festa on the Waltham Common on 5/31. OSIA Lodges can also participate. Contact Carol @ 508-655-2099 or