Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Sunday 25 July |
The Feast of Saint James the Great
home iconTravel
line break icon

3 Historic Catholic churches you have to visit in Boston

Bill Damon | CC BY 2.0

Zelda Caldwell - published on 02/07/18

You may know Old North Church, but have you been to these old churches?

When most people think of Boston churches, the Old North Church, Boston’s oldest surviving church, comes to mind. Founded in 1722, it was made famous by Paul Revere held two lanterns from the church’s steeple to signal that the British were marching to Lexington and Concord. Less well-known, but also of historical signficance, are these three beautiful Catholic churches that are deeply intertwined with the city’s rich history and worth a stop while visiting the city.

1. St. Stephen’s Church

ST STEPHENS CHURCH
Felix Lipov | Shutterstock

Just a 3-minute walk from the Old North Church, following the Freedom Trail, is St. Stephen’s Church, dating back to 1804. It is the last remaining church in Boston designed by the architect Charles Bulfinch, who built the United States Capitol.

St. Stephen’s was not always a Catholic Church. Originally called New North Church, it was first a Congregationalist and then a Unitarian house of worship. In 1862, as the North End of Boston had become heavily Catholic due to an influx of Irish immigrants, the church was sold to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston and became St. Stephen’s.

While it is no longer a parish church, and is run by the Missionary Society of St. James the Apostle, daily Mass is celebrated there. For more information go to MassTimes.com. Located at 401 Hanover Street.

2. Cathedral of the Holy Cross

CATHEDRAL OF THE HOLY CROSS
Bill Damon | CC BY 2.0

The largest Roman Catholic church in New England, the Cathedral of the Holy Cross was built in 1866 after the Catholic population in the city outgrew the old Holy Cross Church, built — by Bulfinch — in 1803.

A Requiem Mass for President John F. was celebrated here on January 19, 1964, and broadcast on national television. The church was honored by a visit from Pope John Paul II who held a prayer service in 1979. Located at 1400 Washington Street. For Mass times click here.

3. Basilica and Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help

BASILICA AND CATHEDRAL OF OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL HELP
Roman Archdiocese of Boston | CC BY-ND 2.0

Build by the Redemptorists in 1874 in the Mission Hill neighborhood of Boston, Our Lady of Perpetual Help is both a basilica and a shrine, and has always served immigrants and the poor.

After a replica of the icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help was installed over the altar, the church became known for a number of cures that were attributed to Our Lady’s intercession. Starting in 1887 the infirm would flock to the church for weekly blessing’s of the sick, earning the New York Herald 1901 headline: “A Lourdes in the Land of Puritans.”

Before Senator Edward Kennedy died in 2009, he asked that his funeral be held at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, a place dear to his heart from the time he prayed there every day when his daughter was in a nearby hospital battling cancer. Located at 1545 Tremont Street. For Mass times click here.

Tags:
Architecture
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
morning
Philip Kosloski
This morning prayer is easy to memorize
2
nightbirde
Cerith Gardiner
8 Powerful quotes from Nightbirde that will fill you with hope
3
Daniel Esparza
5 Curious things you might not know about Catholicism
4
ŁACINA
Philip Kosloski
Why is Latin the official language of the Church, instead of Aram...
5
MACHAERUS
Daniel Esparza
3 Legendary pilgrimages off the beaten path
6
WEB2-Benjamin_West_-_Joshua_passing_the_River_Jordan_with_the_Ark_of_the_Covenant_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg
Daniel Esparza
Who are the cherubim in the Bible?
7
Tefillin
Zelda Caldwell
Did Jesus wear “tefillin” as some observant Jews do t...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.