Terry’s side trip: St. Francis Chapel at Boston Convention Center

Terry’s side trip: St. Francis Chapel at Boston Convention Center

Terry’s business trip to Boston turned into another of our magnificent Mary-centered encounters and celebrations. Read below for her amazing story!

Visit date: Sunday, July 16, 2023

Mass: Sunday

Address: 800 Boylston Street, Suite 1001, Boston, MA 02199

Website: Oblates of the Virgin Mary – St. Francis Chapel (omvusa.org)

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Lectionary: 103, the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea.
Such large crowds gathered around him
that he got into a boat and sat down,
and the whole crowd stood along the shore.
And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying:
“A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path,
and birds came and ate it up.
Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil.
It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep,
and when the sun rose it was scorched,
and it withered for lack of roots.
Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it.
But some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit,
a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.
Whoever has ears ought to hear.”


– by Terry

On Sunday, July 16th, I was staying in Boston ahead of a speaking engagement at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center the next day. It was raining, and I wanted to find a Mass early in the day before a cup of coffee. On a map, there seemed to be a few churches near the Sheraton hotel, but after wandering for an hour, I could not find any of them. I was cold, wet, and tired. I gave up, took a short-cut back through the convention center, and got acclimated for where I would be speaking the next day. I decided to leave through the other end of the convention center to find that cup of coffee before returning to the hotel.

Imagine my surprise when I saw the St. Francis Chapel just to the left of the exit out the convention center and in the mall attached to the convention center! A Catholic chapel located in a regular mall?! And ready for the spiritual needs of conventioneers? How remarkable!

A Mass was scheduled to start in about ten minutes, so I took a seat near the front. By the time the Mass began, the chapel was crowded, and I forgot it was in a mall. It was a special and delightful service run by the Oblates of the Virgin Mary, so the chapel was Marian. The priest celebrating the Mass said that at the beginning of his homily that he had nothing prepared to say. The Gospel was the Parable of the Seed, about seed scattered on the path, on the rocks, in the roots, and on the good soil. He spoke extemporaneously about the fruitfulness of grain at the time of Jesus. When Jesus says that the seed could yield 100-fold or 60-fold or 30-fold, most of us listening would not be paying much attention to the numbers for the yield. But the priest remarked that, at the time of Christ, this type of yield would be unheard of. An 8-fold yield would be the maximum that anyone would be able to expect. In His story, Jesus is multiplying the numbers in an extraordinary, and thus divine, way. He asked us to reflect on how are we increasing our own yield through the divine assistance provided by God?

I told the priest after the Mass that he may not have had a planned homily going into the Mass, but his remarks were clearly filled with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit definitely inspired the priest’s lesson!

Exploring the small chapel after the Mass, I discovered a side display (not even an alcove, as the whole chapel was an alcove). The display had the first-class relics of three Saints on a table for veneration: St. John Paul II, St. Faustina, and St. Maximillian Kolbe. Three of the great Saints of the modern era and stalwart champions of the Divine Mercy and Mary! What a gem!

While I didn’t take many pictures, the chapel has a website: https://www.omvusa.org/st-francis-chapel/ Please check it out!

If you are in Boston and attending any events at the convention center, treat yourself to a Mass or time for reflection in this small oasis of prayer! And the Starbucks is very close by for afterwards.


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