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Our team from The Good Catholic Life and Pilot New Media visited Mary Immaculate of Lourdes parish in Newton last week as part of our ongoing series on growing parishes that are embracing the New Evangelization. We seek to learn what specifically these parishes are doing to invite inactive Catholics home and to welcome those who choose to enter the Catholic Church.
Mary Immaculate of Lourdes parish is the mother church of Newton and Needham, established in 1870 as St. Mary's Parish. In 1909 the cornerstone was laid for the present church, which was built on a hill and was meant to be seen from far and wide. It has the style of an Italian hill town church with a soaring 135-foot bell tower that can easily be seen by all that commute on Route 128/95. When it was dedicated on Thanksgiving Day in 1910, the new Archbishop of Boston William O'Connell, decided that St. Mary's was too plain a name for this beautiful church so he chose to rename it Mary Immaculate of Lourdes.