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Centering Prayer at Melrose Highlands Congregational Church, Melrose, MA

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Centering Prayer at Melrose Highlands Congregational Church, Melrose, MA
Pillars & Foundations documents an exploration of communities, as well as faith through religious institutions. My intent is to share experiences, and spread the positivity that I observe. 


Background of Centering PrayerMindfulness, being mindful, learning to be present, these popular terms/ideas have infiltrated popular culture over the past decade due to a surge in interest in meditation, largely focused on roots from eastern origins. Many meditation groups have popped up, both secular for the purposes of training the mind or destressing, as well as those with a spiritual focus, tied closely to Buddhist and Hindu origins. It is perhaps not as well known that the Christian tradition also has its own version of meditative practices. While some recognize traditional prayer itself as a type of meditation, another activity made recognizable by Thomas Merton, a Trappist Monk and author from the 20th century, and Fr…

The First Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston, Massachusetts

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The First Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston, Massachusetts
Pillars & Foundations documents an exploration of communities, as well as faith through religious institutions. My intent is to share experiences, and spread the positivity that I observe. 

Somehow, despite the First Church of Christ, Scientist, being a major draw for most people who explore Boston thoroughly, I've managed to evade ever going inside this building until this past New Year's Eve. They have an impressive Mapparium on the campus in the Mary Baker Eddy library which is said to be quite interesting, however I have not seen this. I strolled around the fountains and the gorgeous reflecting pool in the middle of the campus many times during my past 19 years in the Boston area, and it absolutely is one of my favorite spots in the city. The pool surrounded by the impressive buildings and boxed in on the southwest by a enormous, brutalist looking apartment block, is absolutely iconic. I don't have pictures…

National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette, Attleboro, Massachusetts

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National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette, Attleboro, Massachusetts
Pillars & Foundations documents an exploration of communities, as well as faith through religious institutions. My intent is to share experiences, and spread the positivity that I observe. 
Reflecting on my 2018 JourneyPrior to discussing Our Lady of La Salette further, please humor me as I reflect.

This blog has documented a year long journey that has taken me to over 50 different churches, shrines, temples and faith centers. Most of these I was privileged to attend a service and to mingle with community members. It has be a terrific experience exploring faith, religion, community, charity, and I am better off as a consequence. It is fitting that I write about the shrine of La Salette in Attleboro as my experience touring the lights in 2017 with my wife, drinking hot chocolate, warming ourselves by a fire, watching a candle light procession of Silent Night at a manger, and seeing families experience the joy of this …

First Baptist Church, Stoneham, MA

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First Baptist Church, Stoneham, MA
Pillars & Foundations documents an exploration of communities, as well as faith through religious institutions. My intent is to share experiences, and spread the positivity that I observe. The hope is to provide a window into these organizations allowing those who might not other wise venture in to appreciate these thoughtful, often intimate groups in our midst. Faith centers embody a drive to make a difference which they deliver upon, regardless if it is with one person looking for hope & community, or a recipient of their expansive charitable work.

Building & History
First Baptist Church in Stoneham has a unique appearance to it that has an exterior of brick and red shingles within its gables and on its bell tower. The church was built in 1892 and it is on the National Register of Historic places. The Wikipedia page describes the building as an example of Queen Anne architecture. The Wikipedia page for Queen Anne architecture specifically …

Incarnation Parish, Melrose & Saugus, Melrose, MA

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Incarnation Parish, Melrose & Saugus, Melrose, MA
Pillars & Foundations documents an exploration of communities, as well as faith through religious institutions. My intent is to share experiences, and spread the positivity that I observe. The hope is to provide a window into these organizations allowing those who might not other wise venture in to appreciate these thoughtful, often intimate groups in our midst. Faith centers embody a drive to make a difference which they deliver upon, regardless if it is with one person looking for hope & community, or a recipient of their expansive charitable work.
Building & History
The parish was started in 1958 and an interesting write up on the parish website demonstrates just how much this region of Melrose has changed over the past 60 years. It notes that the land was once a dairy farm located near the Saugus border, and that parishioners originally met in Mount Hood Lodge, "under a stuffed moose head," as the website acc…