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St. Leonard of Port Maurice Parish, Boston, MA

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St. Leonard of Port Maurice Parish, Boston: Ash Wednesday MassPillars & 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. 



Building & HistoryWikipedia is the primary source for my information on the church history, like some churches I've visited Saint Leonard Parish dedicates their webpage completely to support the current day activities and community. 
First it is important to note that St. Leonard is considered one of the oldest churches constructed by Italian immigrants in the United States. It was constructed beginning in 1885 in Romanesque style, with the upper church and a friary finalized in 1899. Frescos and craftsmanship shown in the photos were created by Italian parishioners through the church's history. The church is also known for its peace garden and a St. Anthony shrine. The namesake of the church, St. Leonard of Port Maurice, i…

Holy Family Passionist Retreat Center, West Hartford, CT: Lectio Divina

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Holy Family Passionist Retreat Center, West Hartford, CT: Lectio DivinaPillars & 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. 
Campus DescriptionHoly Family Retreat Center is located in a bucolic suburb of Hartford Connecticut. Still decidedly urban the monastery and an expansive, mostly wooded grounds is seated amongst an idyllic upper middle class neighborhood. Forty-eight acres of grounds offer a refuge from the bustle to visitors as well as the people in the community, to which it is open. Trails meander through the forest, and visitors can appreciate thoughtful landscaping and features that include the stations of the cross, grottos and various statues of saints and Christ. One particularly striking feature on the property is a large landscaped labyrinth located on a clearing in the forest. I found it covered in snow on my visit, and I still cho…

MIT Chapel, Cambridge, Massachusetts

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MIT Chapel, Cambridge, MassachusettsPillars & 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. 


Building & HistoryWikipedia has a good write-up on this unique building, noting not just the unusual windowless-cylindrical sanctuary, but the landscaping. In warmer months the round sanctuary is surrounded on the outside by a reflecting pool or "moat," as it seems to be described. The trees are a crucial part of the appearance of the building, London Planetrees, they create a natural buffer to the bustle around, while the irregular lighter bark stands in contrast to the dark tones of the brick. A stained glass entryway is perhaps the one part of the structure letting light in, and for someone perhaps only casually familiar with the mid-century modern era, this section of the structure seems to especially evoke that style.


The architect Eero Saari…

Old South Church, Boston, Massachusetts

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Old South Church, Boston, Massachusetts: New Year's 2019 Organ ConcertPillars & 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. 

Building & HistoryAt the time of my visit, and writing of this post, the Old South Church Congregation is celebrating it's 350th anniversary! Many noteworthy historical figures have been congregants at Old South, including Benjamin Franklin who was baptized there, and Samuel Adams who once held Tea Party meetings in the earliest meeting house. Old South's website notes that the newest structure which is pictured was built in 1875 during the Gilded Age, and it is evident. It describes the architecture as Northern Italian Ruskinian Gothic. I definitely can see similarities in the eaves to some churches I've visited in Italy. If my photos (often blurry on the exterior- I don't get to Back Bay in the day mu…

Notre Dame Spirituality Center, Ipswich, MA: Centering Prayer

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Notre Dame Spirituality Center, Ipswich, MA: Centering PrayerPillars & 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. 


How I Stumbled Upon Notre Dame Spirituality CenterOver the past year some of you may know that I've engaged in this journey exploring different churches, denominations, and faiths. Through this I've attended courses on Buddhist Meditation at the Tibetan Buddhist, Kurukulla Center in Medford, Massachusetts. I've also on occasion attended Zen based meditation through Reading Unitarian Universalist Church. Most recently prior to this I attended a Centering Prayer group at Melrose Highlands Congregational Church. From reading Seven Storey Mountain and Thoughts in Solitude, by Thomas Merton, to Thich Nhat Hanh's Living Buddha Living Christ, and Peace in Every Step, I've been quite curious about mindfulness, meditation, a…