On Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018, I took my monthly day of recollection. Usually, I would pray, read and reflect at my home, St. Clement Eucharistic Shrine. But a friend a few weeks ago had suggested the Madonna, Queen of the Universe Shrine in East Boston. This would be a good way for me to get out of the house and see more of the Metro Boston area.
After Mass and Confession at the St. Francis Chapel, I took the T to the Orient Heights station. The shrine could be seen atop of the hill. The climb up the hill wasn’t too bad. There are few staircases that a pilgrim can take instead of following the streets. Entering the public courtyard, I found the 30-foot statue of the Virgin Mary.
It’s interesting that the statue faces toward the plaza instead of toward the city. The shrine was built from the 1950s to the 1970s. Staffed by priests from the Sons of Divine Providence, the shrine currently serves the Latino community with Masses in Spanish and Portuguese.
From the plaza, there is a great view of Boston and the airport. Inside, there wasn’t a quick directory to list where everything was. So I ended up lost, but a young lady at the bookstore helped me find the church. Underneath the plaza are the bookstore, main church, classrooms and parish hall. The floor with the bookstore has an exhibit on Popes John XXIII and Paul VI.
I had wanted to pray in the main church. But a group was using it. But the shrine has two side chapels so I can have a quiet place to pray. I finished praying when the Spanish choir began to practice. Walking down to the train station, I saw planes landing and taking off at Logan Airport. It reminded me of my childhood neighborhood in New York.
Overall, it was fun to visit a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. I wouldn’t mind going back again for another day of recollection.