"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
The assembly-centered worship style at Our Lady Help of Christians in Newton is not to my taste. But the parish is large and vibrant and reflective of its community, which if you know Newton, is heavy on academics, psychoanalysts and like white-collar progressives. The church recently underwent an impressive renovation that respected its historic beauty, and the parish supports a high school that draws many urban minority kids. The pastor is a self-promoter, but much of the PR he has drawn, especially on Jewish-Christian relations, has been favorable.
If Our Lady's and its pastor, Fr. Cuenin, were so objectionable, why did Cardinal Law launch his World Youth Day pilgrimage this past summer from the parish?
And significantly: Why was Mother Teresa brought to this, of all parishes, on her visit to Boston? (See photo on upper left of the parish home page.) And why was the parish portrait (bottom right) featured on the cover of this past year's archdiocesan directory – making Our Lady's the cover parish of the Boston Archdiocese?
The headline of a September editorial in the Pilot criticizing the Newton parish's ties with VOTF observed, "You are known by the company you keep." Well, the Archdiocese has been keeping company very nicely with Our Lady's for years. Why is the Archdiocese now attacking liturgical and pastoral approaches it has had no little hand in advancing?