One of the favorite topics of conversation as Spring comes in full bloom is where people will take their vacation.  That is a trip to somewhere away where ones physical and emotional batteries can be recharged. “You going down the Cape? We hope to go back to the Islands.” and other such conversations seem to be in the air in Peabody Hall during the post Mass collations.    It seems as if vacations are an eternal part of our lives.

When I was in college, the wealthy kids would introduce me to the use of the word “summer” as a verb, as in “We summer in Maine.”  I discovered that sentence meant that the entire family, often sine the pater familias who would commute back and forth each weekend, would be in some beautiful bucolic setting away from the heat and care of their regular lives.  

Yet the idea of secular vacations is a relatively new phenomenon for all but the most elite.  Travel was difficult and dangerous, not something undertaken for relaxation.  It was only undertaken for very serious reasons-often for economic necessity or compelled by the state.  However, there was one reason to travel-albeit no less dangerous and difficult-which was voluntarily undertaken, to travel on a religious pilgrimage.  People would undertake such journeys for months or even years in order to demonstrate their faith.  In the company of other pilgrims they found their faith strengthened from the experience.  That they were doing it for God and in the company of other believers made the difficulties and dangers less formidable -or at least less daunting.

Today there are few pilgrims in the traditional sense.  Yes, for example some still do the multi-week trek across northern Spain to end up in Santiago. (An interesting aside, the first person of a party of pilgrims to see the destination Cathedral was given the title “king”-and many people of European extraction who have the name King in their “native” language probably means that their ancestor was the “king” of his [not her, alas] pilgrimage).  However, the pressing demands of modern life and the increasing ability to remit the discomfort associated with travel makes even trips to Israel or other holy sites more a slap and dash sight seeing exercise,  “Ok, has everyone been in the Jordan, let’s get back on the bus, the souvenir stall has bottles of Jordan water you can buy to bring home.”

Yet there are ways for us to participate in a pilgrimage -and to do so without leaving Dorchester.  You see, this week itself is a pilgrimage of sorts.  It is a pilgrimage in the fourth dimension - that of time.  From the triumph of Palm Sunday’s procession through Tenebrae (you can attend it at our sister parish of the Advent), the vigil keeping alone in the Lady Chapel after Holy Thursday’s powerful mass, the anguish of Good Friday to the glorious first mass of the Vigil of Easter and the delights of Easter Day-we too go on a pilgrimage.  True, it is quite unlikely that brigands will waylay us or suffer shipwrecks, but if we take the week seriously we too will be transformed by it the same way those earlier pilgrims were changed by their journey.

I urge you to become pilgrims.  Take the mental and spiritual time and space to participate fully in the events of the week.  If you do, you will emerge different at its conclusion – which is the entire point not just of a pilgrimage but also of our entire lives as Christians – as we see this life as a grand pilgrimage to God.  

Blessings and my prayers as you go on our annual pilgrimage.

Under the Mercy,
Father James

 

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Service Times

Sundays

7:30 a.m. Morning Prayer
8:00 a.m. Low Mass
9:00 a.m. Adult Christian Education*
10:00 a.m. Solemn Mass
11:30 a.m. Coffee Hour

* during the academic year

Weekdays

Low Mass
Wednesday 10 a.m. *
Friday 7 a.m.
Saturday 9 a.m.

* followed by coffee hour

 

Location and Parking

209 Ashmont Street
Dorchester MA 02124
(617) 436-6370

Map

All Saints is located in the south Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, just off Peabody Square, at 209 Ashmont St. and is a very short walk from the Ashmont T station on the Red Line. (Click icon for map.)

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The five principal levels of our buildings are handicap accessible, served by a five-stop elevator. Handicap access into both buildings is by a walkway and ADA-compliant ramp from the parking lot to the Ashmont Street door of the church.  There are handicap accessible bathrooms on four levels of the church and parish house.

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There is a private parking lot for 47 cars and on-street parking on both Ashmont Street and on the other streets surrounding the church.

Four of these spaces are reserved for Zipcars.

Parish of All Saints, Ashmont

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Our emphasis at the Parish of All Saints is on sacramental worship (the Mass or Holy Eucharist) celebrated in a traditional Anglo-Catholic style, with strong orthodox teaching and preaching, supportive pastoral care, a caring parish family, and responsibility to our community and the greater world.

 
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