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Since 1732, the Redemptorists — a congregation of missionary priests and brothers — have followed in Jesus’ footsteps, preaching the Word and serving the poor and most abandoned.
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Saturday

Mission Church hosts Kennedy funeral

A funeral Mass was celebrated Aug. 29 at the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Boston for Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy. The church, commonly known as Mission Church, was founded by Redemptorist priests in 1871 to serve the growing population of German and Irish immigrants. Since its beginnings, Mission Church has continued its ministry to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ, in particular to the poor and most abandoned members of society.

The basilica is dedicated to Mary, the mother of Jesus, under the title of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. A copy of the original, ancient icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help hangs in Mission Church, and in all Redemptorist churches. The Redemptorists have spread devotion to Mary under this title since 1866, and thousands have found comfort in prayer before her image.

"People come here because they don’t feel alone," said Redemptorist Father Philip Dabney, associate pastor of Mission Church. "There’s a certain presence here; some people call it the umbrella of comfort."

Sen. Kennedy was one such visitor who came seeking solace and help at Mission Church. That experience prompted the Kennedys to ask the Redemptorists for the use of Mission Church for the senator’s funeral.

"Sen. Kennedy had prayed at the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help for other family members in their illnesses and for himself," said Very Rev. Patrick Woods, provincial of the Redemptorists of the Baltimore Province, which includes Mission Church. "Redemptorist Fathers Raymond Collins, pastor of Mission Church, and Philip Dabney approved the request to hold the funeral Mass at Mission and to offer pastoral support and comfort to the Kennedy family at this time in their lives. I am most grateful for the pastoral sensitivity of our confreres at Mission. May the Lord grant Sen. Kennedy eternal rest and peace, and may the Lord bring his gentle healing to all who mourn his passing."

For more information about the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, also known as Mission Church, visit www.themissionchurchboston.com.