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An overflow crowd filled St. Mark Church in Dorchester May 15, as parishioners celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving for 100 years of the parish, founded on Dec. 17, 1905.
Auxiliary Bishop Walter Edevean celebrated the Mass in the place of Archbishop O’Malley who was unable to attend due to the death of his father. Among priests concelebrating the Mass was former pastor, Father Arthur F. Calter, pastor from 1987 to 1993.
In its early days, St. Mark Parish was home to many Irish immigrants. Today, the make-up of the parish involves parishioners from as many as 20 nations. In a tribute to multiculturalism, the prayers of the faithful were presented in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Vietnamese. During the offertory procession, James Wall presented a statue of liberty representing the United States, Hoang Vu presented a country boat representing Vietnam, Bridie Knauber presented a celtic cross representing Ireland, Marie Mars presented a basket of fruit representing Haiti, Maria DePina presented a dictionary representing Cape Verde, Jeanne Karangwa presented a drum representing Africa and Alusha McKetty presented a conch shell representing the Caribbean.
After Mass, hundreds of parishioners gathered outside the church, posing for photos and greeting old friends and the many priests who came back to their home parish or first assignment. A Centennial Celebration Luncheon followed the Mass.